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The Iowa Court Appointed Special Advocate Program recruits, trains and supports community volunteers to serve as an effective voice in court for abused and neglected children, strengthening efforts to ensure that each child is living in a safe, permanent and nurturing home.
CASA advocates complete a formal application with three references; participate in an interview; must pass background check and complete 30 hours of pre-service training. Pre-service training includes a variety of methods to include independent study, large classroom, individual or small group sessions. Upon successful completion of the application and pre-service training requirements, the advocate takes an Oath of Confidentiality before the Judge.
Once assigned to a case, the roles of a CASA are 1) investigator, 2) facilitator, 3) reporter and 4) monitor. CASA advocates meet with the child as least once every 30 days and gather information about the case by maintaining contact with parents, social workers, providers, counselors, school/daycare personnel, attorneys and anyone working with the child in order to make informed recommendations to the Juvenile Court Judge. Advocates represent the best interest of the child at court hearings, family team meetings and other staffings. The advocate will continue to make contacts and monitor case progress until permanency is established for the child(ren).
The Iowa Child Advocacy Board office in Peosta, IA serves Clayton, Delaware, Dubuque and Fayette Counties. CASA Programs operate in all of Iowa's 99 counties.