A Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) is a trained community volunteer who is appointed by a judge to represent the best interests of an abused or neglected child in court.
What is a CASA volunteer?
A Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) volunteer is a trained citizen who is appointed by a judge to represent the best interest of an abused and/or neglected child in court.
What is a CASA volunteer’s role?
A CASA volunteer provides the judge with carefully researched information about the child to help the court make a sound decision about the child’s future. The CASA volunteer makes recommendations about placement to the judge and follows through until the child reaches a safe permanent home. To prepare a recommendation the CASA volunteer talks with the child, parents, family members, social workers, school officials, health providers and others who are knowledgeable about the child and to ensure that the child is getting all the services she needs. The CASA volunteer also reviews all records pertaining to the child—school, medical, caseworker reports and other documents. The CASA stays on the case until it is resolved—12 months or longer in some cases.
How much time each month does it take to volunteer?
Typically, it takes about 10 to 15 hours a month to volunteer.
How does the CASA volunteer relate to the child that he or she serves?
CASA volunteers offer children trust and advocacy during complex legal proceedings. They explain to the child the events that are happening, the reasons they are in court, the roles of the judge, lawyers and social workers. CASA volunteers also encourage the child to express his or her own opinion and hopes, while remaining objective observers.
How effective is CASA?
Research shows children who have been assigned a CASA volunteer spend less time in court and less time in the foster care system than those who do not have a CASA volunteer. They are less likely to move from foster home to foster home and they find safe, permanent homes more quickly.
How many CASA programs are there in Arkansas?
We have 23 local CASA programs serving all 28 judicial districts and 68 of 75 counties. More than 950 programs serve youth across the United States
How is CASA funded?
CASA of the 5th Judicial District is funded through a grant from Arkansas CASA Association, charitable foundations, grants, and generous contributions from community members.
How long does a CASA volunteer remain on the case?
The volunteer remains until the case is permanently resolved.
What children are assigned CASA volunteers?
Children who are victims of abuse and neglect who have become wards of the court are assigned CASA volunteers.
How do I get more information about becoming an Arkansas CASA volunteer?
You can either go to the links on the contact us page or call the CASA office in Russellville at 479-880-1195, Clarksville at 479-647-3293 or Ozark at 479-667-1010.