We welcome your interest in helping neglected and abused children in our community. This is a very unique program that allows everyday citizens to make a difference.
The Utah State Courts and Guardian ad Litem Office provides all the training you will need. Once you have completed the training and been sworn in as an Advocate by a Juvenile Court Judge, we ask that our volunteers give around 5-10 hours per month. This takes place while visiting the child in their home, their school, going to their court hearing (not required, but it is helpful), taking the child out for ice cream, etc, talking to people involved in the case, and communicating with the Guardian ad Litem (the child's attorney). We also ask Advocates to periodically check with the child's school and teachers as to absence and grades and to report those findings to the GAL and the Judge. The hours can be very flexible. Whatever works for your schedule and the child's. We ask you to be a second set of eyes and ears, making sure the child's needs are being met.
Advocates must be able to pass a background check and be at least 21 years of age. We provide a free background check to all applicants. Because of the need for stability and continuity for the children we work with, the program requires approximately a one-year commitment from the time of case assignment.
The mission of CASA is to speak for the best interests of abused and neglected children in the courts. We promote and support quality volunteer representation for children to provide each child a safe, permanent, nurturing home.
Exactly What Does a CASA Volunteer Do?
CASA volunteers are appointed by the Guardian ad Litem attorney to advocate for the best interests of abused and neglected children. The primary responsibilities of a CASA volunteer are to:
Gather Information : Review documents and records, interview the children, family members and professionals in their lives.
Document Findings: Provide written reports to the GAL attorney in preparation for all court proceedings.
Appear in/Attend Court: Advocate for the child's best interests and provide testimony when necessary.
Explain What is Going On: Help the childunderstand the court proceedings. "Be the Glue": Seek cooperative solutions among individuals and organizations involved in the children's lives. As one volunteer said: Be the glue that connects the pieces in a complicated child welfare system.
Recommend Services: Ensure that the children are receiving appropriate services by keeping the guardian informed of any needs currently not being addressed. Bring concerns about the child's health, education, mental health, etc. to the guardian's immediate attention.
Monitor Case Plans and Court Orders: Assist the Guardian by reporting any deviation from what the court has ordered for the life of the case.
Keep the Guardian Informed: Update the Guardian on developments with all participating agencies and family members.
Visit with the Child: maintain a consistent and regular visiting schedule with the child.
The CASA Program is not a mentoring program. CASA volunteers gather information for the Guardian they are working with. During the assignment process clear instruction is given by the Guardian to the CASA as to what information the Guardian is seeking. It then becomes the responsibility of the CASA to obtain the information and provide it to the Guardian.
Volunteers must be 21 years of age or older
Pass a BCI (background check) and Child Abuse Registry screening
Complete 32 hours of training
Make a one year minimum commitment. A CASA advocate visits with their assigned child once a week with a total time investment of 8-10 hrs. a month.