Genesee County CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocates) for Children is seeking a diverse group of volunteers to assist in advocating for the most vulnerable children in our community, the abused and neglected. Are you passionate about helping children? Do you wish to make a difference in the life of a child who needs it most? Then volunteering at CASA may be the perfect fit for you.
WHAT IS CASA?
Genesee County CASA is a private, non-profit organzation whose purpose is to train and supervise a diverse group of volunteers to advocate for children who have been abused and/or neglected. These children are at risk of being removed from their homes or have already been placed into the foster care system. CASA's goal is to ensure that all of these children have safe and permanent homes as quickly as possible.
WHAT DOES A CASA DO?
Once a volunteer has received thorough training and has been sworn in by our local Family Court Judge, they are assigned to their very own case. The CASA meets and talks to parents, foster parents, teachers, principals, social workers, counselors, case workers, the child's attorney, medical professionals and anyone else who may have relevant information on the well-being of the child(ren). The CASA then gathers all factual information and writes a report to the court approximately every 60 days which is seen by all parties involved in the case, including the Judge. With more information in hand, the Judge can make the best informed decision as possible as to what should happen next in the lives of the children involved.
HOW DOES A CASA BECOME INVOLVED ON A CASE?
The only way a CASA can become involved in a case is through assignment by The Honorable Judge Adams, our local Family Court Judge. At times, attorneys for the children have been known to also request a CASA be assigned to their case.
WHAT IS THE TIME COMMITMENT?
Volunteers are expected to commit to at least one year to the CASA program and on average dedicate 10 hours per month to the duties on their case assignments (i.e, making phone calls/e-mails, home visits, documenting notes and writing court reports). The amount of time that a case can remain open varies and can range anywhere from 6 months to a few years.
WHAT IS THE PROCESS?
Volunteers must first fill out and either e-mail or mail in a copy of their application to the CASA office. The CASA director will then be in touch with you shortly to make an appointment for an informal interview. This gives you the opportunity to ask questions and determine if this volunteer opportunity is right for you. Background checks are completed as well as a State Central Registry Check to screen for any indicated CPS reports. Following the successfully completed checks you will be provided an independent training work book which can be completed at your own pace. This workbook counts for 30 hours of training. Upon completion of the workbook you will be asked to then commit to 10 hours of court observation within Genesee County Family Court. Once all training has been accomplished you will then meet with the Family Court Judge to be sworn in as an official advocate of the court.