A Court Appointed Special Advocate/ Guardian Ad Litem…
- is an ordinary person doing extraordinary work for abused and neglected children.
- is a trained community volunteer who is appointed by a judge to represent the best interest of abused, neglected or any child referred by the court.
- is trained to serve as the informed, independent and objective voice of a child referred by the judge.
- helps tell a child’s story in court.
- advocates and focuses on the child’s “best interest” and the child’s need for a safe permanent home as soon as possible.
No particular background or expertise is required to fill the role of a CASA volunteer. Rather, it is a sufficient availability of time, certain personality characteristics and work habits that make an advocate effective. To qualify as a CASA volunteer, you must be at least 25 years of age, and have successfully passed screening requirements which include a written application, personal interview, three references by non-relatives, and a driving record and criminal background check. Thirty seven hours of pre-service training are also mandatory. A 2 year commitment is required as well as a commitment to 12 hours of ongoing training per year.