CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocate)
Volunteer Opportunities: Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) volunteers are appointed by Dependency Court judges to investigate the circumstances of children who have been removed from their families and placed in foster care because of abuse or neglect. CASAs report their findings and make recommendations to the Court to assist judges in making more informed decisions about the children who appear before them.
Qualifications: Anyone over the age of 21 who is committed to helping children may apply to become a CASA volunteer. No special educational background is required, but volunteers must have good communication skills, common sense, and good problem solving skills. CASA volunteers need to have access to a car, have a valid California driverís license, and be able to show proof of state-required automobile liability coverage. There are a few restrictions to becoming a CASA volunteer. A CASA cannot be a current foster parent, an employee of a group home or residential treatment center for foster children, in the process of adopting a child through the dependency system, or involved in a dependency court matter
- Commit, on average, 5-6 hours per week to case activities on behalf of a child.
- Maintain regular contact with the child (visit at least once a month).
- Gather information about a child's circumstances, evaluate the facts of the case independently, and provide recommendations to the court by means of written reports/
- Communicate sensitively and objectively with children, social workers, foster care providers, therapists, teachers, attorneys, parents or other family members who may be involved with a case.
- Submit monthly documentation of contacts made on a case.
- Attend court hearings.
- Fulfill a two-year commitment to the CASA Program.