A Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) is a trained community volunteer, sworn in by a judge or commissioner, who is appointed by Jackson County CASA to advocate for a child or children who are in the Jackson County Family Court system due to abuse or neglect.
CASA Volunteers get to know the children they represent, learn and understand the circumstances of the case, develop a course of action with the attorney who serves as Guardian ad Litem, explain the court’s findings to the child, facilitate resolution and monitor progress. The brief video below illustrates the CASA's role:
The first step to becoming a CASA Volunteer is to schedule an interview with our Manager of Training, Lisa Martin.
- You must be a minimum of 21 years of age.
- You must have a valid driver’s license and access to a vehicle.
- You cannot be convicted of – or have charges pending for – crimes that are violent, sexual, or that demonstrate character not appropriate for a CASA Volunteer.
- You must have an interest in children and their rights.
- You must be willing to devote the time to successfully complete screening and training, to learn and develop trust with the child or children on your case, to advocate for the child’s best interests, and to participate in continuing education.
- You must possess the communication skills to work effectively with children, their families, and involved agencies and organizations.
- We provide training and support to Volunteers of any race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, gender identity or gender expression, faith, and socioeconomic background.
- Volunteers must complete 30 hours of volunteer training; 15 hours in-house and 15 hours of independent study.
- Volunteers must complete at least 12 hours of continuing education per year.
- Volunteers must maintain confidential records and information for the child’s case.
- Volunteers must maintain regular contact with Jackson County CASA.
Specific Duties and Responsibilities
- Volunteers must review documents and conduct interviews with the child, family and other interested parties.
- Volunteers must maintain regular contact with the social service worker assigned to the child and family.
- Volunteers must investigate placement alternatives.
- Volunteers can attend court proceedings and related meetings, or communicate with CASA staff if schedule does not allow.
- Volunteers must consult once a month with Jackson County CASA staff to report, plan, prepare, and receive evaluation and feedback.
- Volunteers must complete monthly updates.