Right now, 30 children in Santa Maria have been removed from their homes and are waiting for a volunteer to advocate for them. Nobody longs for a safe and loving family more than a child in foster care.
As a court-appointed special advocate (CASA) volunteer, you are empowered by the courts to help make this dream a reality. You will not only bring positive change to the lives of these vulnerable children but also their children and generations to come. And in doing so, you will enrich your life as well.
What Do CASA Volunteers Do?
CASA volunteers get to know the child they are assigned to by talking with everyone in that child’s life: parents and relatives, foster parents, teachers, medical professionals, attorneys, social workers and others. They use the information they gather to inform judges and others of what the child needs and what will be the best permanent home for them. A CASA volunteer fulfills six main roles:
- Meet with the child once per week for at least one hour;
- Gather information from all interested parties, such as attorneys, social workers, teachers, caregivers, therapists, etc.;
- Keep an eye out for any unmet needs of the child, and advocate for those needs to be met
- Write a court report to the juvenile court judge for each hearing concerning the child. The report gives the judge the information the advocate has gathered, what the advocate believes to be in the child’s best interests, and what the child would like to have happen
- Attend all court hearings regarding the child (usually once every six months, sometimes more frequent)
- Monitor the case by doing all of the above until the child is placed into a safe, permanent, nurturing home
Who Can Be a Volunteer?
You do not have to be a lawyer or a social worker to be a volunteer. We welcome people from all walks of life. We are simply looking for people who care about children and have common sense. As a volunteer, you will be thoroughly trained and well supported by professional staff to help you through each case.
Call CASA today to find for training dates in Santa Maria, Lompoc, and Santa Ynez Valley.
- Child Welfare
- Child Advocacy
- Youth Services
Good Match For
Requirements & Commitment
- Driver's License Needed
- Background Check
- Must be at least 21
- Orientation or Training
- Around a one year commitment