Court-Appointed Special Advocates (CASAs) provide a voice in the court for a child involved with the Dane County child welfare system for a case of abuse, neglect, or other situation impacting the child’s safety, permanency, or well-being. This is a crucial role for some of Dane County’s most vulnerable children.
CASAs are appointed by and act as the eyes and ears for the juvenile court judge. Advocates make weekly visits to their assigned child (either in the parental home, foster home, residential treatment facility, at school, or in the community), as well as correspond with caregivers, teachers, and other service providers to get a complete picture of the child’s history and current circumstances. CASAs, with the support of Dane County CASA staff, provide written reports to judges and parties to the case, helping them to make more informed decisions that ensure the child reaches a safe and permanent home as soon as possible. CASAs also work cooperatively with social workers, attorneys, and other professionals involved in the case to recommend and coordinate services that support the best interests of the child.
If you're interested in this rewarding volunteer opportunity, please fill out a volunteer application on our website: http://canopycenter.org/how-to-help/how-to-apply.html
Duties and ActivitiesWeekly meetings with an assigned child, as well as ongoing communication with family members and other professionals involved in their case.Review and monitor documents and records related to the case, including checking that case plans and court orders are being followed.Advocate for the child’s best interests to the court and raise concerns about the child’s health, education, mental health, etc. with the appropriate professionals.Keep the court informed by providing written reports for court hearings, appearing in court when necessary, and updating the court on developments with agencies and family members.Work cooperatively with individuals and organizations involved in the child’s life to ensure that the child and their family are receiving appropriate services. As one volunteer said: Be the glue that connects the pieces in a complicated child welfare system.
Time CommitmentMinimum 12 month commitment.A minimum of 1 weekly (1-2 hour) visit with the assigned child.Estimated 8-12 hours monthly to prepare weekly status updates, monthly court reports, and communicate with other professionals involved in the case.
Qualifications: GeneralBe at least 21 years old with high school diploma or G.E.D.Complete a Volunteer Application, clear a background check, and attend a volunteer interview.Attend trainings specific to the volunteer position.Ability to work with a diverse population.Ability to maintain confidentiality and objectivity.Access to reliable transportation.Warm, friendly demeanor and positive attitude.
Preferred Knowledge and SkillsComputer skills and familiarity with Microsoft Office.Excellent organizational skills.Personal and/or professional experience with child protective agencies, foster care, juvenile court, or other child service agencies.Bilingual volunteers strongly encouraged to apply.
Position BenefitsDirect experience for those interested in counseling, social work, law, and other related fields.Learn about issues facing children and families with special needs.Develop communication and report-writing skills.
If you have any questions or concerns about the position, please feel free to contact email@example.com for more information.