Frequently Asked Questions About Being a CASA

What does CASA stand for?

C A S A stands for Court Appointed Special Advocate.

What is a Court Appointed Special Advocate?

A Court Appointed Special Advocate is an ordinary individual, with special training, who volunteers their time to represent a child in Court.

What is the role of a CASA volunteer?

A CASA volunteer provides the judge with objective information about the child to help the court make a sound decision about what is in the child’s best interest: being reunified with their parents; living with relatives; getting a permanent guardian; or adoption.  The CASA volunteer supports the child throughout the process by being the child’s friend, recommending what the child need’s and helping the child feel safe by knowing that the CASA is there for him/her.

How do I become a volunteer with the Delaware County CASA program?

There are several steps involved in becoming a CASA volunteer. You  complete an application, pass a criminal background check, be interviewed, and go through 30 hours of training. Upon successful completion, the Juvenile Court Judge will swear you in as a CASA Volunteer and an Officer of the Court.

What training is involved?

Each CASA volunteer receives a minimum of 30 hours of initial training, which takes place over several weeks and may include an e-learning (computer based) component. The training covers information on the role of the advocate, about child development and social issues affecting families, and a broad overview of Indiana law and the court process relating to child abuse and neglect cases. In Delaware County the training includes observing court hearings.

How long does a CASA volunteer remain involved?

The volunteer continues until the case is permanently resolved. One of the primary benefits of the CASA program is that, unlike case workers and others involved in the case, the CASA volunteer is often the only consistent adult who stays involved in the case from beginning to end; providing stability and continuity that is desperately needed.

How does someone become a CASA?

CASA volunteers submit an application with references, complete an interview with the program staff, and attend training. A complete criminal history and child abuse registry check are performed on each applicant. Upon completion of their training, CASA volunteers are sworn in by the juvenile court judge and promise to maintain strict confidentiality and professionalism throughout their appointment.

On average, how many cases does a CASA volunteer carry at a time?

The number can varies according to the volunteer’s time commitment.  Most volunteers have one or two cases involving one or more children at a time.

How much time is involved in volunteering?

Each case is different. A typical volunteer spends 10 to 15 hours a month on a case.

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