CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocate)
A Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) is a trained community volunteer who is appointed by a judge to advocate for the best interests of an abused or neglected child who is in foster care. The CASA volunteer gathers information about the child's situation, attends court proceedings and makes a written recommendation to the judge so that the judge has the information to make a decision about the child's future. How to become a CASA:
- Sincerely care for the well-being of children
- Be at least 21 years of age
- Complete an application, including references, interview and a brief autobiography
- Undergo a criminal background check
- Complete 40 hours of training
- Have good verbal and written communication skills
- Have the ability to be objective and non-judgmental
- Be available to attend court hearings
- Commit to CASA program for at least one year or until case is resolved
- Be sworn-in by the judge
- Gather information: Review documents and records, interview the children, family members and professionals in their lives.
- Document findings: Provide written reports at court hearings.
- Appear in 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 and their family are receiving appropriate services and advocate for those that are not immediately available. Bring concerns about the child's health, education, mental health, etc. to the appropriate professionals.
- Monitor case plans and court orders: Check to see that plans are being followed and mandated review hearings are being held.
- Keep the court informed: Update the court on developments with agencies and family members. Ensure that appropriate motions are filed on behalf of the child so the court knows about any changes in the child's situation.
Our next CASA training class will begin March 17th and go until April 14th. During that time we meet once a week on Thursdays in the morning (10 am-1:30 pm) and in the evening (5:30 pm-9 pm). Training location is to be determined. For those interested in training, we will be hosting an info session December 8th at 12:30 pm and 5:30 pm. It will taking place virtually via Zoom. The info session should last about an hour.
Info Session at 12:30: https://us06web.zoom.us/j/93406543958
Info Session at 5:30: https://us06web.zoom.us/j/93406543958
Please feel free to explore our website http://www.athensoconeecasa.org/ and like us on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/AthensOconeeCASA/
About Children First, Inc.
693 North Pope Street, Athens, GA 30601, US
Children First engages families in our community and through the courts to ensure safe, stable, nurturing living environments for children.
Children First, Inc. is a local nonprofit agency that administers several programs in the field of child welfare:
Athens-Oconee CASA trains and supervises volunteers to provide legal advocacy for abused and neglected children
Family Time Community Visitation provides supervised visitation for families seperated by abuse or neglect.
SPARC - Supportive Parenting and Access Resource Center works with non-custodial parents to increase their emotional and financial support of their children
693 N. Pope St.Athens, GA 30601
November 1, 2021
- Child Welfare
- Case Work / Management
- Child Advocacy
- Relationship Building
- Verbal / Written Communication
- Social Work
- People 55+
- Driver's License Needed
- Background Check
- Must be at least 21
- Orientation or Training
- Training is a 50 hour commitment over the course of 5 weeks. once sworn in CASA work is about 10-20 hours a month.
- Applications are due by February 21st!