CASA Volunteer

What is a CASA Volunteer?

A court-appointed Special Advocate CASA is a trained community volunteer who is appointed by a judge to advocate for the best interests of an abused or neglected child in juvenile court proceedings. The CASA volunteer gathers information about the child's situation, attends court proceedings and makes a recommendation to the judge, so that the judge has the information to make a decision about the child's future. The CASA volunteer advocates for the child to be placed in a safe, permanent home as quickly as possible.

Qualifications

Sincere care for the well-being of children. At least 21 years of age. Pass criminal background checks. Good verbal and written communication skills. Ability to be objective and non-judgmental. Available to attend all court hearings. Commitment to CASA program for at least 1 year or until case is resolved.

How to Become a CASA Volunteer:

Complete an application, including four personal references Undergo criminal background checks Be interviewed by a CASA staff person Complete 40 hours of training Be sworn-in by a judge To get started, contact a local affiliate CASA program. For a listing of programs, visit www.gacasa.org or call Georgia CASA at 404-874-2888 or 1-800-521-4012

Responsibilities of a CASA Volunteer

  • Visit the child
  • Explain the role of a CASA volunteer
  • Keep the child informed of all aspects of the court proceedings
  • Gather independent information about the child to make recommendations to the judge in the child's best interest.
  • Seek cooperative solutions with other participants in the child's case Interview the parents, guardians or caretakers, social worker and other service providers
  • Review records related to the family Prepare written reports for court hearings Attend and participate in court hearings and other related meetings Identify potential resources within the family and community to meet the child's needs
  • Keep all records and information confidential Monitor provisions of service plans and court orders Ensure the child's wishes are known to the judge
  • Advocate for the child in the community
  • Consult with local CASA program staff for support and guidance Maintain focus on the child until permanency is achieved

Benefits of being a CASA Volunteer

As a CASA volunteer, you will ultimately help to change a child's life for a brighter future. You can help to end the cycle of abuse and neglect. Among many other benefits, you will have an opportunity to learn about the juvenile court system and become actively involved in your community.