What is a CASA Volunteer?
A Clay County CASA volunteer is an individual who has been screened and trained by the Clay County CASA Program, which is certified with the National CASA Association. The Clay Circuit Court appoints a CASA to advocate for children who come into the court system primarily as a result of abuse or neglect. A CASA may be appointed to volunteer in a divorce/custody/paternity, juvenile delinquency, guardianship, adoption, or other case involving children if the volunteer has training in these areas. A volunteer reviews records; facilitates prompt, thorough review of the case; and interviews appropriate parties in order to make recommendations on what would be in the best interests of the child. A volunteer advocates for the children being placed in a safe and permanent home as quickly as possible and seeks to prevent any unnecessary delays or continuances of the case that would delay permanency for children.
CASA volunteers are expected to:
-Maintain complete records describing all case-related observations, interactions, research, and communication. Records must be kept up to date in our DB, but can also be maintained in a written file.
-Ensure that the child’s best interests are being represented by attending court hearings, case conferences, and school meetings; writing timely court reports; and advocating verbally to appropriate parties.
-Monitor the case by visiting the child at least monthly and staying in contact with involved parties to ensure essential needs are being met and to determine whether the Court’s orders are being followed.
-Maintain contact with the child, parents, care providers (i.e., foster parents), service providers, relatives, DCS, school personnel, and others as applicable.
-Review all relevant documents, including, but not always limited to: DCS file, police and court reports, medical records, and school records.
CASAs generally commit 5-10 hours/month on each case they are assigned to. Assignments are only made with the CASA's approval. Ready to make a difference in the life of a child? Training classes are held every quarter. You can apply by clicking on the "Volunteer Application" link above. In order to be eligible, applicants must be 21 years old with a clean criminal history, have a high school diploma/GED, and have reliable transportation. Most importantly, we look for people who will take confidentiality very seriously, are dedicated by nature, and will commit the time and energy required to properly advocate for the abused/neglected children in our community.
If you have additional questions or would like to speak to a staff member about volunteering, please call the office at the number listed at the bottom of the page or complete the form on the Contact Us page. Check out our Facebook Page for information on upcoming trainings and other events!