What is a CASA Volunteer?
CASA volunteers (Court Appointed Special Advocates) provide a powerful voice in court for abused and neglected children. They investigate, examine, and recommend to the Juvenile Judge the best option for a safe and permanent home for the children assigned to them. Click this link to CASA of Lane County's videos that describe two volunteers' experiences with being a CASA Volunteer and their motivators for becoming a CASA Volunteer.
What exactly does a CASA Volunteer do or not do?
CASA Volunteers visit with the children on their case a minimum of once per month and work to build a trusting relationship with them. However, much of their time on a case is spent interviewing adults, including teachers, foster parents, attorneys, caseworkers, counselors, parents, medical professionals, and family members to determine the facts and circumstances of the child's situation. CASA Volunteers also attend all court hearings and meetings regarding their case and submit a written report of their findings and recommendations to the Juvenile Judge prior to court hearings. While CASA Volunteers often help identify unmet needs of the children or families in their case and recommend community resources that could address those needs, CASA Volunteers do not provide direct services or transportation to the children or families in their case.
What is the time commitment of a CASA Volunteer?
Depending on the stage of the life cycle of a case, a CASA Volunteer will typically spend between 5 and 15 hours a month working their case. Generally, earlier in the case there are more frequent court hearings and a CASA Volunteer will invest more time becoming familiar with the child and their circumstances. As the case progresses, a CASA Volunteer will likely spend less time learning the background information and invest their time maintaining a relationship with the child and identifying any changes to their needs and circumstances. The scheduling of your activities is flexible and Grant-Harney County CASA staff can help fill in if you are out of town during a particular meeting or hearing. For the sake of the children, we request CASA Volunteers commit to the entire life of their case, on average 18 months to two years. For a picture of what it looks like to serve as a CASA Volunteer check out the "A Month in the Life of a CASA" blog post by CASA of Travis County, Texas.
How many children does one CASA Volunteer serve?
Most CASA Volunteers serve one case at a time and will generally serve all of the children in the involved sibling set, on average two to three children. CASA Volunteers with more time to commit to the program may take on an additional case.
Who can become a CASA Volunteer?
People just like you! CASA Volunteers are people from all walks of life, full- or part-time employed, retired or semi-retired, stay-at-home parents, college-aged students. No special experience or knowledge is needed. A typical CASA Volunteer: passionately cares about the health and welfare of children; appreciates a high quality of life in their community; believes that abuse has no place in the home; and understands that children who witness or experience abuse are forever affected.
What support do CASA Volunteers receive?
CASA Volunteers receive a minimum of 40 hours of pre-service training to ensure they are familiar with the role of CASA Volunteer and different professionals involved in the case, the process of juvenile dependency cases, and best practices for fulfilling the duties of a CASA Volunteer. Throughout the life of their case, CASA Volunteers are given ongoing support from Grant-Harney County CASA staff and other volunteers. Additionally, CASA Volunteers are provided various opportunities to continue learning and are expected to complete 12 hours of continuing education each year.
How do I become a CASA Volunteer?
Contact our office for a volunteer application:
Turn in a completed application and schedule an in-person interview.*
Complete 40 hours of pre-service training
Raise your right hand to be sworn in by the judge as a CASA Volunteer.
*Please note that you must pass a background check.
Are there other ways to support GHCASA if I can't commit to becoming a CASA Volunteer?
If the commitment of becoming a CASA Volunteer doesn't work in your life right now, or being a CASA Volunteer isn't the right fit for another reason, there are other important ways you can support the work of Grant-Harney County CASA. We are in need of on-going administrative volunteers and we host fundraisers and other events that rely on short-term event volunteers. Please contact our office if you are interested in either of these ways to volunteer.
Additionally, we rely on the financial support of individuals and businesses within the communities we serve. If you have the means to make a tax-deductible financial contribution to Grant-Harney County CASA, please access our donate page from the menu above, or contact our office to discuss becoming an event sponsor, giving in-kind donations, or other means of financially supporting our mission.