CASA Volunteer Questions Answered: Court Dates, Reports, Support, Time, and Training
Have you been interested in volunteering and giving time to better the lives of children in your community? CASA volunteers are not only superheroes to the children but also children’s champions in the eyes of the community.
Interested in volunteering for children and being a CASA Volunteer?
Do you have questions about the specifics as a volunteer?
Help children who through no fault of their own, enter Abuse/ Neglect Courts within the 16th Judicial Court system. If you are looking for a way to volunteer and make a huge impact this is your opportunity! Get more information about the process HERE.
Below we provide answers to some Frequently Asked Questions about volunteering with children and being a CASA/GAL Volunteer.
Are CASA volunteers trained, supervised, and supported?
Yes, most definitely. CASA Kane County has a training program of nearly 50 hours of pre-service. All volunteers are then matched with an advocate supervisor who is a member of the CASA staff. The training and education team also provide individual guidance, support, and additional education during their time as an advocate. The supervisor oversees and manages the day-to-day case requirements and needs.
Does the three-year commitment apply to everyone?
Yes. We ask that all CASA volunteers, regardless of their situation, commit to volunteering with us for a minimum of three years or as long as the case is open for the child’s consistency. Remember they constantly have people coming in and out of their lives and need that one person they know they can count on.
What is the return home goal in Kane County for children who have experienced abused and neglected?
CASA holds the safety of children as its highest priority. Along with our Judiciary in Kane County we believe that if the return home goal can be accomplished safely then services are put into place. We are all supportive of reunification when it is in the best interest of the children involved. However, CASA will only advocate for children to return home if they can so safely, receiving the love, stability, and protection they deserve.
How much notice do CASA volunteers get on court dates?
Typically, a CASA volunteer will know their next court date at the conclusion of the current hearing. The court will set the date right at the hearing. The CASA office will also typically remind CASAs of their court dates a few weeks prior. For the CASA volunteers very first hearing, it will depend on when the CASA is appointed and when the next hearing is scheduled.
How legally savvy do CASA Volunteers have to be?
CASA volunteers are valuable because they come from all walks of life and can pull from a variety of professional and personal experiences. You don’t need to be a lawyer or legally savvy to be a great CASA.
How much documentation is needed for the case?
CASA volunteers use an online contact log to track all of the work that they do on a case. This includes face-to-face and phone conversations, reviewing records, attempting to contact, observing a visit, researching online, etc. Contact information is added for the CASA office to review the specifics and frequency of the case and after each time you visit a child.
Does the CASA volunteer always work with the same Advocate Supervisor?
During the course of a case, a CASA volunteer will most likely work with more than one Advocate Supervisor. The reasons for a change could be due to a high volume of cases, staff turnover, or reductions in the number of staff. Whatever the reason, it is always very important for the CASA to build a strong relationship with whoever is assigned to the case.
Are there regular training opportunities CASA volunteers, whether local or national?
CASA schedules regular meetings and special in-service trainings for CASA volunteers throughout the year to meet the national and local requirements of their pre and post service training. Additionally, there are many other training opportunities available to CASAs in the area through other community and statewide organizations. Our training and education team will be able to provide you with more information about all of your in-service training options.
What happens if CASA volunteers are unavailable to attend a court date?
While attendance at court hearings is a required duty of a CASA, we understand that emergencies may arise that prevent attendance. Should this occur, the CASA volunteer should contact their supervisor, who may either attend for the CASA or ask that a mentor CASA do so.
Want More Information About Volunteering for Children with CASA?
Take the first step and follow these steps online or attend a General Information Meeting in Person:
- CASA/GAL Volunteer General Info
- Becoming a CASA/GAL Volunteer Video
- CASA/GAL Role & Responsibilities
- Have More Questions? Answers to More FAQ’S
Follow the Link to find General Information Meeting Dates and Register:
CASA Kane County is nonprofit volunteer organization advocating for the best interest of children in abuse and neglect situations throughout Northern Illinois. CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocates/Guardian ad Litem) volunteers are specially trained to become the objective voice of a child for a judge.
CASA Kane County is currently seeking VOLUNTEERS! To learn more and Change a Child’s Story, please visit the organization’s website at www.casakanecounty.org or call 630-232-4484.