***Due to the COVID-19 situation, all training sessions will be held virtually until further notice*** When home is no longer safe for a child, and the child must enter the foster care system, a judge may appoint a committed volunteer called a CASA or Court Appointed Special Advocate. The CASA volunteer’s focus is on advocating for the best interest of that foster child. CASA volunteers do this by providing individualized attention through monthly visits to their foster youth and monthly meetings with professionals and attorneys, advocating for the child's best interest, writing an independent court report, and attending hearings. To be a CASA, you must:
Be passionate about advocating for youth impacted by the judicial and foster care systems (no specific background or education is required)
Complete 15 hours of online training and 15 hours of classroom training over a five week period.
Be willing to commit 8-12 hours per month for 2 years.
Be 21 or older
Have the flexibility to attend monthly meetings and periodic court hearings.
Maintain confidentiality, professionalism, and possess effective written and verbal communication skills
Possess a valid driver’s license, phone number, and address.
Pass necessary background checks, provide references, and complete an interview.
The CASA for Douglas County program provides in-depth training and a dedicated supervisor to work closely with and support you during your case. If you are interested in volunteering, but are unable to meet our volunteer requirements, some one-time volunteering opportunities are available (such as assisting with our annual run).
CASA for Douglas County, as a member of both the National and Nebraska CASA Associations, advocates for the best interests of abused and neglected children in Douglas County Juvenile Court and foster care proceedings through the use of trained, court appointed, citizen volunteers. These volunteers provide a "voice" for the children while ensuring that they are safe, that their needs are being met and the efforts are made to expedite permanent homes for these children.
CASA was formed in Seattle, WA in 1977 by a Juvenile Court Judge who was concerned that the best interest of the children were not being served. CASA for Douglas County was formed in 1998 at the urging of Juvenile Court Judges.
In Douglas County, there are over 1300 children in foster care. Our vision is to provide a CASA for every child who needs one, and that means we need over 200 more citizens from our community to advocate for these children. No special background or education is required to become a CASA volunteer. We encourage people from all cultures and professions, and of all ethnic and educational backgrounds to volunteer.