advocates for children


 

What is CASA?

Eastern Sierra CASA program and Wild Iris are working together to create a healthier community for children and young adults. CASA stands for Court Appointed Special Advocates for children. A CASA volunteer is an ordinary person performing extraordinary duties. Each Court Appointed Special Advocate is a person—just like you—who chooses to help a child navigate the difficulties of the Juvenile Court system.

As a sworn officer of the Court, with the relevant rights and responsibilities that pertain to that role, each CASA volunteer is appointed by the Juvenile Court to investigate and report back to the Court about the needs of an individual child.

CASAs spend time with the child, talk with them about the case and talk to everyone involved. Then, they report the facts to the Judge and tell the Court their opinion about what they feel is best for the child. Simply put CASA volunteers get to know the child and their circumstances and then speaks on the behalf to ensure that the child gets what he or she needs.

CASA Facts:

· CASA volunteers are not paid, they are volunteers

 

· Commit to staying on the case for at least on year—though

many stay on for much longer.

 

· CASA volunteers receive over 30 hrs of initial training and at least

12 hrs of continuing training each year.

 

· Undergo comprehensive federal and state criminal and child abuse background checks.

 

· CASA programs were first implemented in 1977 in the state of Washington; the following year, the first CASA program in California begins providing services to children.

 

· In California there are 43 CASA programs that service 47 counties and one two-county program in development. An inter-tribal CASA program also serves four tribal courts.

CASA Responsibility

1. Keep all information and records confidential—releasing information only to the Court, the parties and their attorneys and CASA staff.

2. When requesting to review and/or copy confidential records, CASAs should present the Order of the Court granting him/her investigative authority.