Our Next Training will be held April 27-29, 2017! Apply Now at www.familylawcasa.org to Reserve Your Spot!
We are looking for volunteers to act as Family Law CASAs (Court Appointed Special Advocates) in King County. A CASA advocate is a Court Appointed Special Advocate who receives training and volunteers their time to investigate and report on the best interests of a child. In tough custody cases, parents are often unable to focus on the needs of their children. Many of these children are so young they cannot speak for themselves. CASAs give these children a voice in court by focusing on the needs of the child and striving to strengthen parenting skills and family relationships.
What does a Court Appointed Special Advocate do?
After 21 hours of training and an orientation meeting with an Advocate Supervisor, new advocates spend an average of 60 hours over 6-9 months conducting an investigation and writing report(s). Throughout the investigation, Court Appointed Special Advocates are supported by an Advocate Supervisor who guides them through each step of the process. Advocates are also represented by the Family Law CASA Attorney. While each case is unique, a Court Appointed Special Advocate generally completes the following tasks:
* Interviews parents, teachers, doctors, the child and others who might provide helpful information
* Reviews background checks, CPS reports, chemical dependency reports and medical or psychological reports
* Asks screening questions during interviews to assess for unreported domestic violence, child abuse, substance abuse and/or mental health concerns
* Observes the child's interactions with parents and watches for developmental delays, educational delays, safety concerns or other unaddressed needs
* Writes a report that includes recommendations about what is best for the child in the case
The Children and Families We Serve:
* 75% are from low-income homes
* Many are from households with a total income of $20,000 or less
* Most are working through the court process without an attorney
* 60% of our cases involve allegations of substance abuse
* 59% of our cases involve allegations of domestic violence
* 24% of our cases involve claims that one or both parents suffer undiagnosed mental illness
* Over half of our cases involve 2 or more of the issues listed above
* More than half of the children we serve are age 6 or younger
Advocates come from all walks of life, careers, ages, backgrounds and demographics to serve as Court Appointed Special Advocates. To volunteer as a Court Appointed Special Advocate, you must:
* Be 21 years of age or older
* Have access to a car and the ability to drive to/from appointments
* Own and be able to use a computer, including email
* Have good communication skills and strong writing ability
* Speak and write in English (court is conducted in English without reliable access to interpreters in our cases)
* Have reasonable time available to investigate the case & write reports by the court specified due dates
* Have no criminal record
You can read more about our organization here.
Good Match For
Requirements & Commitment
- Background Check
- Must be at least 21
- 60+ hours per case (Spread over 6+ months)
- 21 hours of training