What is a Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA)
Each year thousands of children fall victim to abuse, neglect or abandonment. These children become victimized and may be lost in an overburdened child welfare system. Sometimes a child can remain adrift in foster care for months or even years.
Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) are trained community volunteers appointed by a judge to speak up for abused or neglected children in court. CASA volunteers work alongside attorneys and social workers from case inception to its completion.
CASA volunteers come form all walks of life. They have a variety of professional, educational and ethnic backgrounds. No special experience is required. Volunteers are selected on the basis of their objectivity, competence and commitment.
Once accepted, volunteers are trained in courtroom procedure, the social service and juvenile court systems, and the special needs of children who have been abused or neglected.
It takes a commitment of 10-12 hours a month to be a CASA volunteer. Although it is challenging, it is very rewarding.
Become a CASA Volunteer!
CASA Job Requirements
- Complete the thirty-hour training program.
- Comply with all policies and procedures of CASA of Adams & McDonough County
- Pass all background checks
- Have a valid driver’s license and car insurance
- Comply with Mandated Reporting standards
CASA Job Description
- Serve in the best interest of the child.
- Complete a thorough investigation of the case.
- Maintain regular, ongoing contact of no less than once a month with the child.
- Participate in continuing education totaling twelve hours throughout each year by attending networking and in-services.
- Write reports for court hearings that will give an adequate description of the child, their environment, and recommendations you feel would aid in their well being and best interest.
- Attend all court hearings.
- Maintain complete records of all contacts and information gathered. Upon completion of the case, all records will be turned over to the CASA office.
- Maintain complete confidentiality.
- Make contact with the assigned attorney to insure the best interest of the child are being met.
- Monitor service plans and court orders to determine if progress is being made in the case.
- Report any incidents of child abuse or neglect to the CASA supervisor and appropriate authorities.
- Remain actively involved in the case until formally discharged by the court.
November is National Adoption Awareness Month. Check out WGEM’s interview with ANC’s Executive Director, Todd Shakelford below.