Child Advocates of Silicon Valley

Volunteer with Foster Children by Becoming a Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA)

What is a Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA)? 

A CASA is a trained community volunteer who is appointed by a judge to advocate for a foster child’s best interest in court after they’ve been placed in the dependency court system for having experienced abuse, neglect or abandonment. 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.

Register for an upcoming info session by clicking on the dates below

December

January

Can’t attend the dates listed? Please contact Child Advocates at 408-416-0400 or email us at info@cadvocates.org.

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.  

Our next pre-service training begins January 7, 2020. Click one of the dates under step one to sign up for an info session now!

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.  

Have more questions? 

Check out our FAQ page or email our volunteer coordinator for more information, jasmine@cadvocates.org