CASA volunteers are everyday people – teachers, business people, retirees, stay-at-home moms, and grandparents – who are committed to making a difference for children who might otherwise slip through the cracks in an overburdened foster care system. They are appointed by judges to guide one child or one set of siblings through the system to safe, permanent homes as quickly as possible. CASA volunteers research case records and speak to each person involved in a child’s life, including family members, teachers, doctors, lawyers, and social workers. They monitor the progress of the child and family throughout the case and advocate for the child’s current and future needs in court in school, and in agency meetings. Their independent evaluations allow the court to make better informed decisions.
In order to best support our volunteer advocates in their work, each volunteer is paired with a staff Casework Supervisor who provides continued, one-on-one guidance and support to the advocate as he/she works a case.
The CASA volunteer advocate experience is unlike any other volunteer experience out there, and there are a number of minimum requirements that must be met in order to become an advocate.
A CASA Volunteer must:
- Be 21 years of age or older.
- Successfully pass screening and background check requirements.
- Successfully complete initial training provided by the CASA of Denton County program.
(30 hours of initial training plus 3 hours of courtroom observation & 12 hours of continuing education)
- Be able to make a 12-month minimum commitment to a case.
(An average of 10-15 hours per month)
- Be able to keep information confidential and work within established program guidelines.
Not sure if you have what it takes? Click here to find out more about CASA and what kind of person makes a good volunteer advocate.
Ready to get started? Just complete these 3 easy steps:
STEP ONE: SUBMIT THE ADVOCATE APPLICATION MATERIALS
There are three forms that you must complete and submit in order to be considered for the position of CASA Volunteer Advocate:
- The Court Appointed Special Advocate Volunteer Application (Revised 2017) (Download and complete);
- The DFPS Child Abuse Registry Check Consent Form (Download and complete);
- Copy of current Texas Driver’s License; and
- Copy of current auto insurance card
Be sure to complete all forms in their entirety and submit to Debbie Jensen by email; fax at 940.243.1605; or mail at 614 N. Bell Avenue, Denton, TX 76209. To ensure the safety of our volunteers, staff and the children we serve, CASA of Denton County will only accept volunteer applicants who pass both a criminal and child abuse background check.
STEP TWO: COMPLETE AN INTERVIEW
The CASA Volunteer Coordinator will review your application and get in touch with you to arrange an interview. This preliminary interview will provide you with the information you need to determine whether the CASA volunteer experience is right for you.
STEP THREE: COMPLETE THE CASA ADVOCACY ACADEMY TRAINING PROGRAM
Advocacy Academy is a 30-hour training course offered three times a year by CASA of Denton County. The Advocacy Academy training program will prepare you for the one-of-a-kind CASA volunteer experience, and will leave you feeling inspired to begin your CASA journey!