What is a CASA?
A CASA is a Court Appointed Special Advocate- a volunteer who goes through training to learn how to mentor children and advocate for the best interest of children and their families.
Do I need to have special training or educational background?
No, CASA of Humboldt provides all the necessary training to become a CASA volunteer.
Is there an age requirement?
You must be 21 before you can be assigned a case. Volunteers can go through the training program at 20.
What is the time commitment?
CASA volunteers make a two year commitment and work on behalf of the youth an average 10-15 hours a month.
Do I need my own car?
No, however you do need to have regular access to a reliable transportation. Your ability to visit a child, attend court hearings and gather information regarding the case can often depend on your access to a reliable transportation. In addition, most volunteers transport children on outings. In order to drive with a child, volunteers must meet our screening standard, including review of driving records, and have a current driver's license and auto insurance.
What sort of things would I do with a child?
This will depend on the age and interests of the child, as well as your own interests, and the guidelines of their caregiver. If you are working with a teen, you might walk around the mall or play basketball. If you are working with a younger child you might go to the park or zoo. If the child is very young, you might only visit with the child with their caregivers present. All CASAs are supported by a case supervisor who can help brainstorm activities to do with a child.
What else does a CASA Volunteer do besides visit the child?
CASA volunteers gather information from all the important people in a child's life, such as parents, care providers, teachers, and counselors, and prepare reports regarding the best interests and needs of the child. CASA volunteers are legally appointed by a judge to their CASA child and have access to confidential information such as school and medical records. They also help locate resources for the child.
What kind of support would I have?
Each CASA is matched with a case supervisor who provides direct support. The case supervisor offers advice and guidance to the CASA volunteer, attends court, and assists in preparing reports. The case supervisors also provide training and help locate resources for volunteers. Case supervisors meet with CASAs at least once per month and at the start of a case, they meet more often.