Volunteer With CASA
What is CASA?
children deserve shelter and love. Yet, each year in Williamson County, nearly 1,000
children are abused, neglected or
abandoned by their own families. Removed from their homes and placed in foster
care or institutions, they eventually end up in court where a judge decides
their fate. Should they remain in foster
care? Be reunited with parents? Or adopted? In these cases, many children also
become victims a second time - lost in an overburdened child welfare system
that cannot pay close attention to each child whose life is in its hands.
where CASA comes in. CASA volunteers are Court Appointed Special Advocates for
children; they are trained community volunteers appointed by a judge to speak
for abused and neglected children in court.
They are unpaid volunteers whose goal is to expedite the process through which the abused and
neglected children in Williamson County can find safe and permanent homes.
All children have a right to a home with
loving people to care for them. Our local CASA program provides ongoing training and support for every volunteer. Each volunteer is assigned a case supervisor or Volunteer Coordinator who is a resource for the volunteer every step of the way.
What is the Role of a CASA Child Advocate?
volunteers are ordinary people - except when they're viewed through the eyes of
a child in a courtroom. Then they seem
like the most special people in the world!
Varied in educational backgrounds and career paths, volunteers need the following qualifications:
- interest in children, their rights and special needs
- interpersonal skills
- communication skills- oral and written
- minimum age requirement is 21
- no criminal history
- organizational skills
volunteers are screened carefully.
Objectivity, competence and commitment are vital to being a successful
volunteer. Those who complete the
screening process undergo in-depth training, which is conducted by our local
receive a thorough working knowledge of the court system and the people
involved, including the roles of judges, lawyers, and social workers.
volunteers are also taught effective advocacy techniques, and learn about a
variety of relevant topics, from adolescent behavior to signs of sexual abuse.
CASA volunteer functions in many roles including those of:
- Investigators: through independent investigation on behalf of the child
they represent, including interviews with medical professionals, mental health
staff, neighbors, family, school officials, law enforcement personnel and the
- Monitor: through through
ensuring that court-ordered services are provided to the child and family and
that the case progresses;
- Spokesperson: through assuring
that the child understands that their own options or interests may prevail over
the adults who have abused or neglected them, that the child's wishes are heard
and that the best interest of the child is presented to the court and agencies
dealing with the child; and
- Reporter: through the presentation of information to the court in
written form and oral testimony at each hearing in the proceedings to assist
the court in determining what is in the child's best interest.
volunteers are highly trained and knowledgeable, judges rely on their
recommendations in determining what’s best for an abused child. By standing up for abused children,
volunteers not only change the life of one child, but also the lives of their
children and their children’s children.
is the volunteer's duty to focus exclusively on the child's best interests and
express the child's needs and point of view. The advocate's in-depth knowledge
of the case provides the judge with the information necessary to make tough
Why Volunteer to be a CASA Child Advocate?
CASA volunteers are central to fulfilling society’s most fundamental obligation
by making sure a qualified, compassionate adult will fight for a child’s right
to be safe, treated with dignity, and learn and grow in the security of a
loving family. Abused children need
volunteers who can apply their professional and life skills to stand up for
their safety and well-being. A
volunteer who stands up for an abused child will make a real difference in
their own life as well as the life of the child. Abused children need an army of compassionate
adults who fight for their safety and well-being. The lives of foster children are hanging in
the balance, they need your help and they need it now. By standing up for abused children, a
volunteer can help prevent a child from languishing for years in foster care.
Recently we celebrated Father's Day. Many of these children do not have a father involved in their lives, and others do not have any kind of family connection. They say nobody loves them, nobody cares about them. You can help to fill that void. Become a CASA Volunteer.
If you are interested in becoming a Volunteer, please download and complete the following forms: