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WHY BECOME A CASA?

CASA’s children need you to be a child’s voice in court! Become a Special Advocate in your community.

Your local CASA program will tell you: how to learn more; when to apply; how you will be screened to assure this is the right volunteer job for you; how you will be trained for this powerful and important role; and how big a time commitment you will need to make.

 

Although it varies from CASA program to CASA program, being a Special Advocate for CASA of Johnson County means making a time commitment to your child or sibling group monthly for a period of not less than one year. The initial training class is between 30 and 40 hours long. Screening includes an application, written references, interviews, and a criminal background check. And it’s worth it… to make a difference in the life of a child.

 

Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASAs) are trained volunteer community members who are appointed by a judge to advocate, on a one-to-one basis, for a child who has been removed from home due to abuse, neglect, or abandonment.
The volunteer gets to know the child and then lets the judge and others in the child welfare system know the child’s perspective and the child’s needs.

 

To ensure that specific needs are met throughout court proceedings, CASA of Johnson County  works with volunteers who can provide:

  • An awareness of –and sensitivity to — each child’s frame of reference, including heritage, culture, ethnicity, religion, family structure, and any existing disability.

  • A confidential, caring, and professional relationship with all parties involved in the case.

  • Clear verbal and written communication skills that facilitate the presentation of the child’s needs to the court.

  • The ability to gather and accurately record factual information regarding the child’s case maintaining objectivity at all times.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
VOLUNTEER INFORMATION

Court Appointed Special Advocates are trained community volunteers appointed by juvenile court judges to speak for the best interests of children who are brought before the court for reasons of abuse or neglect. A Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) is an official part of judicial proceedings, working alongside attorneys and social workers. By handling only one or two cases at a time the CASA can thoroughly explore the history of each assigned case. The volunteer talks with the child, parents, family members, neighbors, school officials, doctors and others involved in the child’s background who might have facts about the case. The volunteer reviews all court facts about the case and the volunteer also reviews all court documents pertaining to the case. He or she then is expected to submit formal reports to the Judge at every scheduled hearing/review. The CASA continues to monitor the case to assure that the judicial and child welfare systems are moving ahead to secure a safe, permanent home for the child, and that court-ordered services are provided to the child and family. The CASA can be an invaluable resource for the attorney for the child and social worker in reaching their goals for permanency. 

 

Training/Support Plan:

  • CASA volunteers are required to attend approximately 30 hours of pre-service training and 12 hours of in-service training annually.

  • CASA volunteers follow guidelines established by the National CASA Association.

  • CASA volunteers have access to additional training opportunities offered by other agencies.

  • CASA volunteers receive direct supervision and guidance from program staff.

  • CASA volunteers are encouraged to call their volunteer coordinator at any time with questions/concerns.

 

Time Commitment:

  • Volunteers are required to make a twelve-month commitment to the program.

  • Volunteers are required to attend all court hearings on their cases – approximately 2 per year.

  • Volunteers are expected to be available for case assignment and to accept cases immediately upon completion of pre-service training, unless other arrangements have been made.


CASA TRAINING

Advocates must attend training including:

  • An interview

  • A criminal history check

  • A juvenile dependency court observation

  • 14 hours of in-classroom training and 16 hours of online training covering:

  • Advocacy and the Law

  • Awareness

  • Court Process/Monthly and Court Reports

  • Sexual Abuse and the Developing Child

  • Learning/Behavior Disorders

  • Substance Abuse

  • The Social Worker's Role

  • Cultural Awareness

  • The Role of the Attorney

  • Mock Case Assignment

  • Survival as an Advocate

 

The 14 hours of in-class training are divided into 3 sessions; 3 days over 1 week. The 16 hours of online training are done at your pace but must be completed by the last class session. Interviews are by appointment. Please stop by and pick up an application any time or download one from this website. Training classes and dates are subject to change.

 

 

See Our Training Schedule ►
Download Volunteer Application ►
 

"Children are great imitators. so give them something great to imitate" 

~Unknown 

CASA of Johnson County 817-558-6995

210Featherston Cleburne, Texas 76033