CASA Volunteers are appointed by family court judges to advocate for the best interest of an abused or neglected child during their time in the child welfare system. They are in essence, the voice of the child, in court. CASA Volunteers interview parents, doctors, educators, foster parents, therapists, and anyone else involved in the life of the child they are assigned. Their goal is to provide child-focused reports to the court, which will lead to a speedy, safe, and permanent placement for the child. This is why it is imperative for these volunteers to go through extensive training.
All Volunteers are screened closely for objectivity, competence, and commitment. You can become a CASA volunteer if:
- You have never been convicted of a crime and can pass a criminal background check.
- You are not personally involved with DCP&P (the state child welfare agency).
- Your job (and your life) is flexible.
- You are at least 21 years old.
- You are willing to make a one-year commitment.
- You pass CASA’s screening process.
Typically, a CASA volunteer will spend an average 10-20 hours per month working with their assigned case. Each case is different, so the amount of time required to get the job done varies significantly. We do require the volunteer to visit the child once every two weeks and be in court once every three months. CASA for Children of Bergen County asks that you make a one-year commitment. We prefer that a volunteer continue with their assigned case until it is permanently resolved which typically involves an 18 months - two year commitment. One of the primary benefits of the CASA program is that, unlike many caseworkers, most CASA volunteers remain a consistent figure during the course of case proceedings. This provides important continuity for children. Potential CASA volunteers must
attend an Information Session, be interviewed and be accepted into training. CASA provides extensive training for our volunteers so that they are prepared to provide children with the support they desperately need. CASA volunteers undergo a thorough 36-hour training course. They learn about courtroom procedure, effective advocacy techniques for children, and specific topics ranging from child abuse to early childhood development and adolescent behavior. In addtion, trainees must attend 3 hours of court observation before being sworn-in by the presiding Family Court judge. Volunteers are required to attend 12 hours of continued training for each year of service. Our training course is offered several times a year and will prepare you for your volunteer experience. Information Sessions:April 20th- 10am or 5:30pmMay18th- 10am or 5:30pmPlease fill out our Registration form to come to our next informtaion seesion! http://goo.gl/forms/SEJlXDnmrH