A CASA is any person over the age of 21 who is willing to undergo a background screen and complete a 30 hour training.
CASA covers all of the costs pertaining to training and screening.
CASA volunteers gather information about a child’s well-being in order to report to the court about physical/mental progress and placement; he/she is a voice for the child.
A CASA volunteer typically spends 8-10 hours a month on a case.
18 months is the minimum commitment that we ask for, or until the case is resolved.
Yes. As long as potential volunteers can dedicate the 8-10 hours a month, which includes visiting the child, investigating the child’s well-being, and writing an adequate court report, then they may be CASAs. CASA volunteers will also attend Family Support Team meetings and court hearings to further advocate for a child or sibling group.
A CASA volunteer must visit a child at least once a month.
The time and place of visitation will be determined by the CASA volunteer and the foster family. CASA volunteers typically visit their children in the foster home or group home, but other locations can be arranged.
Never. CASA volunteers will never transport children in the program for liability purposes.
Because CASA volunteers are court appointed, they have access to school and medical records, and do have jurisdiction to speak with family, neighbors, social workers, school counselors and teachers, the child, parents, foster parents, etc.
No. CASA volunteers work with social workers and court officials to determine the best interest of the child. Social workers may take on 30+ abuse/neglect cases and work with the children, their parents, and foster parents to determine a child’s best placement and well-being. CASA volunteers advocate for only the children and help to fill in the gaps regarding the child’s current and future placement.
No. Representation is the legal function of an attorney. In the child’s case, this figure is called the Guardian ad Litem (GAL). CASA volunteers speak on behalf of the child, whereas the GAL takes care of the child’s legal rights.
CASA volunteers attend court every few months, unless a complication arises that merits a sooner court date.
If something comes up, a Volunteer Coordinator can go to court in the place of a volunteer. This should not replace regular court involvement, however.
Typically, no. CASA volunteers can speak in court to explain their report or voice an opinion, but are rarely called as formal witnesses to the stand.
Yes. The judge will know which cases are in the CASA program and will expect someone from CASA to attend the court hearing.
Although the courtroom is a “solemn” place, our judges and other officials are very friendly and down to earth. We only ask that our volunteers be courteous and respectful in the courtroom, as well as dress in an appropriate manner for a court hearing.
Yes. CASA works closely with the court. Our Volunteer Coordinators work diligently to build rapport with court officials. CASA has been endorsed by the American BAR Association, National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges, and the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention of the U.S. Department of Justice.
No. Although CASA is partially funded by government resources, each organization is its own working entity, and community involvement varies by state and program.
There are nearly 1000 CASA programs throughout the fifty states, Washington, D.C., and the U.S. Virgin Islands.
Any child in the court system birth to 21 who has suffered abuse and/or neglect in the home is eligible to receive a CASA volunteer.
At any given time, there are between 350 and 500 abuse and neglect cases in the 25th Judicial Circuit (Maries, Phelps, Pulaski, and Texas Counties).
CASA volunteers are recommended cases by figures such as the judge, attorneys, Guardian ad Litem, Children’s Division, Juvenile Office, etc. If our Executive Director wants to take the case, the judge will sign off to approve CASA for the case. From here, a volunteer is matched with the child or sibling group.
CASA is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization. We are solely grant and donation funded.
Yes and no. Although there are groups that advocate for children in different capacities, CASA is the only organization appointed by the court to advocate and speak for the best interest of the child in an abuse/neglect case.
Our Recruitment and Outreach Coordinator: