do children gain from having a CASA volunteer?
Decisions are made every day
which affect the lives of children in foster care. CASA volunteers help these
decisions to be made more promptly and with greater information and sensitivity
to their individual needs. CASA volunteers work for quicker, better
outcomes, and provide children in foster care with the knowledge that there is
a community around them who cares.
Are volunteers really
important to the court and child welfare process?
Judges depend on CASA
volunteers to help keep them better informed about each child's case. There is
a child waiting for your help.
Are CASA volunteers
trained and supervised?
Yes. CASA has a training
program which features 33 hours of training prior to case assignment. All
volunteers are matched with a coordinator who is a member of the CASA staff.
CASA volunteer coordinators provide individual guidance, coaching,
support, and accompaniment to the volunteer during the volunteer's time as a
Are volunteers really important
in the child welfare process?
Absolutely! CASA could
not serve the children of the Southeast Texas area without its many dedicated
volunteers. Courts all over the country depend on their local CASA
volunteers to help inform and expedite the child welfare process. Judges
implement the CASA program in their jurisdictions and appoint CASA volunteers
to as many cases as possible. Child Protective Services includes CASA in
meetings, visits, and other proceedings. CASA has been endorsed by the
American Bar Association, National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges,
Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency, and the Department of
How does CASA feel
about family reunification after child abuse?
CASA holds the safety of
children as its highest priority. A child's best chance for love and protection
is often with his or her birth family. CASA volunteers stay by a child’s side
throughout the case, advocating for reunification with parents when safe and
Do CASA volunteers
wield authority in child welfare cases?
Volunteer advocates have
court-mandated access to certain information and proceedings, but they do not
have authority to decide outcomes. Rather, they rely on their
communication skills, their informed recommendations and the respect of the
courts to influence outcomes.
How much time does it
take to be a CASA volunteer?
It will vary each month, and
will generally range from 3-15 hours per month depending on the type of
volunteer assignment you choose. Some of this time can be spent on
evenings or weekends, but there are court hearings, phone calls and meetings
during working hours, too. We will work with you to find an assignment
that suits your availability and your volunteer goals.
Can I include my
family in my volunteer work?
Only trained volunteers are
able to volunteer with the children we serve. Married/couple volunteers
are very beneficial to CASA. Children in foster care are assured a degree of
confidentiality, and the friends and family of advocates are not allowed to
meet them or to know their identity. Only volunteers who have been fully
screened, trained and sworn in as officers of the court may have contact with
Do I have to volunteer
No, in fact teaming up for
CASA can make it a shared experience. This may be friends, significant others,
or family. Both people must complete the required training. Once assigned
to a case, the team will handle the responsibilities together.
What are the drawbacks
of being a CASA volunteer?
Being a CASA volunteer is
both rewarding and challenging. The child welfare system is bureaucratic
and overburdened, and advocates often have to work hard to get the system to
respond. Because of court decisions, social service plans, and other
factors out of our control, the volunteer can face disappointments.
However, many volunteers feel a sense of purpose knowing they helped a child
through the system.
What do I gain from
becoming a CASA volunteer?
The most important benefit of
being a CASA volunteer is the chance to make a meaningful contribution to the
life of a child who desperately needs your help.