Age Minimum (with Adult): 21+, Minimum Age:21+
CASA Volunteer Advocate
The mission of Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) is to provide trained community volunteers to advocate for the best interests of children who come to the attention of the court primarily as a result of abuse or neglect. Our goal is to assure that a permanent home is found for each child and that their chance for a stable, healthy life begins at the earliest stage of the judicial process. CASA Nashville has been serving the children and families of Davidson County for more than 30 years and is part of the National CASA Network.
What does it mean to be a CASA volunteer advocate?
Becoming a CASA volunteer advocate is an investment of time, energy and heart. But as one volunteer said and many have echoed: "It wasn't about what I gave them, it was what they showed me." CASA volunteer advocates listen first. Then they act. Volunteers are advocates for children who are in the juvenile court system due to allegations of abuse and neglect. These are the most vulnerable children in our city. Children with a CASA volunteer advocate are substantially less likely to spend time in long-term foster care and less likely to reenter care. Through your personal involvement, you can make a tremendous difference in the life of a child.
Exactly what does a CASA volunteer advocate do?
CASA volunteer advocates are appointed by judges to advocate for the best interests of children who have been abused or neglected, in court and other settings. The primary responsibilities of a CASA volunteer advocate are to:
- Gather information: Review documents and records, and interview the children, family members and professionals in their lives.
- Document findings: Provide written reports at court hearings.
- Appear in court: Advocate for the child's best interests and provide testimony when necessary.
- Explain what is going on: Help the child understand the court proceedings.
- Seek cooperative solutions: Seek solutions among individuals and organizations involved in the children's lives.
- Recommend services: Ensure that the children and their family are receiving appropriate services and advocate for those that are not immediately available. Bring concerns about the child's health, education, mental health, etc. to the appropriate professionals.
- Monitor case plans and court orders: Check to see that plans are being followed and mandated review hearings are being held.
- Keep the court informed: Update the court on developments with agencies and family members. Ensure that appropriate motions are filed on behalf of the child, so the court knows about any changes in the child's situation.
How much time does it take to be a CASA volunteer advocate?
All volunteer advocates must complete a 33-hour pre-service training. Upon completion and being sworn in before the judge, CASA volunteer advocates continue their education for 12 hours annually. The time commitment to a case varies depending upon the stage of the case. Volunteer advocates sometimes say that there is a greater amount of work in the beginning of the case, when they are conducting their initial research. On average, you can expect to spend approximately 10 hours a month on a case.
Do I need to make a long-term commitment to the program?
You are asked to dedicate yourself to a case until it is closed. The average case lasts about a year and a half. We ask our volunteer advocates make a two-year commitment upfront.
Do I need to have any special skills or meet any requirements?
No special background or education is required to become a volunteer advocate. We encourage people from all cultures and professions, and of all ethnic and educational backgrounds. Once accepted into the program, you will receive all necessary training in courtroom procedures, social services, and the special needs of abused or neglected children. The CASA volunteer advocate must be able to attend all court proceedings and case reviews on behalf of the child. These hearings or meetings typically take place during the day, and we ask that our CASA volunteer advocates be relatively flexible.
- Be 21 years old
- Be willing to complete necessary background checks, provide references and participate in an interview
- Complete a minimum of 33 hours of pre-service training
- Be available for court appearances, with advance notice
- Be available to meet with your child once a month
- Be willing to commit to the program for two years
What sort of support will I receive?
You will be supported every step of the way by CASA Nashville's staff and your assigned Advocate Supervisor and have opportunities for continuing education and access to resources provided by CASA Nashville.
Log in or Register
In order to register for this opportunity you must log in to an existing account or register to create a new account.
Signup with team
This link allows you to participate in this opportunity with a team. When you click on the link you will have the option to:
- Choose an existing team you're already a member or captain of, or
- Create a new team to sign up.
Please respond to the following questions in order to signup for this opportunity: