What is a CASA?
Court Appointed Special Advocate volunteers serve as the “eyes and ears” of the judge, gathering relevant information about the child and the family. They make recommendations to the judge regarding what is in the child’s best interests. A CASA volunteer works to ensure that the child is placed in a safe, permanent, nurturing home as quickly as possible.
Who is a CASA?
CASA volunteers are compassionate, objective, self-motivated individuals from the community who are trained to speak on behalf of abused and neglected children. CASA volunteers submit an application with references, complete an interview with the program staff, and attend training. A complete criminal history and child abuse registry check are performed on each applicant. Upon completion of their training, CASA volunteers are sworn in by the juvenile court judge and adhere to strict confidentiality and professionalism throughout their appointment.
What does a CASA do?
Advocate: CASA gives the child a voice in court. CASA volunteers speak up for the child by making recommendations regarding the child’s best interests in a written court report.
Investigate: CASA evaluates the child’s situation through an objective lens. CASA volunteers carry out an objective examination of the situation, including relevant history, environment, relationships, and needs of the child.
Facilitate: CASA identifies resources and services for the child to encourage a collaborative relationship between all the parties on a case.
Monitor: CASA ensures the rights of abused and neglected children are being protected and the child’s best interests are being met.