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Court-Appointed Special Advocates Mission Statement Above all else, the CASA volunteer is to monitor the care of children in custody; to act as the eyes and ears of the court, providing a voice for their safety and well being. The sole purpose of the corporate structure is to support, promote and facilitate the work of volunteers.
CASA Job Description
A CASA is a volunteer appointed by the Sixth Judicial District to ensure that the needs of a child who may have been neglected or abused are met. In order to do this, the CASA must investigate the facts of the case, recommend a course of action to the court, facilitate the resolution of the presenting problems, and monitor progress toward established goals.I. Qualifications of a CASA
1. Interest in children, their rights, and special needs.
2. Time to devote to training sessions, investigations and follow-up of a case assigned (usually a one-year commitment averaging three hours per week).
3. Ability to work with a child, family members, and professionals, using tact, concern, and basic human relations skills.
4. Ability to communicate verbally and in writing - making verbal and written reports to the court, to the program coordinator, as well as other persons as needed.II. Requirements of a CASA
1. Attend basic training sessions, approximately 30 hours in length.
2. Maintain strict confidentiality.
3. Attend in-service training sessions on an on-going basis, 15 hours per year.
4. After basic training, serve at least one child per until a permanent plan has been implemented, often a period of one year.
5. Keep the program coordinator informed of all activities and confer with him/her periodically.
6. Maintain an up-to-date and complete file on each case assigned.
7. Attend CASA group meetings to share ideas and concerns with other CASAs.
8. Be aware of deadlines and timetables involving an assigned case, and turn in all reports on time.
9. Complete evaluations, time studies, etc., which may be requested in order to monitor the entire CASA project.III. Specific Duties of a CASA
1. Upon assignment to a case, interview the child, family members, foster family, teachers, social worker, and other interested parties to determine the facts of the case. (Many interviews are by phone. By necessity, some must be in person. In addition, any home suggested as a permanent or temporary placement for the child must be visited.)
2. Prepare a written report stating findings and a recommendation for a permanent disposition of the case, and submit the report no less than one week prior to the court hearing.
3. Appear in court as needed for review hearings. Continue follow-up contacts, submit supplementary reports, and make new recommendations as needed, until a final disposition is made.
4. Bring any significant changes in family situation to the attention of the court. Ensure that reviews by the court are done on schedule.IV. Benefits
1. Intensive training, support and supervision from program staff.
2. Opportunity to learn about the Juvenile Court and Social Service systems.
3. Opportunity to further develop own skills and abilities.
4. Satisfaction from contributing to community services on behalf of abused and neglected children.
- Erika Baxter
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