Frequently Asked Questions
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: Do I need to have any special training or educational background?
A: No. CASA provides the necessary training to become a CASA advocate volunteer.
Q: Is there an age requirement?
A: No, but you must have had a valid driver’s license for at least 3 years.
Q: What commitments would I be making?
A: When you become a CASA you agree to work with a child for at least a year, to meet with that child on a weekly basis, to maintain confidentiality and to abide by the protocol that CASA has established. For more information see qualities and responsibilities of an Advocate.
Q: What hours would I be volunteering?
A: You set your own hours based on your schedule, and the schedule of the child and their caregivers. Expect to spend at least 2 hours a week visiting the child and making phone calls. During times when there is a report due, or a change is occurring, more time may be required to gather information. Our Advocates volunteer an average of 10 hours a month.
Q: What sort of things would I do with the child?
A: This will depend on the age and interests of the child, as well as your own interests, and the guidelines of their caregivers. If you are working with a teen, you might spend time walking around the mall or playing basketball. If you are working with a younger child you might go to the park or the zoo. If the child is very young, you might only visit with the child with their caregivers present.
Q: What else does a CASA volunteer do besides visit the child?
A: CASA volunteers gather information and prepare reports regarding the best interests and needs of the child. CASA volunteers are legally appointed to their child and have access to confidential information such as school and medical records. They also help locate resources for the child.
Q: What kind of support would I have from the CASA staff?
A: CASA provides a case supervisor for direct support. The case supervisor attends court, assists in preparing reports and is available to provide advice and guidance to the volunteer. The case supervisors also provide training and help locate resources for volunteers.
Q: Do I need to own a car?
A: No, however you do need to have regular access to a car. Your ability to visit a child, attend court hearings and gather information regarding the case can often depend on your access to a vehicle. In addition, most volunteers transport children on outings. In order to drive with a child, volunteers must meet our screening standards including driving record criteria.
Q: If I have had past experiences with the court system will that be a problem?
A: Possibly. Because of the vulnerable nature of these children, CASA screens volunteers and requires national criminal background screening, as well reference checks. Some situations will automatically exclude a potential volunteer, but others may not. Volunteer records are reviewed by the CASA staff and evaluated based on our protocol. Some determining factors include length of time since the situation and the nature of the issue. If you have concerns in this area, please discuss them with the Program Manager.
Q: What if I can’t be an Advocate but still want to help?
A: There are many other ways that you can help CASA, including simply spreading the word to others. We often need help with special events, mailings, and fundraising activities. For more options, please see our list of other volunteer opportunities.