The CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocate) volunteer is a qualified, compassionate adult who fights for and protects a child’s right to be safe, to be treated with dignity and to grow in up a safe family. Every child who cannot live safely at home should have a CASA volunteer who will help ensure their safe passage through the foster care system.
A CASA volunteer is assigned to one child or one sibling group at a time and gets to know the child, speaking to everyone involved in the child’s life, including family members, teachers, doctors, lawyers and social workers.
PRIMARY RESPONSIBILITIES OF A CASA VOLUNTEER:
• Gather information: Review documents and records, interview child, family members and professionals in the child’s life.
• Provide documents: Write reports on findings for court hearings with recommendations to benefit the child.
• 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.
• Seek solutions: Be the glue that connects the pieces in a sometimes complicated child welfare system. Seek solutions among individuals and organizations involved in the child’s life.
• Recommend services: Ensure that the child and his or her family are receiving appropriate services. Bring concerns about the child’s physical health, education, mental health, etc. to the appropriate professionals.
• Monitor case plans and court orders: Check to see that case plans and court orders are being followed.
• Keep the court informed: Update the court on developments with agencies and family members. Ensure that appropriate actions are taken on behalf of the child so the court knows about any changes in the child’s situation.