Who are CASA volunteers?
Ordinary people who care about kids. CASA volunteers come from all backgrounds. Many work full-time. Some are students or retired people. Most CASA volunteers work on just one or two cases at a time. No legal expertise is required.
What exactly does a volunteer do?
CASA volunteers are assigned to a case by a judge. They conduct thorough research on the background of the case, reviewing documents and interviewing people who are involved in the child’s life. This may include teachers, therapists, extended family, doctors, et cetera. The CASAs then make reports to the court, recommending what they believe is best for each child and providing information that will help the judge make an informed decision.CASA volunteers can also be instrumental in assuring that a child receives services which the court has ordered – things like counseling or special education.
During the life of a case, a CASA volunteer monitors the child’s situation and may be the only constant in the child’s life as they move through the child welfare system.
What does the training involve?
CASA Glynn training is 35-40 hours, and includes both group work and internship components. The group work is done in our Training Room, and is usually scheduled for one night per week for five weeks (our Board of Directors provide a delicious meal each session). We cover topics such as: Principles & Concepts of the CASA Program, Role of the CASA Advocate, Laws Governing Child Abuse & Neglect, the Processes of Juvenile Court and Department of Family & Children’s Services, Cultural Awareness, Family Strengths & Needs, Child Development, Gathering Information, and Effective Communication. The internship components include court observation, interviewing practice, and getting familiar with our community’s resources.
How much time does it take?
While much depends on your case, the number of children in the family, and where things stand in the process of getting them out of foster care, an average case takes 5-10 hours per month. The most time is spent at the beginning of the case, getting to know the folks involved and understanding the situation. CASAs are required to see their children a minimum of once per month, but we encourage more frequent communication (as appropriate for that child), you can’t speak for someone you don’t know!