CASA stands for Court Appointed Special Advocates.
When a child enters the foster care system because his or her home is no longer safe, a judge appoints a committed volunteer from CASA of the Pines to help them.
Our official title in court is Guardian Ad Litem, a role required by law in the state of Texas. CASA Guardians ad Litem advocate in court for the best interests of neglected and abused children in foster care to help insure their placement in safe, permanent homes.
Volunteers research case records and speak to everyone involved in a child’s life, including their family members, teachers, doctors, lawyers, social workers and others. They investigate, evaluate and make recommendations to the judge who has the responsibility of determining the child’s permanent placement.
CASA volunteers are committed people – teachers, business people, retirees, stay-at-home moms and grandparents – who want to make certain that foster children have safe homes.
CASA volunteers receive extensive training prior to working with a child as well as ongoing support throughout a case:
CASA volunteers undergo a thorough training and development program that consists of at least 30 hours of pre-service training, followed by 12 hours of yearly in-service training.
CASA advocates are supervised and supported every step of the way by CASA staff.
The CASA volunteer commitment is about 15 hours a month until the case is closed. The length of each case varies but could last over a year.
CASA volunteers are asked to commit to a child’s case until it is closed and a child achieves a safe, permanent home.