Court Appointed Special Advocate
CASA of Los Angeles mobilizes community volunteers to advocate for children who have experienced abuse and neglect. CASA is the only organization with volunteers appointed by the dependency court to advocate for children. Many more children are waiting to benefit from the time and dedication of a CASA volunteer! Program Description: CASA volunteers are trained and supported to represent the best interests of children who have been removed from their homes due to abuse or neglect. They have the opportunity to broadly influence the lives of the children they work with by advocating across many key issues, including permanent placement, health care, education, and enrichment activities. Volunteer Role & Responsibilities: A CASA volunteer is paired with a child and, unlike others in the system, works one-on-one to advocate for his/her best interests in both the courtroom and the community. Volunteers’ advocacy activities focus on three priority areas: safety, permanency, and well-being. The CASA role includes: -Maintaining regular contact with the child and visiting him/her at least once a month. -Gathering information about the child’s circumstances, evaluating the facts independently, and providing recommendations to the court by means of written reports. -Communicating sensitively and objectively with children, social workers, foster care providers, therapists, teachers, attorneys, parents, or other family members who may be involved in the case. Through these activities, CASA volunteers are instrumental in facilitating access to the material, educational, and physical and mental health services necessary for each child to thrive. Time Commitment: An estimated 15 hours per month. Requirements: Anyone over the age of 21 who is committed to helping children may apply to become a CASA volunteer. No specific education background is required, but volunteers must have strong communication and problem solving skills. CASA of Los Angeles serves children through Los Angeles County. Travelling is necessary as the duties of a CASA volunteer include monthly, face-to-face contact with a child wherever he or she is residing. Travelling may also be necessary for information gathering with parties related to the case as scheduled. There are several steps involved in becoming a CASA. You must attend an information session, submit an application, pass a criminal background check, be interviewed, and go through the pre-service training. Upon successful completion, a dependency court judge will swear you in as a CASA advocate and officer of the court. Benefits: CASA volunteers receive ongoing support from staff and fellow CASAs, developing their personal and professional skills. Volunteers also connect with like-minded individuals. Many of our volunteers say that being a CASA is the most personally rewarding role they have played, either paid or volunteer. *This project is created, organized and managed by our nonprofit partner. Once you click on EXPRESS INTEREST below a staff person from that organization will contact you to follow up.
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