D&N: Frequently Asked Questions
What kind of person can be a CASA volunteer?
You do not have to be a lawyer or a social worker to be a volunteer. We welcome people from all walks of life. Volunteer advocates are patient, open-minded people who have good communication skills, a history of following through on commitments, and a willingness to accept guidance. In addition, they’re able to aside personal opinions regarding social and moral choices. Above all, they care about children.
What other requirements are there to apply?
Volunteer advocates must be at least 21 years old, have a high school diploma, and be able to pass a background check.
Are CASA volunteers trained and supervised?
CASA volunteers undergo 30 hours of initial training and 12 hours of continuing education each year. Each volunteer advocate works with a CASA supervisor who provides guidance throughout the court process.
What if I don’t know what to do on my case, or what if I can’t make a court appearance?
As a CASA volunteer, you’ll have an entire team to support you. In addition to Peer Coordinators (which are experienced advocates who have taken on leadership roles) and your CASA Case Supervisors, you’ll have the support of the entire D&N team at CASA. So don’t worry… If you are not sure what to do, have to be out sick, or want to take a vacation, you’ll have plenty of backup.
Do the judges really want the input of a CASA volunteer?
Yes! Judges depend on CASA volunteers to keep them better informed about each child’s case. They want CASA volunteers on every case in their courts, but currently, CASA is serving about 78% of the children who need CASA volunteers. There is a child waiting for your help.
How much time does it take to be a CASA volunteer?
It will generally range from 3-5 hours hours per week. Most of this time can be spent in evenings or on weekends, but there are approximately eight to ten court hearings per year, as well as phone calls and occasional meetings during working hours. You need to be able to commit for the duration of your case, and the average length of a case is 18 months.
What do children gain from having a CASA volunteer advocate?
CASA volunteers are a source of hope and support for child abuse victims as they navigate the courts and foster care system. Advocates help these children access the services they need to heal from their abuse. In addition, the information and recommendations made by CASA volunteers expedites the court process and results in better outcomes for children under the state’s protection. For many abused children, CASA is the only constant during a frightening, uncertain time. A CASA volunteer can make an immediate and critical impact on the life of a child.