Court Appointed Special Advocate Application Form
Thank you for your interest in working as a volunteer with CASA for Kids, Inc. Barry, Eaton & Ingham (CASA). CASA volunteers are trained community volunteers, appointed by a judge, to speak up for abused and neglected children in court. They work alongside attorneys and social workers as appointed officers of the court. When a CASA volunteer is appointed to a case, he or she is responsible for taking the time to find out as much as possible about that child or sibling group. CASA volunteers search for information, review records, interview parents, talk to teachers, neighbors and most importantly- listen to the child.
CASA volunteers are the “eyes and ears of the court." A CASA’s recommendations occur independently of any agency, being predicated solely upon the child’s best interests. CASA volunteers are assigned to one case at a time, and remain committed to that case until the child/ren are safely reunified with the parents or placed permanently outside the home. It is a CASA’s mandate to provide an independent assessment of all aspects of a child/ren’s life and make written recommendations to the court based on each child’s best interests. The CASA does not provide services, but assembles and provides information that, in the opinion of the CASA volunteer, describes needed services. The case assignment is for the duration of the legal court case, which averages 12-18 months, and the volunteer time commitment averages approximately 10-12 hours per month.
Our volunteers work closely with court employees and paid staff of the CASA program and are an integral part of the program. In every role, volunteers’ function under the same expectations as paid staff in terms of work attendance, dependability, adherence to established work procedures and compliance with professional standards of conduct. In turn, volunteers are assigned meaningful work. Acting as a CASA volunteer is a very rewarding experience.
CASA is an equal opportunity organization. It is CASA’s policy provide equal opportunity to all applicants based on qualifications and abilities without regard to race, color, sex, age, sexual orientation, marital status, parental status, religion, disability, national origin, citizenship, veteran status, political affiliation, or membership in any labor organization. CASA seeks to engage individuals who representative of the populations served.
The questions in this application are asked for the purpose of preliminary assessment of your qualifications as a CASA volunteer. Some of the questions are designed to evaluate your qualifications as a volunteer; others address any previous law violations or treatment history. The final decision will be made after a personal interview. While information requested is not an automatic barrier to final acceptance, it will be assessed and discussed with you regarding its relevance to your work as a CASA volunteer. The information is requested to expedite the application process. If you have any questions about completing the application, please contact the Director or Advocate Supervisors of the CASA program.