Frequently asked questions.
What does training entail?
Clinton County CASA utilizes a flex training, meaning half of the training is online, half is in-person. In order to be a certified Court Appointed Special Advocate you must complete a full training cohort which is roughly 36 hours. The online portion can be done on your own time throughout the week. The in-person sessions will take place one evening a week for a month.
What are a CASA's duties?
CASA volunteers are appointed as officers of the court and are tasked with representing the child’s wishes and best interest. CASA volunteer duties include; investigating relevant facts of the case, interviewing the child and other significant roles, monitoring case plan objectives, supporting child through case and services and submitting a written report to the court outlining recommendations and advocacy for child’s best interest.
How many cases will I be on?
In CASA volunteer world, a case equals a family. As a CASA volunteer you will only be appointed one family at a time, unless there are unique circumstances. A CASA could be appointed to one child or a sibling group depending on the family. We do not want to over-work our volunteers. We also want to give our children an advocate whose only priority is them.
How long does a case last?
Clinton CASA asks for a volunteer commitment of 2 years. On average in Clinton, children spend 16 months in foster care. When CASA appoints an advocate it is with the hopes that they will be a constant support person for the child throughout the case. The current drug pandemic our area is seeing is causing children to spend more time in foster care.
Do I have the time?
The work of a CASA is surprisingly flexible. As a CASA you are required monthly contact with the child, but the logistics of that is up to the schedule of the CASA and the placement. Quarterly court hearings and meetings at children services are the only CASA responsibility less flexible, but even those obligations are scheduled in advance. On average, CASA volunteers spend 8-10 hours on a month fulfilling their role.
How else can I give?
If you do not currently have the time to be a CASA volunteer, no worries, there are other ways to give! You can also donate to the organization which helps fund training new volunteers and supporting them as they advocate on behalf of children.
Want to learn more? Check out this CASA 101