What is a Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA)?
A CASA is a compassionate and courageous individual willing to advocate for a foster child's best interest after being placed in the foster care system for having experienced abuse, neglect or abandonment. All CASAs are trained community volunteers who are appointed by a judge. CASA volunteers work with legal and child welfare professionals, educators and service providers to ensure the child’s voice is heard. Their advocacy enables judges to make the most well-informed decision for each child.
Five Steps to Becoming a CASA
Step 1: Attend an Info Session to Submit an Application
Attending a volunteer info session is your chance to learn more about the program. After the session, interested parties will be asked to fill out an application and schedule a first interview.
You can register for an upcoming info session by filling out the form below.
Step 2: Participate in Your First Interview
The first interview is an opportunity for you to learn more about the role and responsibilities of a CASA and for us to learn more about you. The interview is conducted on site at Child Advocates by one of our CASA Specialist staff members and last from 60-90 minutes. It’s our responsibility to make sure the volunteers who work with our children are here for the right reasons, and we take that very seriously.
Step 3: Complete Pre-Service Training
Our pre-service training will fully prepare you to be a successful CASA. Training includes 30 hours of in-person and online classes, plus a guided dependency court tour and culminates with a swearing-in ceremony conducted by a Santa Clara County Dependency Court judge. There is a $55.00 training fee, due by the first day of class to cover background checks (DMV, DOJ, FBI, CACI, SSN). During training, you wil also be required to provide a copy of your driver's license, proof of auto insurance and three reference letters from non-family members.
We will be offering two pre-service training classes in April, one day time class and one evening. The day time training class begins Tuesday, April 21, 2020 and the evening training class begins Thursday, April 23, 2020. Sign up for an info session now to get started!
Step 4: Participate in Your Second Interview
Your second interview is an opportunity to meet your assigned Child Advocates supervisor, go over any concerns, provide feedback and discuss the type of case you want to be assigned to.
Step 5: Select a Case
You supervisor will provide you with profiles of cases to review. You will then select your case, receive a court order and begin advocating.