“Montcalm CASA provides trained volunteers to be a voice for abused and neglected children in the juvenile justice system by providing advocacy for their needs and ensuring a permanent home.”
What does CASA stand for?
Court Appointed Special Advocates
What is a CASA volunteer?
A CASA is a Court Appointed Special Advocate. This is a volunteer who is a trained community member that is appointed by the judge to provide a voice in court proceedings for abused and neglected children.
What is a CASA volunteer’s role?
A CASA volunteer works with attorneys, social workers, school personnel, health care providers, parents, and any others who are involved with the child. From the information gathered, the CASA will make recommendations to the judge as to what is in the best interest of the child. The term “best interest” is defined as “a safe, permanent home as quickly as possible”. As objective observers, they explain the legal events to the child and allow the child to explain his or her own feelings, hopes, and opinions. CASA volunteers are not mentors, but advocates on behalf of children, and the child’s wishes are also expressed to the court.
What does being a CASA require?
A CASA volunteer must successfully complete a minimum of 30 hours of training plus three sessions of court room observation prior to their first case assignment. Each CASA volunteer must spend a minimum of 6 hours per month with the child for whom they are an advocate. In addition to time spent with the child, the volunteer will conduct an investigation to determine what will be a safe, permanent home as quickly as possible. Based on that information, the volunteer will submit a report to the court. A CASA is required to make a commitment to the program for 12 months or to a child until the resolution of their case, whichever comes first.
What are the qualifications?
A Montcalm CASA volunteer may be any interested citizen who is 21 years old, has a valid driver’s license, and has no history of abuse or neglect. A CASA must be screened, interviewed, trained, and sworn in by the Family Court Judge.
M-F: 8am - 4:30pm
5827 Orleans Road
Orleans MI 48865