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Volunteer Your Time to Change a Child's Life

Nobody longs for a safe and loving family more than a child in foster care. As a CASA VOLUNTEER, you are empowered by the courts to help make this dream a reality. You will be the one consistent adult in these children’s lives, vigilantly fighting for and protecting their fundamental right to be treated with the dignity and respect every child deserves. You will not only bring positive change to the lives of these vulnerable children, but also their children and generations to come. And in doing so, you will enrich your life as well.

 

What Do CASA VOLUNTEERS Do?

CASA VOLUNTEERS listen first. Then they act.

Volunteers get to know the child by talking with everyone in that child's life: parents and relatives, foster parents, teachers, medical professionals, attorneys, social workers and MOST IMPORTANTLY THE CHILD. They use the information they gather to inform judges and others of what the child needs and what will be the best permanent home for them.

 

Who Can Be a VOLUNTEER?

You do not have to be a lawyer or social worker to be a volunteer. We welcome people from all walks of life. We are simply looking for people who care about children and have A HEART TO SEE THAT A CHILD SAFE AND SUCCESSFUL. As a volunteer, you will be thoroughly trained and well supported by professional staff to help you through each case.

 

What Does it Mean to Be a CASA VOLUNTEER?

Becoming a CASA VOLUNTEER is an investment of time, energy and heart. But as many CASA VOLUNTEERS have said of the children they worked with: "It wasn't about what I gave them, it was what they showed me."

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How much time does it take to be a CASA VOLUNTEER?

All CASA VOLUNTEERS must complete a 30-hour pre-service training. The time commitment to a case varies depending upon the stage of the case. CASA VOLUNTEERS sometimes say that there is a greater amount of work in the beginning of the case, when they are conducting their initial research. On average, you can expect to spend approximately 10 hours a month on a case.

 

Do I need to make a long-term commitment to the program?

You are asked to dedicate yourself to a case until it is closed. The average case lasts about a year and a half.

 

Do I need to have any special skills or meet any requirements?

No special background or education is required to become a CASA VOLUNTEER. We encourage people from all cultures and professions, and of all ethnic and educational backgrounds. Once accepted into the program, you will receive all necessary training in courtroom procedures, social services, the juvenile justice system and the special needs of abused and neglected children.

 

Requirements include:

  • Be 21 years old
  • Be willing to complete necessary background checks, provide references and participate in an interview
  • Complete a minimum of 30 hours of pre-service training
  • Be available for court appearances, with advance notice
  • Be willing to commit to the CASA program until your first case is closed

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Exactly what does a CASA VOLUNTEER do?

CASA VOLUNTEERS are appointed by judges to advocate for the best interests of abused and neglected children 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 their lives.
  • Document findings: Provide written reports at court hearings.
  • Appear in court: Advocate for the child's best interests and provide testimony when necessary.
  • 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 the court knows about any changes in the child's situation.

Ready to Stand Up for a Child Who Needs You?

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SHOALS CASA Training

All CASA VOLUNTEERS must complete a 30-hour pre-service training. The time commitment to a case varies depending upon the stage of the case. CASA VOLUNTEERS sometimes say that there is a greater amount of work in the beginning of the case, when they are conducting their initial research. On average, you can expect to spend approximately 10 hours a month on a case.


 

What sort of support will I receive?

You will be supported every step of the way. You will have opportunities for continuing education and have access to online resources provided by National CASA, including a resource library, national Facebook community and national conference.

 

Ready to Stand Up for a Child Who Needs You?

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