Become a CASA this fall
Child Advocates of Nevada County’s CASA Program is accepting applicants for the Fall 2022 CASA Training. Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASAs) are community volunteers who are screened and trained to work with children who have experienced abuse and/or neglect and who have open cases in Dependency Court. CASAs stand as a caring, committed adult for a child whose family is in crisis. CASAs work collaboratively with the court, Child Welfare Services, teachers, medical personnel, and other service providers to ensure that the child’s needs are being identified and met and that the child is placed in a permanent and loving home as soon as possible. Successful applicants to the CASA Program undergo a thorough background check and 35 hours of initial training and are guided and supported by professional staff. For information about becoming a CASA, visit www.considercasa.com or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Training begins in late Sept. and is held two days a week from 4:30 to 7:30 p.m. in Nevada City.
A Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) is an official part of judicial proceedings, working alongside attorneys and social workers. By handling only one or two cases at a time, the CASA is able to thoroughly explore the history of each assigned case. The CASA talks with the child, parents, family members, neighbors, school officials, doctors and others involved in the child’s life who might have facts about the case.
The CASA reviews all court facts and documents pertaining to the case. At scheduled hearings, he or she is expected to submit formal reports to the judge with recommendations for the safety, well-being, and permanent placement of the child. Until the case is dismissed, the CASA continues to monitor the situation to assure that the judicial and child welfare systems are moving ahead to secure a safe, permanent home for the child, and that court-ordered services are being provided. The CASA can be an invaluable resource for the judge, the child’s attorney, the social worker, and other professionals who are working together to reach the goal of a safe, loving, and permanent home for the child.
Major Duties and Responsibilities
- Complete an extensive, independent review of each case:
- Meet face-to-face with the child a minimum of twice a month, preferably once a week for an hour or two.
- Speak with the child and relevant adults (parents, foster parents, family members, school officials, doctors, social workers, and others involved in the child’s life) who might have facts about the case.
- Review appropriate records and reports.
- Observe the child and significant others.
- Report findings to the court by submitting formal reports to the judge at every scheduled hearing/review.
- Monitor the case following a court hearing or decision:
- Ensure that the judicial and child welfare systems are moving ahead to secure a safe, permanent home for the child.
- Ensure that court-ordered services are provided to the child.
Training and Support System
- CASAs are required to attend approximately 30-35 hours of pre-service training initially and 12 hours of continuing education training annually.
- CASAs meet with supervisors for case reviews and can call anytime with questions or concerns.
- CASAs follow guidelines established by the National CASA Association.
- Volunteers are required to make a twelve-month commitment to the program.
- Volunteers are required to attend court hearings on their cases-approximately every six months.
- CASA volunteers, on average, spend 10-15 hours a month on each case.
Necessary Knowledge and Skills
- Ability to keep all client and court information confidential.
- Ability to communicate effectively both orally and in writing. Will need to write court reports on a computer.
- Ability to communicate using email and Microsoft Word.
- Ability to respect and relate to people from various backgrounds.
- Ability to relate to families from a strength-based model, even in an apparently chaotic family environment.
- Ability to maintain objectivity.
Must be 21 years of age.
Interested persons are invited to apply to the program. Applicants will be interviewed and must submit to a thorough background check.
For more info, EXPRESS INTEREST and we'll get in touch, or visit www.considercasa.com, or email Melinda@caofnc.org.
Age Minimum (with Adult): 21+, Minimum Age:21+
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