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Why Volunteer?

Change a Child's Story

Step forward to help a child who needs a voice in SLO County. CASA Volunteers, are officers of the court, who objectively represent a child’s best interest.

Who Can Be an Advocate?

Can you be a CASA volunteer? All it really takes is a caring heart.

What more do you need? Well, specifically, be 21 years old, complete the training we provide, attend a swearing in with the judge, then spend about an hour or two a week visiting your assigned child. Twice a year the court needs a report (which your assigned supervisor will happily help you with) based upon your observations. On any given day, our county has about 500 children under court supervision. Each one desperately needs a dedicated, caring adult to be a consistent presence in their life and speak for their best interests to their school and the court.

What exactly does a CASA volunteer advocate do?

The largest part of every Advocate’s responsibility is to get to know their assigned child, typically through weekly visits. Your ultimate goal is to get to know your assigned child and thereby help the child find permanency where they can thrive. The CASA volunteer learns the details of the child’s life by reviewing records, researching information, and talking to everyone involved in the child’s life–social workers, attorneys, judges, parents, teachers, and family members. Based on what is learned by researching, and knowing, the child, the CASA volunteer makes recommendations to the court that help the judge decide the best permanent home.

Why does the Advocate do this?

Because no one else is specifically focused on the exact needs of this one child. The court has determined the parents’ neglect, the Social Worker has many other cases to monitor, and foster parents are not charged with this responsibility. Plus, all of these people may change! As a CASA volunteer advocate, you may well be the only consistent person in this child’s life, the only person who represents to the system what the child needs, and what is best for the child.

A child in the court’s care is frightened, removed from all they know, and often changes residences repeatedly. For these children, a CASA volunteer may be the only constant during this frightening, uncertain time. Few volunteer roles have such a critical and immediate impact on the life of a child as that of a CASA volunteer advocate!

Real life example:  of how many people one San Luis Obispo child reported to during just two months (there were more before CASA was assigned).

What is Involved

Steps to becoming a CASA volunteer advocate