CASA volunteers are ordinary people who are caring, honest, and committed to doing what is best for a child. No special experience or knowledge is required. All volunteers are trained to understand courtroom procedure, social services, the basics of the juvenile justice system, and the special needs of children who have been abused and neglected. CASA welcomes volunteers from all cultures, professions, ethnic, and educational backgrounds.
A CASA Volunteer is a trained community volunteer appointed by a Family Court Judge to speak for the best interests of an abused and/or neglected child. A CASA works as an official part of the judicial proceedings, working alongside attorneys and social workers, making recommendations in the regards to services, placement, visitation, reunification, and permanency.
By handling only one to two cases at a time, the CASA has the time to thoroughly explore the history and circumstances of each assigned case. Volunteers get to know the child by talking with everyone in that child’s life: parents and relatives, foster parents, teachers, medical professionals, attorneys, social workers and others. They use the information they gather to inform the judge and others of the child’s needs and what the best permanent home would be.
The National CASA Association requires volunteers to:
Be at least 21 years old
Successfully complete a screening interview and background checks
Complete an initial training program and yearly ongoing training requirements
Take an oath of confidentiality
Be available for court appearances (with advanced notice)
Commit to the CASA program, dedicating approximately 10 - 15 hours a month, until your first case is closed (a year and a half, on average)