Your voice is needed now more than ever. An increasing number of children in Shawnee County do not have a CASA volunteer assigned to their case.
Do I Qualify?
- You must be a minimum of 21 years of age.
- You must have a valid driver’s license and access to a vehicle.
- You cannot be convicted of – or have charges pending for – crimes that are violent, sexual, or that demonstrate character not appropriate for a CASA volunteer.
- You must have an interest in children and their rights.
- You must be willing to devote the time to successfully complete screening and training, and to participate in continuing education.
- You must possess the communication skills to work effectively with children, their families, and involved agencies and organizations.
- You must be available for court appearances, with advance notice.
- You must be willing to commit to the CASA program until your first case is closed.
- Volunteers must complete 30 hours of volunteer training
- Volunteers must maintain confidential records and information for the child’s case.
- Volunteers must maintain regular contact with Shawnee County CASA.
Specific Duties and Responsibilities
- 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.
- 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.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is CASA of Shawnee County?
Why is CASA needed?
What is a CASA Volunteer?
What does a CASA do?
How long does a CASA volunteer remain involved with a case?
What training does a CASA volunteer receive?
Once trained and assigned to a case, volunteers can choose from a range of options to satisfy the 12 hours of additional training that are required of advocates annually.
Who can be an Advocate?
How much time does it require?
In the same amount of time you spend each week doing something ordinary, like attending dinner or watching a movie, you can do something extraordinary—change the life of an abused and neglected child.
Volunteers average 5-10 hours on their case per month. However, cases that are more complex may require more time researching and conducting interviews with involved parties. It is also possible, however, to be on a case that requires less time.
Who are the children in foster care?
How many cases on average does a CASA carry at a time?
How does a CASA research the case?
To prepare their recommendations for the court, CASA volunteers meet with the parents and other family members, social workers, school officials, healthcare professionals, and all others involved in the child’s life. Most importantly, CASAs visit with the child(ren) at least once each month in order to gain a full understanding of the situation. While remaining objective, CASA volunteers also encourage the child to express his or her own opinions, feelings, and dreams.
How does the CASA volunteer relate to the child he or she represents?
How effective is CASA of Shawnee County?
How is CASA of Shawnee County funded?
How do I get more information on becoming a CASA/GAL volunteer?
Who are the children in foster care?
Can a Child Advocate really make a difference?
What if I need help with my CASA child?
Volunteers work closely with an Advocate Supervisor who guides their casework and supports the efforts of the volunteer. Our staff members have expertise in working on behalf of abused children and are there to coach the volunteer through casework, court, working with the child and families, and all other aspects of their volunteer role. The CASA Volunteer/Advocate Supervisor team approaches the child’s case jointly, ensuring the best services are delivered to the child.