CASA volunteers are trained to act as first-hand experts on the individual needs of abused and neglected children in San Diego County foster care, giving them the best possible chance at a bright future. The children CASA volunteers help are involved in the dependency system because they have been removed from their homes due to abuse, neglect, or abandonment.
Each CASA volunteer is assigned to a Voices for Children Advocacy Supervisor, with whom they can confer and consult any time in the course of advocacy. Advocacy Supervisors provide guidance and support to their CASAs as they advocate on behalf of their case children and prepare written reports for the Court.
A CASA volunteer provides a judge with carefully researched background details about the child to help the Court make sound decisions about that child’s future. Each case is as unique as the foster child involved. The CASA volunteer must gather extensive information about his or her case child (or case children) and help the Court determine if it’s in the child’s best interest to return to his or her parents or guardians, to be eligible for permanent adoption, or to remain in foster care. The CASA volunteer makes a recommendation to the judge on placement and services and follows through on the case until it is resolved.
A CASA volunteer offers a child trust and advocacy during complex legal proceedings, helping explain to the child the events happening in his or her case, the reasons they are in Court, and the roles of the judge, lawyers, and social workers. While remaining an objective observer, a CASA volunteer also encourages the child to express his or her own opinions and hopes about the case.