Our volunteers are business owners, educators, managers, cyclists, singers, hikers, parents and non-parents, teachers, administrative assistants, retirees and college students; What doe they all have in common? These men and women are caring adults who volunteer their time to support foster children from our community!
What does an advocate do?
The purpose of providing a foster child with a volunteer advocate is to ensure the child’s safety, well-being, and basic needs are provided for while under the jurisdiction of the courts. Advocate responsibilities include monitoring case progress and compliance, supporting the child during court proceedings, and providing the courts with objective reports. Advocates also work collaboratively with system partners such as social workers, attorneys, therapists, schools and care providers to facilitate needed services. Ultimately, advocates work solely for the child, providing them with a consistent, responsible adult to be their voice and to advocate in the child’s best interest.
What are the requirements?
There is no special background or skills required to become an advocate, however, once assigned to a case, you must be able to commit to a child for a minimum of 18 months (the average length of a case), you must also be 21 years or older, and pass background and reference checks. It is also important that you be flexible and have an open-mind. Much of the purpose of being a CASA is to step into a child’s world and help them understand it, rather than planning to bring them into your world.
How much time is required?
On average, advocate spend about 10 hours a month working on the case. This includes visits with the child, communication with care providers, social workers, and other professionals assigned to the case, reviewing case files and reports, speaking with your case supervisor, attending team meetings, and attending court with child approximately every 6 months.
What do advocates and their CASA children do together?
A number of things! Often times advocates for younger children will take them to the park or library. Advocates for teens or older youth may visit a local coffee shop or play a game of catch. It really depends on your shared interests. Additionally, we have an Advocate Resources page where advocates can view continuing education opportunities, free and low-cost activities in our area, and other announcements.
Will I be able to choose my CASA child?
In order to ensure a good match, your supervisor will not pair you up with the next available child or the child most in-need. At the completion of training, you will provide a list of your interests and hobbies. Your supervisor will then provide you with two or three case files to read based upon your preferences. Ultimately, you will be able to decide which case you will be assigned to.
I am interested in becoming an advocate, what are my next steps?
- Call or email for more information. We would be happy to meet with you to answer any questions you may have.
- Print our Become and Advocate downloadable PDF; this document covers all aspects of our program.
- Complete the Volunteer Advocate Application.
- Once your application has been received, we will schedule an interview.