Court Appointed Special Advocate Volunteer
The Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) is a volunteer advocate appointed by the District Court Judge for abused and neglected children who are involved in the legal system in Fort Bend County. The Court Appointed Special Advocate will review the facts of the case, recommend a course of action to the court, explain the court’s findings to the child and family, facilitate the resolution of the presenting problems and monitor progress toward established goals.
- Read the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services case record and discuss with the CPS Caseworker
- Interview all parties, clients and professionals involved in the assigned case
- Investigate all placement alternatives available to the child
- Conduct a home study with the CASA Volunteer Supervisor and share the information obtained with the CPS Caseworker
- Maintain written records of all findings, dates of contacts and names of persons interviewed
- Report the status of the case to the Volunteer Supervisor on a bi-weekly basis
- Attend staffings concerning the child
- Discuss the court report and recommendations with the CASA Volunteer Supervisor prior to preparing the court report
- Prepare and submit a typed draft of all court reports to the CASA Volunteer Supervisor at least 10 days prior to scheduled hearings
- Appear at all court hearings and testify according to the written court report, adding any new information not contained in the report
- Monitor the case to ensure court orders are being carried out, services to the child are being furnished and placement is appropriate
- Visit the child at least once a month
- Keep the case activity information and submit volunteer hours to the CASA Volunteer Supervisor by the first day of each month using the Volunteer Hours Form
- Over 21 years of age
- Complete application, interview, background screening (CPS, DPS and fingerprinting)
- Complete Volunteer Pre-Service Training (30 hours) conducted by Child Advocates of Fort Bend
- Have a concern for children and the genuine desire to help
- Ability to work within the guidelines, policies and standards of Child Advocates of Fort Bend
- Sign a Statement of Commitment to serve a minimum of 1 year
- Ability to work as part of a team and to receive guidance and direction
- Good human relations skills, willingness to be objective and have sensitivity toward cultural/ethnic differences
- Sound oral and written skills
- Ability to maintain confidentiality at all times
What do CASA Volunteers do?
CASA Volunteers provide advocacy, mentoring and support to the children. They visit the child on a regular basis to find out about their living situation, health, education and emotional needs. They also contact others in the child’s life – teachers, doctors, biological parents and family members, foster parents, coaches, relatives and others who can give pertinent information about the child.
What do CASA Volunteers do in the legal system?
Appointed as Guardians ad Litem under the Texas Family Code to represent the child’s “best interests” in the legal system, they submit court reports to the judge and give verbal testimony about the child’s physical, mental, educational and emotional needs in court. They are the voice of the child in the courtroom.
How are volunteers appointed to cases?
When the judge grants CPS custody of a child, he/she appoints a trained CASA Volunteer to make independent recommendations to help the judge make decisions regarding the child’s case.
For more information about what CASA Volunteers do, view our FAQs or check out www.becomeaCASA.org.