A CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocate) volunteer is a trained community member who is appointed by a judge to represent the best interest of a child or family of children in the court system. Volunteers spend an average of 15-20 hours a month advocating for these children for the lifetime of a case (17 months on average). They get to know the child while also gathering information from the child's family, teachers, doctors, therapists, caregivers and anyone else involved in the child's life.
CASA volunteers serve as the guardian ad litem, an official representative in a Child Protective Services (CPS) case entitled to access information about the child's situation and required to make reports to the court in the child's best interest. CASA volunteers speak for what is in the child's best interest while the attorney ad litem speaks on behalf of the child's wants or preferences - often these two opinions differ with serious potential consequences.
Learn more about the 15-20 hours per month commitment in our blog post, A Month in the Life of a CASA Volunteer.
Learn more about working with families in our blog post, Seeing the Whole Picture by Working with a Child’s Family.