Alameda County Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA)
- Children & Youth
- Education & Literacy
Location1000 San Leandro BoulevardSan Leandro, CA 94577 United States
Established in 1987, Alameda County Court Appointed Special Advocates Program, (CASA) promotes and supports quality volunteer advocates to speak for the best interests of abused and neglected children in the dependency court system. CASA volunteers help meet the emotional and physical safety needs of thousands of abused and neglected children. Volunteers advocate on behalf of the children's educational, mental health, medical/dental, and family/sibling visitation needs, and work to increase the likelihood that the children are placed in homes and with families in which they will thrive.
By simply listening, encouraging, guiding and speaking up for a child, CASA volunteers help these vulnerable children and teens to reach their full potential. Sometimes it is just allowing a child to feel cared about for the first time, and sometimes it is helping to find a loving, permanent home for a child. Clearly, the combination of consistent mentoring and advocacy for a child's needs results in a much greater chance that these kids will achieve a bright, successful future.
Alameda County CASA is a member of the National CASA Association, and is one of more than 900 CASA programs nationwide. CASA is jointly overseen by the Alameda County Health Care Services Agency, the CASA Executive Director, and the Presiding Juvenile Court Judge. The Friends of Alameda County CASA, Inc. is the 501 (c) 3 organization made up of local community members who support CASA by raising public awareness and funds to support CASAs work.
A Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA for short) is a volunteer who acts as an advocate, mentor, and consistent source of support for a child or youth who is in the foster care system. It's a big role, with big rewards.
A CASA'S ROLE
* Establishing and maintaining a one-on-one relationship with a youth who is assigned to you by the Juvenile Court
* Communicating and coordinating efforts with your child's social worker, lawyer, teacher, caregiver, and other professionals
* Ensuring that your child has access to relevant medical, mental health, and educational resources
* Supporting the child in developing and maintaining healthy relationships
* Helping your child understand court proceedings related to their case
* Making recommendations to the court regarding the best interests of your child
Your ultimate goal is to increase the likelihood that your child is placed in a safe and loving permanent home.
A CASA'S REWARDS
? Gaining knowledge of the child welfare and juvenile justice systems
? Knowing that you could help to shorten the time a child spends in foster care
? Making a lasting positive impact on your foster child's life and future
REQUIREMENTS & COMMITMENT
CASA volunteers range from young adults to retired professionals, and come from all walks of life. You can be a CASA as long as you can:
* Make a one-year commitment (minimum), spending 10-15 hours per month on your CASA case.
* Pass our screening requirements (application, autobiography, interview, reference check, and background screening).
* Complete a comprehensive 30-hour training program (during a period of up to 5 weeks) to prepare you for your role.
* Attend twice-yearly Report and Review court hearings on behalf of your child.
* Complete at least 12 hours of continuing education each year of assignment.