The CASA Program of Delaware and Union Counties needs you to be a child’s advocate.
Each year in Delaware and Union Counties, hundreds of children are victims of violence, sexual abuse and neglect. These children are removed from their homes and typically are placed in temporary foster homes.
They are surrounded by strangers. They are wondering what they have done wrong that has caused them to be taken away from their family, friends and their home.
OUR MISSION: Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) Program of Delaware and Union Counties recruits, screens, trains and supports community volunteers to advocate in court for child victims of abuse and neglect.
OUR VISION: Every child deserves a powerful and consistent voice in court, and a safe and permanent home.
CASA Program: Frequently Asked Questions
What are the requirements for becoming a CASA volunteer?
- Must be 21 years of age or older
- High-school diploma or GED
- Excellent communication skills, both written and oral
- Must have the desire to make a difference in a child’s life!
What commitments would I be making?
When you become a CASA volunteer, you agree to commit to the program for a minimum of one year, to meet with each child no less than once each month, to maintain confidentiality and to follow the protocol established by our local, state and national programs.
What hours would I be volunteering?
For the most part, you can set your own hours based on your schedule, and the schedule of the child and caregivers. Court hearings and team meetings may require some daytime appearances. When initially gathering information on a case, more time is generally required. Cases generally average 6-10 hours per month, although this number can be higher during the first month the volunteer has a case.
How many cases will I have?
One of the main benefits that CASA children receive is that volunteers are able to focus their attention on fewer cases. Ideally, each volunteer should maintain no more than 1-2 cases in order to provide high quality advocacy.
How long do cases last?
There is no set amount of time that a case will remain open. Some cases may be resolved in as little as 3-6 months. Other cases may last well over a year. We want to ensure that children have the same CASA volunteer throughout the course of the case, if possible. That is why we ask for at least a one-year commitment from each volunteer.
What else does a CASA volunteer do besides visit the child?
CASA volunteers gather information and prepare reports regarding the best interests, needs and wants of each child. In addition, the CASA attends court hearings and will advocate verbally for the child. Each volunteer is legally appointed to their child and has access to confidential information, such as school and medical records. Quite often, teachers, doctors and therapists are interviewed. CASA volunteers also help locate and advocate for needed services for each child.
What kind of training do I need?
Each CASA volunteer is provided with 30+ hours of training before their first case. This training provides the skills, knowledge, and attitude needed to become an effective advocate for children.
The comprehensive training includes:
- CASA principles and history
- The Child Protection System, the courts, and the law
- Cultural awareness
- Understanding families and children
- Communicating as a volunteer
- Gathering information
- Reporting and monitoring
In addition to the pre-service training, CASA volunteers are required to attend a minimum of 12 hours of continuing education training each year. The CASA Program of Delaware and Union Counties provides numerous opportunities to attend free trainings.
Do I need a background check?
Yes. We provide a fingerprint background check through Delaware County during training.
How do I become a CASA volunteer?
Please fill out the CASA Volunteer Application and email it to: firstname.lastname@example.org. Upon receipt, you will be contacted by staff to schedule an initial interview to learn more about our opportunity and how you might become involved. After meeting with staff and deciding if the CASA Program is one you are interested in volunteer with, you will be directed to the next steps which includes our Human Resources and Training Process. CASA Volunteer Application