Cass County CASA - Court Appointed Special AdvocatesCASA gives kids a voice!

Frequently Asked Questions

What function do Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) volunteers serve?

What are the qualifications to become a CASA volunteer?

What is the process to become a CASA volunteer?

How are CASA volunteers assigned to cases?

Q: What function do Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) volunteers serve?

A: CASA volunteers listen first. Then they act. Volunteers get to know the child by talking with everyone in that child's life: parents and relatives, foster parents, teachers, medical professionals, attorneys, social workers and others. They use the information they gather to inform judges and others of what the child needs and make recommendations about the best permanent home for the child.

As an appointed member of the court, a CASA volunteer assumes these core responsibilities:

  • Serve as a fact-finder for the judge by thoroughly researching the background of the assigned case
  • Speak on behalf of the child in the courtroom, representing his or her best interests

Q: What are the qualifications to become a CASA volunteer?

A: CASA volunteers need these qualifications.

  • Commitment: The vast majority of cases last one to two years, and the amount of time spent on a case per month typically ranges between 6-10 hours. Volunteers must make case time a priority to provide quality advocacy.
  • Objectivity: Volunteers research case records and speak to everyone involved in a child's life, including their family members, teachers, doctor, lawyer, social worker and others. Their third-party evaluations are based on facts, evidence and testimonies.
  • Communication skills: Once a volunteer has fully evaluated a case, they prepare a written report outlining their recommendation for the child's placement.

Q: What is the process to become a CASA volunteer?

A: CASA volunteers attend at least 30 hours of pre-service training as well as 12 hours of in-service training annually. CASA volunteers learn effective advocacy techniques for children, and are educated about specific topics ranging from seminars on child sexual abuse to discussions on early childhood development and adolescent behavior.

After completion of the initial training, volunteers are sworn in as officers of the court. This gives them the legal authority to conduct research on the child's situation and submit reports to the court.

Q: How are CASA volunteers assigned to cases?

A: Judges assign CASA volunteers to work with foster children who most urgently need the stability and assistance of a Court Appointed Special Advocate. Several other factors are also considered including:

  • The instability of the child's current placement
  • The presence of conflicting case information
  • Concerns about the implementation of special services, such as medical care, counseling and education assistance

Volunteer Today

CASA volunteer holding photo of a child

Empowered for Good

Nobody longs for a safe and loving family more than a child in foster care.

As a CASA volunteer, you are empowered by the courts to help make this dream a reality. You will be the one consistent adult in these children’s lives, vigilantly advocating for and protecting their fundamental right to be treated with the dignity and respect every child deserves.

You bring positive change to the lives of these vulnerable children, and also to their children and generations to come.

You will enrich your life as well. Volunteer Today