CASA volunteers get to know the child and speak to everyone involved in the child’s life, including their family members, teachers, attorneys, social workers, therapists, psychiatrists, and others, who are knowledgeable about the child’s history and/or current situation. The CASA volunteer may also review school records, social worker reports and other relevant documents pertaining to the child (ren). To effectively advocate, CASA volunteers:
- RESEARCH: The CASA volunteer conducts thorough and independent research for facts on the case by reading documents, case files, and speaking to everyone involved in the child’s life, including the child.
- FACILITATE:The CASA volunteer works in collaboration with the other parties on the case, to ensure the case is progressing and that the Court’s recommendations are being followed. The CASA volunteer may also facilitate visits among the siblings and/or family members. The CASA volunteer attends meetings to represent the best interests of the child.
- MONITOR: The CASA volunteer monitors the child’s situation, by visiting with the child on a regular basis, to make sure the child’s needs are being addressed. CASA volunteers monitor progress being made on the case and review whether court ordered services for the child and/or the family are being provided. Sometimes, the CASA volunteer may be the only consistent adult the child knows, as he/she moves through the maze of the child welfare system.
- ADVOCATE:The ultimate role of the CASA volunteer is to advocate/speak up on behalf of the child, whether this is in or out of court, to promote and support the safety, permanency and well-being of the child. The CASA volunteer writes court reports, attends court, and makes recommendations about what he/she believes to be in the child’s best interest, as it relates to safely, permanency and well-being. This information helps the Judge make informed decisions about what’s best for the child’s future. Each case is as different as the uniqueness of the child involved.