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A Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) Volunteer an ordinary person doing extraordinary things. CASA volunteers give a voice to children removed from their homes due to abuse and neglect. They serve as the “eyes and ears” of the court and speak up to make the child’s best interest known. Advocates help to secure a safe, nurturing and permanent home for each child as quickly as possible.​

CASA volunteers are appointed by judges to advocate for the best interests of children who have experienced abuse and neglect in court and other settings. The primary responsibilities of a CASA volunteer are to:

  • Gather information: Review documents and records, interview the children, family members and professionals in the children’s lives.

  • Document findings: Provide written reports at court hearings.

  • Appear in court: Advocate for the child’s best interests and provide testimony when necessary.

  • Explain what is going on: Help the child understand the court proceedings.

  • Be the glue”: Seek cooperative solutions among individuals and organizations involved in the children’s lives. As one volunteer said: “Be the glue that connects the pieces in a complicated child welfare system.”

  • Recommend services: Ensure that the children and their family are receiving appropriate services and advocate for those that are not immediately available. Bring concerns about the child’s health, education, mental health, etc. to the appropriate professionals.

  • Monitor case plans and court orders: Check to see that plans are being followed and mandated review hearings are being held.

  • Keep the court informed: Update the court on developments with agencies and family members. Ensure that appropriate motions are filed on behalf of the child so the court knows about any changes in the child’s situation.

You don’t need to know about court proceedings or have legal experience to become a CASA. You will be able to rely on your training, CASA staff members, and fellow Advocates to help you become familiar with your roles and responsibilities. You will be trained to know specifically how you can help and when to recommend a professional. If you are detail-oriented and have the ability to see how coordinated efforts work together for one goal, you may just be a foster child’s dream come true – that is, his or her ticket to a safe, permanent, loving home.

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