What are the roles of a CASA Volunteer?
A CASA volunteer is a trained community volunteer appointed by a judge to provide information that helps the court determine the best interests of kids who have been removed from their homes due to neglect or abuse. A CASA volunteer provides an independent voice for the child, with the ultimate goal of finding a safe, stable and permanent home for the child, by:
- Meeting with the child and interviewing people involved in the child’s life (including teachers, doctors, family members, etc.)
- Researching the case by reviewing court and DCPP records
- Identifying and advocating for services for the child such as therapy, family visitations, special education services, early childhood intervention services, etc.
- Sharing information with the judge that helps the court decide where each child should live permanently
- Traveling to visit the child; many of these children live in Middlesex County while some are located in other counties
Who is an ideal CASA?
An ideal CASA volunteer has a passion for justice, the ability to think clearly and critically, and an interest in child welfare. CASA volunteers come from all walks of life but must be at least 21 years old and must submit to background checks. Volunteers make a commitment to work with the children they are assigned for at least 18 months, preferably for the duration of the case.
How do I become a CASA?
CASA volunteers complete an application, provide references, participate in an interview, and pass a federal and state criminal screening. Then, CASA volunteers are provided with a 30 hour-training prior to being assigned to a case. The process is stringent, but CASA volunteers take their responsibility to children seriously and understand that this process helps ensure that children receive the justice they deserve.