CASA Volunteers care deeply for children. They get involved, stay involved until the child is in a safe, permanent home, and get to know the child and the family in a way that no one else can. CASA Volunteer Advocates are often the only familiar face for a child in foster care, and are the only ones with the child’s whole story.
As a case progresses, CASA Volunteer Advocates monitor how the child is developing, how the services provided to the child and family are progressing, and ensures that others in the Child Welfare System do what they say they will do. They monitor progress and look for strengths within the family to build upon so that children can be reunited with their parents whenever possible.
There are often many adults involved with a child once they enter the foster care system. CASA Volunteer Advocates facilitate communication between all these adults and helps them remember to keep the child at the heart of everything they do. They facilitate the delivery of services by finding resources, making connections, and assisting DCS and other providers in delivering the right services in a timely manner.
CASA Volunteer Advocates are appointed to a child’s case by the Juvenile Court Judges and Magistrates. They are charged by the court to gather all relevant information to help inform the Court’s decisions about the child’s best interests. They gather facts from parents, grandparents, teachers, medical professionals, friends and extended family, and anyone else who may have information that will help them make recommendations to the Court about what the child needs to thrive in a safe, permanent home. CASA Volunteer Advocates are assigned to one case at a time so are often the holders of the child’s whole story.
Above all, CASA Volunteers advocate for the best interests of the child. They are charged by the court to make recommendations on the child’s best interest. They appear at hearings related to the child and advocate in court through written reports and testimony. They are the child’s voice. Outside of court proceedings, CASA Volunteer Advocates also work to ensure a child has everything they need to heal from the trauma they have experienced, and to build resiliency skills that will be useful throughout their lives.