Are You Ready to be the Voice for a Child Who Needs You?
Court Appointed Special Advocates are specially trained community volunteers appointed by Juvenile and Domestic Relations Court Judges to speak in the best interest of children who are brought before the court for reasons of abuse or neglect. The CASA is an official part of the judicial proceedings, working alongside attorneys, social workers and other professionals. By handling only one or two cases at a time, the CASA has time to thoroughly explore the history of each assigned case.
What does a CASA Volunteer do?
CASA volunteers serve as the eyes and ears of the court. They:
- Establish a stable, one-on-one relationship with a child, get to know the child’s unique history.
- Gather information from parties who can shed light on the child’s situation – teachers, foster parents, family members, physicians, etc.
- Partner with case experts (Department of Social Services workers, the child’s Guardian ad litem).
- Help the child develop and manage age appropriate goals.
- Support the child’s access to needed medical, education, career, and housing services.
- Present a written report to the court and attend court proceedings (usually every six months). Make informed, independent recommendations to the judge about the child’s best interests.
- Bring a sense of urgency to the child’s needs.
- Advocate for timeliness and permanency for children involved in juvenile court proceedings.
- Remain involved with the child until the case is permanently resolved.
Six Steps to Make a Difference
The actions of a single person — a CASA volunteer — can mean everything to a child in foster care. A child with a CASA is more likely to get needed services and be placed in a permanent, stable home. CASA volunteers make a difference every day. You can, too. Become a volunteer.
To become an advocate:
Attend an information session by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
Historically, CASA CIS began appointing specially trained volunteers to abused and neglected children in 1994. Currently, CASA CIS serves over 300 children in the cities of Manassas and Manassas Park, and , Fauquier, Prince William, Rappahannock and Warren Counties. CASAs play an integral part in assuring children have a voice in court proceedings. Most importantly, CASAs ensure decisions regarding the child are made in his or her best interest. The CASA program is dedicated to the premise that all children are entitled to grow up in a safe and loving home.