Frequently Asked Questions
In an effort to provide you with the quickest information, please find answers below to commonly asked questions about our organization. If you can’t find the answer here, please do not hesitate to contact us.
How can I become a CASA volunteer?
Contact us by completing the contact form. We will contact you as soon as possible during the next business day and provide you an application, set up a time to discuss the opportunity further, and enroll you in the next training class.
How much time will I have to commit to CASA?
CASA volunteers generally donate about 8-10 hours per month on a case. Because we want our CASAs to remain on the case from start to finish, it takes a minimum of a two year commitment.
What type of training is involved, and how long does it take to complete?
National CASA requires 30 hours of intensive training. The training program is set up to expose the potential volunteer to child welfare services, the court system, interviewing techniques, case review, child development, and cultural sensitivity among other things. CASA Partners 4NMKIDS uses a self-paced form of training, so the time spent in a classroom varies depending on the volunteer’s availability and prior experience. It generally lasts about 6 weeks with one 2 hour session each week with the instructor.
What does a CASA advocate do?
A CASA advocate gets a case assigned by the local judge. Once the CASA has a case, that volunteer will thoroughly review documents and interview everyone associated with the case including the children involved in the case. They submit reports to the judge giving their recommendations and providing important information to aid the judge in making an informed decision as to what would be in the best interest of the child. The CASA is often instrumental in assuring that a child or family receives court ordered services such as substance abuse counseling, speech and language testing, medical services, and family counseling. As long as the case is active, the advocate monitors the situation and acts as a constant support for the child as they move through the maze of the child welfare system.
What are the Volunteer Qualifications?
1. Volunteers must be at least 21 years old.
2. They must complete a written application, a criminal background check (with no felony convictions), a brief personal interview, and a reference check.
3. They must complete the thirty (30) hour pre-training program and twelve (12) hours of in-service training annually.
4. They must share a concern for the children of our community!
How are CASA volunteers different than social workers, attorneys and others working with children in court?
CASA volunteers are assigned to only one or two children or sibling groups at a time.
Our volunteers stay involved in the case from the time of appointment until the child achieves permanency.
Because of the small number of children a volunteer serves, they have more time to commit to each child.
CASA volunteers are specially trained to consider issues relevant to the best interests of the child, which may be different from the interests of other parties or the child’s wishes. Traditional attorneys who represent children are required to advocate for their client’s—the child’s—wishes.
Can I do community service with CASA?
This is not recommended because we require a long-term commitment, and even office work requires you to go through an extensive background check and training process. Our volunteers are sworn in by the judge and must maintain extreme confidentiality.
Can I report Child Abuse or Neglect to You?
Unfortunately, no. We do not have the authority to investigate allegations of abuse or neglect. However, if you believe a child is in immediate danger, please dial 911 and report it to the local authorities. To report suspected child abuse or neglect call #SAFE (#7233) from a cell phone or 1-855-333-SAFE.