A Court Appointed Special Advocate (a CASA) is a trained community volunteer appointed by a judge to speak up for the best interests of an abused or neglected child involved in a juvenile court proceeding.
Why have CASA programs?
Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) programs provide an innovative approach to a very urgent crisis. CASA programs screen, train, and support volunteers to provide individualized advocacy for innocent children who are victims of neglect and abuse. Each CASA volunteer provides an independent evaluation and information about the child appointed to them for the judge assigned to their court case. The judge ultimately decides the outcome for each child's case but the CASA provides invaluable information on behalf of the child.
What does a CASA do?
CASA volunteers serve as the eyes and ears of the court. They interview anyone who may be able to shed light on the child’s needs—the child, parents, family members, medical professionals, therapists, social workers, school officials and neighbors.
Further, the CASA appears in court to make recommendations to the judge about what is in the child’s best interest, based on this assessment. The CASA remains involved in the case until the child is placed in a safe, stable, and permanent home.
How much time does it require to be a CASA?
Each case is different. A CASA volunteer usually spends about 10-15 hours conducting research and interviews prior to the first court appearance. Once initiated into the system, volunteers work about 10 hours a month on each case.
Would you like to fill out an application to volunteer? Filling out the application does NOT commit you but a CASA of Forsyth County staff member will reach out to you to set up a time to provide you with more information. Please have your driver's license and insurance card available. Fill out an CASA volunteer application HERE