Volunteer Roles & Responsibilities
What does it take to become a CASA volunteer?
Being a CASA volunteer does not require any special education or background, simply the desire to help abused and neglected children find safe, permanent homes. We encourage people from all cultures and professions, and of all ethnic and educational backgrounds. Once accepted into the program, you will receive all necessary training in courtroom procedures, social services, the juvenile justice system and the special needs of abused and neglected children. Requirements include:
- Be 21 years old.
- Be willing to complete necessary background checks, provide references and participate in an interview.
- Complete a minimum of 30 hours of pre-service training.
- Be available for court appearances, with advance notice.
- Volunteer advocates are asked to dedicate themselves to a case until it is closed. The average case lasts two years.
- Advocates are supervised every step of the way and always have resources readily available.
While it might sound like a lot at first, it’s all very manageable … and worth it. Just ask our volunteers!
What exactly does a CASA volunteer do?
- Gather Information: Review documents and records, interview the children, family members and professionals in their lives.
- Document findings: Provide written reports at court hearings.
- Appear in court: Advocate for the child's best interests.
- Explain what is going on: Help the child understand the court proceedings.
- "Be the glue": Seek cooperative solutions among individuals and organizations involved in the children's lives. As one volunteer said: Be the glue that connects the pieces in a complicated child welfare system.
- Recommend services: Ensure that the children and their family are receiving appropriate services. Advocate for the child's interests in the community by bringing concerns regarding the child's health, education and mental health, etc. to the appropriate professionals to assure that the child's needs are met.
- Monitor case plans and court orders: Check to see that plans are being followed and mandated review hearings are being held.
- Keep the court informed: Update the court on developments with agencies and family members. Ensure that appropriate motions are filed on behalf of the child so the court knows about any changes in the child's situation.
Need for Volunteers
Your local CASA program offers an exceptional volunteer opportunity that does not require any special education or background, simply the desire to help.
Our vision is to connect every child in need with a volunteer and with your help we can reach that goal together. CASA volunteers are crusaders for our children in our communities throughout the state of Kansas. Read their stories here.
By the Numbers
In an overburdened social welfare system, abused and neglected children often slip through the cracks. On average, a child in foster care will remain in the system for 2 years. According to the Pew Commission on Children in Foster Care:
- 95% of kids with a CASA volunteer stay out of long-term foster care.
- 90% of kids with a CASA volunteer do not re-enter the child welfare system. Kids with CASA volunteers are more likely to be adopted. U.S. Department of Justice
- At any one time, more than 500,000 kids are in foster care because they cannot live safely with their families.
- On average, a child is moved at least 3 times while in foster care--often more. National Children's Law Network