Upon completion of CASA of Missoula’s pre-service training, advocates are assigned to a case serving an average 1-2 children in Missoula or Mineral County. While fulfilling these responsibilities, the CASA is supervised by professional staff and are afforded the opportunity to work with CASA volunteer mentor.
A Court Appointed Special Advocate’s duties include:
- Acting as an independent fact-finder by reviewing all relevant records and interviewing the parents, social workers, teachers, therapists, and any others to fully understand the facts and circumstances of the child’s situation.
- Through a holistic and objective approach, considers the best interest of the child by carefully considering necessary factors in the child’s placement, education, medical and mental health, relationships, and overall well-being.
- Seeks cooperative resolutions to the child’s situation within the scope of the child’s interest and welfare.
- Provides written reports on findings and recommendations to the court to assure that all relevant facts are communicated.
- Appears at court hearings to represent the child’s interests and testifies when required.
- Monitors the implementation of treatment plans to determine whether services ordered by the court are actually provided in a timely manner and are accomplishing desired goals.
- Monitors the progress of a case through the court process and advocates for timely hearings.
- Informs the court promptly if services are not being made available to the child and/or the family. If the family fails to take advantage of such services and if services are not achieving their purpose, the CASA brings this to the court’s attention, as well as any new developments or changes in the child’s circumstances.