Court Appointed Special Advocate
Position Title: Court Appointed Special Advocate
Staff Supervisor: CASA Director
CASA volunteers give abused and neglected children a voice in the court system by acting as advocates for their best interests and they serve as a stable, caring adults for these children in a difficult time.
Duties and Activities
• 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.
• Explain what is going on: Help the child understand the court proceedings.
• "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 that appropriate motions are filed on behalf of the child so the court knows about any changes in the child's situation.
• Minimum 12 month commitment
• A minimum of 1 weekly (2-3 hour) recurring shift.
• Students may inquire about semester internships
• Be at least 21 years old
• Open availability during stated shift time
• Complete a Volunteer Application, clear a background check, and attend a volunteer interview
• Be able to complete trainings specific to the volunteer position
Qualifications: Position Specific
• Ability to have calls forwarded to personal phone
• Ability to be a compassionate listener and have patience with all callers
• An understanding of the many stressors that could be occurring within a family (abuse, children with special needs, poverty, homelessness, etc.) and the maturity to be able to discuss them
Preferred Knowledge and Skills
• Previous experience with cope lines a plus, but not necessary
• Bilingual volunteers strongly encouraged to apply