What Does it Mean to Be a CASA Volunteer?
Available time - Maturity and good judgment - Concern for children – Discretion and ability to maintain confidentiality – Excellent listening skills – Objectivity – Flexibility Unbiased – Good oral and written communication skills – Professional manner and appearance
The Court Appointed Special Advocate will be expected to:
Attend initial and on-going training arranged by CASA Executive Director.
Complete a thorough investigation of all the facts in order to arrive at an objective and impartial opinion of what is in the child’s immediate and long-term best interest.
This investigation will be carried out under the supervision of and in consultation with the program supervisors and will include:
Obtaining interviews with:
The child Relatives and immediate friends
Case Manager Neighbors
Parents or guardians Foster parents or other caretakers
Additional information obtained:
DCS records Criminal background records
School records County Juvenile Court records
Medical data Psychological and diagnostic test and reports
Confer with and keep the program supervisor updated as to the child’s status and any changes or assistance that may be needed, requested, or recommended.
Submit a written report to the court within ten days of scheduled hearings outlining findings and recommendations. Cases with no scheduled hearings should have reports filed within 60 – 90 days of appointment.
Appear at all court hearings regarding the child to insure that all relevant facts are presented.
Advocate for the child’s best interest.
Maintain high standards of confidentiality of information pertaining to the case. Gather information – do not give information.
Monitor the situation as long as the child is under court jurisdiction to insure that the best interests of the child are considered.
Observe court procedures and maintain a good relationship with the courts and agency personnel.
Remain objective – do not oversimplify or jump to conclusions. Gather all facts before reaching a conclusion. Avoid over involvement.
The Court Appointed Special Advocate will be required to:
1. Submit and complete criminal background clearance.
2. Sign a Statement of Commitment and a Pledge to Confidentiality.
3. Attend in-service training and education sessions.
4. Meet with child monthly.
5. Monitor court proceedings of assigned cases.
6. Interview all parties and other persons involved with the case. Interview Department of Child Services (DCS) Case Manager in abuse/neglect cases.
7. Complete court reports under specified time limits.
8. Work closely and professionally with the child welfare workers.
9. Make necessary time commitments to complete case obligations.
10. Confer with program supervisors.
11. Participate in team meetings when scheduled.
There will be a minimum of 30 hours initial training, and 12 hours of annual continuing education thereafter. Time Commitment: The Court Appointed Special Advocate must serve until the case has been resolved.
The supervision will be provided by the program Executive Director, Supervisor, and Case Manager.
Role of the Agency:
The agency will be responsible for all training, orientation, in-service training, and ongoing supervision.