Volunteer

Speak up for a child who's been abused or neglected. Become a CASA volunteer.


Imagine the experience of children who are removed from their homes because the people responsible for protecting them have Do something about child abuse. Become a CASA volunteer in Austin. not. These children find themselves in a world filled with social workers, lawyers, judges and courtrooms where life-altering decisions are made on their behalf.

A CASA volunteer is a court appointed, trained and committed adult who ensures that each child’s individual needs remain a priority in an over-burdened child welfare system. They get to know the child while also gathering information from the child’s family, teachers, doctors, care-givers and anyone else involved in the child’s life in order to make independent and informed recommendations to help the judge decide what’s best for the child. CASA volunteers come from every walk of life and share a commitment to improving children’s lives, a willingness to learn, and an open mind towards life experiences different from their own.

For children who’ve been abused or neglected, CASA means having a home instead of feeling lost, and being a priority instead of feeling invisible. For volunteers, CASA is a life-changing experience that makes our community a better place.

If you are looking for a meaningful and enriching volunteer opportunity in the Austin area and want to do something about child abuse, CASA is right for you. 700 children in Austin still needed a CASA volunteer last year. Our vision is to provide a trained volunteer advocate, a safe home and a promising future for every child who needs us. We hope you decide to join our community of volunteers and help ensure that every child has an adult they can rely on.


To help you in your decision process you can:

 


 

Do something about child abuse. Become a CASA volunteer in Austin.

   

Your Commitment

As a CASA volunteer you commit to spending an average of 15-20 hours per month on one specific case for at least a year. You research the case, talk with everyone involved and build a trusting relationship with your child or family of children. You will prepare reports to the court based on what you believe is best for the child, helping the judge make the most informed decision possible. You will serve as the “eyes and ears” of the court. The scheduling of your activities is flexible, and you will be paired with a staff professional who supports and guides you every single step of the way.

 


Click on the numbered stars for even more details about each of these events

Do something about child abuse. Become a CASA volunteer in Austin.

   

Training

You do not need any special kind of education, experience or background to serve as a CASA volunteer. We will provide you with all the training and support you will need to serve as an effective advocate. CASA training consists of 12 3-hour classes plus 3 hours of courtroom observation. After completing the first class, “CASA 101: What it means to be a CASA volunteer,” you may take the remaining 11 classes in any order according to your schedule. You must complete all training before you will be assigned to a child. Classes are offered at a variety of times and days to suit anyone’s schedule. View our current training schedules.

 

 


Sonia Kotecha, Director of Volunteers

Sonia Kotecha, Director of Volunteers, has worked at CASA since 2006. She can’t wait to share her knowledge about the experience, get you through the logistics of applying to be a volunteer and make sure you feel prepared to begin your training. Sonia loves the idea that CASA empowers the community to be the voice for children who cannot speak up for themselves. In her free time, Sonia stays active in Austin’s multicultural community and loves to network, keep up with the latest pop culture gossip, and dine-out at local eateries!

Lydia Garcia, Training Director

Lydia Garcia, Training Director, has worked at CASA since 1999. She started out as a Child Advocacy Specialist, then Team Leader and now Training Director. She will be a big part of your life during the training process, but you’ll see her again at continuing education opportunities as Lydia always wants you to keep learning and growing in your role as a CASA. Lydia likes CASA because our advocates all come with their own unique experiences and backgrounds and she loves meeting them on the front end of their CASA experience. In her free time, Lydia likes to check out live music, cheer on her Spurs, Cubbies or Packers and hang out with friends and family.

Key Richardson, Program Director

Key Richardson, Program Director, has worked at CASA since 2002 and was a CASA volunteer for 2 years before that. You may see Key at CASA 101, at your Swearing-In Ceremony or in the courtroom, and she’ll keep in touch with you through the Advocate Insider email. Key loves that “the combination of incredible volunteers and guidance from our qualified and enthusiastic staff allows CASA to have a huge impact in the lives of children in Travis County.” Key’s life away from CASA stays busy with family and friends and she particularly loves spending time with her 3 grandchildren. She and her husband also enjoy traveling and sailing with good friends.

Laura Wolf, Executive Director

Laura Wolf, Executive Director, has worked at CASA since 2007. You’ll see her at Swearing-In, Closed Case Luncheons and the Volunteer Appreciation Party. Plus, you’ll be hearing from Laura on a regular basis in our monthly update emails and our newsletters. Laura says that she is “inspired by the extraordinary volunteers who come to CASA. I admire the inventive problem-solving of the volunteer-staff teams on their cases. And my colleagues are fun!” When she’s not at CASA, Laura is playing with her 2 dogs, eating Mexican food, reading, and traveling to places with water and cool climates.

 


 

Ask a Question





 


I'm ready to become a CASA Volunteer... What do I do next?

1. Download an application in Word or PDF to mail or email to our Director of Volunteers, Sonia Kotecha.

2. Schedule a Pre-Training Interview with Sonia at (512) 539-2668 or via email.

3. Attend CASA Training (View the Training Schedule).

You must be at least 21 years of age and be able to pass extensive reference, Child Protective Services and criminal background checks before becoming a CASA volunteer. You may not be a current foster parent or be in the process of adopting a child from Child Protective Services. If an attorney, you may not concurrently be appointed to any cases involving Child Protective Services in Travis County.

CASA of Travis County’s Commitment to Equal Opportunity is an important part of our core values. In order to provide the best quality advocacy for children in our community, we believe that we must be responsive to the needs of everyone who may provide, receive or be affected by our services. To that end, all policies are administered without discrimination on the basis of race, ethnicity, religion, sexual orientation, age, gender, gender identity and gender expression, marital status, physical abilities or national origin.

CASA Info Sessions

RSVP for one of our Info Sessions on the following Tuesdays to learn more about becoming a CASA Volunteer.

 

7701 N LAMAR BLVD STE 301 | AUSTIN TX 78752
PHONE: 512.459.2272 | FAX: 512.459.4550
CASA@CASATRAVIS.ORG