What does a CASA Volunteer do?
CASA, a Court Appointed Special Advocate, are volunteers appointed by judges to advocate for the best interests of abused and neglected children and youth in court and other settings. A CASA Volunteer in Chelan & Douglas Counties attends and documents court proceedings, helps the child or youth understand what is happening, and recommends any services for them.
Do I need to have any special skills to become a CASA Volunteer?
No special background or education is required to become a CASA Volunteer. We encourage people from all backgrounds and professions to join our volunteer program. 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.
How can I find out more about the mandatory New CASA training dates?
Next training will begin late January 2018.
Are there any other requirements for becoming a CASA?
- Be 21+ years old
- Hold a high school degree or equivalent
- Pass a background check
- Be willing to provide references and participate in an interview
- Complete 34 hours of pre-service training plus courtroom observation
- Be available for court appearances, with advance notice
- Pledge 15-20 hours a month for at least 18 months
- Be willing to commit to the CASA Program until your first case is closed
How does volunteering in Chelan & Douglas County as a CASA differ from a social worker?
Social workers are employed by the Washington Department of Human Services and have multiple children and youth on their caseloads, whereas a CASA Volunteer may advocate for one to two children, youth or sibling groups at a time. The CASA Volunteer is an independent officer of the court and works with the social worker in promoting the child’s best interests.
How is a CASA Volunteer different from an attorney?
The CASA Volunteer advocates for the interests of the child, while an attorney provides legal representation. CASA Volunteers do work with the attorneys on the case. CASA Volunteers provide their own independent investigation and directly makes recommendations to the court.
How much time does it take to be a CASA Volunteer?
All volunteers must complete 38 hours of pre-service training. The time commitment to a case varies depending upon its severity and how many children are involved. On average, a CASA can expect to spend approximately 15 to 20 hours a month on a case.
Do I need to make a long-term commitment to the program?
We ask for an 18-month commitment when you become a child advocate. Once assigned as a CASA volunteer, you are required to have contact with the child or youth at least twice a month throughout the duration of the case.
What sort of support will I receive?
You will be supported every step of the way by staff as well as a Peer Coordinator. You will also have opportunities to continue your education locally with Chelan-Douglas CASA and WA State CASA, and have access to online resources provided by National CASA, including a resource library, national Facebook community and national conference.
How do I become a volunteer with CASA?
If you are interested in becoming a CASA Volunteer, complete this application. You can also call us directly at 509.662.7350 or email our Volunteer Coordinator – Arlene Grover, at firstname.lastname@example.org.