A CASA is a very special volunteer. They provide a direct service for the children they represent by investigating and making recommendations to the court in the best interest of the child. CASA volunteers build personal and trusting relationships with their child.
The volunteer is the caring adult that the child deserves, the adult who listens, cares about them and doesn’t give up on them, speaks for them in court and while they are in the foster care system — until they are placed in a safe and permanent home.
Please note this application can only be submitted electronically. Be sure to press the “Submit” button at the end. You will have the ability to print a copy of the application for your records. You will be asked for 3 references, including email addresses. The application cannot be saved so you will need to complete it in one sitting. This application takes approximately 30 minutes to complete. Thank you for your interest in becoming a CASA Volunteer.
CASA Volunteer Fact Sheet
What is a CASA volunteer?
A Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) volunteer is a trained citizen (age 21 or over) who is appointed by a judge to represent the best interests of a child in court. Children helped by CASA volunteers include those for whom home placement is being determined in juvenile court. Most of the children are victims of abuse and neglect.
What is the CASA volunteer’s role?
A CASA volunteer provides a judge with carefully researched background of the child to help the court make a sound decision about that child’s future. Each home placement case is as unique as the child involved. The CASA volunteer helps determine if it is in a child’s best interest to stay with his or her parents or guardians, be placed in foster care, or be freed for permanent adoption. The CASA volunteer follows through on the case until it is permanently resolved.
How does a CASA volunteer investigate a case?
To prepare a recommendation, the CASA volunteer talks with the child, parents, family members, social workers, school officials, health providers and others who are knowledgeable about the child’s history. The CASA volunteer also reviews all records pertaining to the child such as school, medical and case worker reports and other documents.
How effective have CASA programs been?
Research suggests that children who have been assigned CASA volunteers tend to spend less time in court and less time within the foster care system than those who do not have CASA representation. Judges have observed that CASA children also have better chances of finding permanent homes.
How many CASA programs are there?
There are over 900 CASA programs across the country including Washington, D.C. and the U. S. Virgin Islands. There are 21 CASA programs in the state of Missouri.
Do lawyers, judges and social caseworkers support CASA?
Yes. Juvenile and family court judges implement the CASA program in the courtrooms and appoint volunteers. CASA has been endorsed by the American Bar Association, the National Bar Association, the National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges and the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention of the U.S. Department of Justice.
Is there a “typical” CASA Volunteer?
CASA volunteers come from all walks of life with a variety of educational and ethnic backgrounds. There are more than 52,000 CASA volunteers nationally. Aside from their CASA volunteer responsibility, 50% are employed in regular full-time jobs; the majority tends to be professionals. 82% of the volunteers nationwide are women; 18% are men.
How much time does it require?
Each case is different. A CASA volunteer usually spends about 10 hours doing research and conducting interviews prior to the first court appearance. More complicated cases take longer. Once initiated into the system, volunteers work about 10-15 hours a month.
How many cases does a CASA volunteer carry at a time?
The number varies among programs but an average caseload is one or two cases at a time.
How does the CASA volunteer relate to the child they represent?
CASA volunteers offer children trust and advocacy during complex legal proceedings. They explain to the child the events that are happening, reasons they all are in court, and the roles the judge, lawyers and social workers play. CASA volunteers also encourage the child to express his or her own opinion and hopes, while remaining objective observers.
What training do CASA Volunteers receive?
A CASA volunteer completes a minimum of 30 hours of initial training which includes policies and procedures of the CASA program, Children’s Services, and Juvenile Court; dynamics and human behavior associated with child abuse and neglect; relevant local, state and federal laws; permanency planning and family preservation, cultural diversity, communication and interviewing skills; and the roles and responsibilities of a CASA volunteer. As a part of training, a CASA volunteer also observes court proceedings. Training for Franklin County CASA occurs three times a year (winter, summer and fall).
Want to learn more or have questions?
Please feel free to contact us at (636)583-4422 or in Gasconade County call (636)259-0867. You can also reach our Executive Director, Glenda Volmert, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Being an Advocate not for you?
Here are some other ways you can be a part of CASA:
- SPREAD THE WORD ABOUT THE NEED FOR VOLUNTEERS.
- INVITE CASA TO SPEAK TO YOUR CHURCH GROUP OR CLUB.
- FOLLOW CASA ON SOCIAL MEDIA (FACEBOOK, INSTAGRAM, TWITTER AND LINKEDIN) AND SHARE OUR POSTS.
- VOLUNTEER YOUR TIME AT A CASA FUNDRAISER; EX. JUSTICE IS SERVED OR BUY TICKETS FOR OUR ANNUAL SUMMER RAFFLE.
- BUY A CASA SHIRT AND WEAR IT PROUDLY IN YOUR COMMUNITY. WHEN SOMEONE ASKS ABOUT IT, TELL PEOPLE ALL ABOUT CASA!
- OFFER YOUR CLERICAL SKILLS TO HELP MAINTAIN FILES OR STUFF ENVELOPES IN THE CASA OFFICE.
- PRAY FOR, AND ENCOURAGE OTHERS TO PRAY FOR CASA AT YOUR PLACE OF WORSHIP.
- DO YOU HAVE ACCESS TO A ROOM THAT COULD HOST MEETINGS, RETREATS, OR TRAINING SESSIONS? OFFER IT TO CASA!
- CHOOSE CASA AS YOUR CHARITABLE RECIPIENT WHEN YOU SHOP AMAZON SMILE.
- MAKE A TAX-DEDUCTIBLE GIFT TO CASA. EVEN EARN TAX CREDITS. EVERY AMOUNT HELPS!
- ATTEND OUR ANNUAL JUSTICE IS SERVED EVENT IN FEBRUARY AND/OR DONATE A CAKE TO OUR POPULAR DESSERT AUCTION.
- SUPPORT UNITED WAY. CASA IS A UNITED WAY PARTNER.
- DONATE GAS AND RESTAURANT GIFT CARDS TO HELP ADVOCATES VISIT THEIR CHILDREN PLACED AT A DISTANCE.
- PUT OUR CASA KITS (BROCHURES, SIGNS AND OTHER CASA LITERATURE) IN YOUR PLACE OF BUSINESS AND LET YOUR CUSTOMERS AND STAFF KNOW ABOUT US.
- BE OUR HISTORIAN AND CLIP NEWSPAPER ARTICLES ABOUT CASA IN THE LOCAL NEWSPAPERS.
Be in the CASA know
Take a look at our quarterly newsletter.