How do they help?
CASA volunteers are appointed by judges to watch over and advocate for abused and neglected children, to ensure they aren’t lost in the overburdened legal and social service system or languishing in inappropriate group homes or foster homes. Volunteers stay with each case until it is closed and the child is placed in a safe, permanent home.
Children with a CASA volunteer spend less time in foster care and are more likely to succeed in school.
For many abused children, their CASA volunteer will be the one constant adult presence in their lives.
- CASA volunteers listen first. Then they act.
- Volunteers get to know the child and talk with everyone in the child’s life — parents and relatives, foster parents, teachers, medical professionals, attorneys, social workers, and others.
- They learn information by reviewing documents and records.
- They interview the child, family members, and professionals in the child’s life.
- They provide written reports at court hearings.
- CASA volunteers appear in court, advocate for the child’s best interests, and provide testimony when necessary.
- They help the child understand the court proceedings.
- A volunteer’s responsibilities include “being the glue” by helping to find solutions to some of the problems in the child’s life.
- Volunteers help to ensure the child and the family are receiving appropriate services and advocating for those that are not immediately available. This includes bringing concerns about the child’s health, education, mental health, and other matters to the attention of appropriate professionals.
- Volunteers monitor case plans and court orders.
- They update the court on developments with agencies and family members and ensure that appropriate motions are filed on behalf of the child so the court knows of any changes in the child’s situation.