Becoming an Advocate for Children through CASA


There are, of course, all kinds of ways to become an advocate for children; one of the greatest ways (and the way that will be the focus of this article) is by becoming a CASA volunteer. CASA stands for court-appointed special advocate, and it’s a program designed to empower children who have been victims of abuse or neglect by providing one-on-one assistance through court-appointed volunteers (also called special advocates).

So what exactly does all of this mean? Read on for more information about CASA and what you can do to become an advocate for children.

About CASA

CASA was established in 1977 when Seattle judge David Soukup expressed concern about making decisions on abused and neglected children’s court cases when he didn’t have enough information. David thought it would be beneficial to appoint community volunteers to speak on behalf of those children; and it was. He requested volunteers and 50 citizens responded. Since then, CASA has nearly 60,000 advocates and has helped more than 2 million children.

How You Can Help

By becoming an advocate! As an advocate, you work directly one 1 child’s case at a time. This is the wonderful thing about a program like CASA. You’re not swamped with several cases like lawyers are; you get to focus on 1 case–one child’s life. Now for the nitty gritty details:  

1. Search for your local CASA program and contact them directly

2. Complete a 30-hour training course & background check

3. Take on your first case as an advocate. You will be asked to dedicate approximately 10 hours per month. Most cases last about 1 1/2 years.

For more details on the duties of a child advocate, see CASA’s Top 10 Commitment List.

 

 

Comments

  1. Denise A Wilkins says:

    I am 37 years old and a mother of two grown boys 17 and 14. My life has been stalled since my mothers death 3 yrs ago. I was sitting in bed one day and realized I had to do something that has always driven me my whole life children. My mom was preschool teacher for many years and when it would be our summer break we would go with her and help,I noticed that my heart would ache for certain things that would come up like if the child was hungry or tired and dirty I just knew it was not right and had to do something to change it help them when they could not help themselves. my other passion are animals all of them cannot see a hurt animal. I do not collect the animals but i try to help as much as a person can.I want to become a child advocate and will do what ever it takes to get me there,I believe this is something that I will be excellent at this is was I am meant to do..

  2. i am a student at phcc, in the human service as degree program. i would like more info about this because i’m not so sure if i would be appropriate yet. i have always wanted to work with children who have been neglected and abused or just simply need some type of help.
    thanks,
    lisa bush

  3. i just wanted to add that i am 43 years young

  4. Zoe Anastasia says:

    Children are our future. It is true and I believe it. It hurts me to see our future neglected and abused. I never have thought of myself as a nurturing person, though in my time, that has been the role I have been casted in and I have found much satisfaction and joy in fulfilling it. I need to do this.

  5. Kayti Abel says:

    I am a Pediatric Nurse Practitioner, and a former Peds ICU and Peds ER nurse. I have worked with many children in my career who are going through traumatic and painful experiences (from a medical aspect), but would like some information on getting involved on this end of the fight. I have chosen to make a career out of children’s lives, and feel very passionately about the job I do. Any info would be helpful. Thanks.

  6. Barbara says:

    I am a mother of four and presently working in special education at my local middle school. I am looking to retire this up coming year and looking for another way I can help. My husband and I have talked about adoption after the children have grown. Now, I am a grandmother of a nine year old and one is on the way. I was thinking I might be more helpful helping children find there way thru life. If you can give me any insight on how to go about helping out, please forward the information.
    Thank you so much for your time.

  7. It made me tear up to read this. I’m on this site obviously looking for a new hobby. I’ve been considering habit for humanity since I have a background in construction and it’s always been a desire of mine to help others. But less than an hour ago I was having a conversation with my significant other concerning the abuse of my childhood and my frustration that despite being asked so many times during the course of my childhood if I’d been “abused” I was unable to tell the truth, because having grown up in an abusive family, I was unable to properly fathom what abuse WAS beyond the most obvious physical abuse. Even having been slapped and spanked, I never considered that physical abuse, because I had been taught that it was an appropriate punishment for my actions. I didn’t know that programs like this existed, and reading it out loud to my SO I nearly started crying. It is really amazing that there are programs like this, because it’s always bothered me that adults would have a one time meeting (always with different people) and then decide based on a couple of yes or no questions whether or not the child was being abused. This is something I believe I will look into, and I deeply appreciate being informed that it exists.

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