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WHAT A CASA VOLUNTEER DOES...

Who are CASA Volunteers?

CASA Volunteers are EVERYDAY people who care about children! A CASA must be at least 21 years of age and pass a criminal background check to volunteer on a case. Volunteers for Pawnee CASA come from all walks of life and backgrounds: many work full-time, some are retired, some are stay-at-home moms, others are students or work part-time.

What Does a CASA Volunteer Do?

Once a volunteer is trained and accepted to the program, the CASA will be appointed to an abuse and/or neglect case by the juvenile judge. The CASA will conduct thorough research on the background of the case by reviewing documents and interviewing everyone involved-including the child. A CASA volunteer provides the judge with information that will help him make informed decisions about the case.

The CASA will be instrumental in assuring that a child or family recieves services which the court has ordered. (Things like substance abuse treatment, counseling or Educational Testing). During the life of a case, a CASA will monitor the child's situation to make sure they remian safe.

What Does it take to be a CASA Volunteer?

COMMITMENT

When a person takes on a case as a CASA volunteer that person is taking on a child's FUTURE. A CASA must be willing to keep appointments and follow through. The Pawnee CASA Program asks you for a commitment of at least one year or the duration of the case (many cases are longer than one year). CASA Volunteers give an average of about 10-15 hours per month on a case. The amount of time a CASA gives to a case will vary depending on the stage of the proceeding. It is HARD work, but very GRATIFYING! 

OBJECTIVITY

The role of the CASA Volunteer is to represent the BEST INTEREST of the child. This may not always be what the child wants. A CASA will talk to everyone in the case. The CASA must remain OBJECTIVE when giving recommendations to the Court.

GOOD COMMUNICATION SKILLS

A CASA must be able to communicate with a wide variety of people from healthcare professionals, to school officials to parents. CASA volunteers also submit written reports to the Court and are prepared to speak in court on behalf of the child's best interest.