Volunteer Job Description

Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) are trained volunteers whose role is to advocate for the best interests of abused and neglected children in the Champaign County Juvenile Court system.

Qualifications

The CASA Advocate must be an adult and have the following qualifications:

  • Age 21 or older
  • Possess emotional maturity, stability, and common sense
  • Be objective and flexible
  • Exhibit self-assurance and assertiveness
  • Have the ability to deal with hostility and rejection
  • Be able to keep information confidential
  • Be able to work within established guidelines
  • Have the ability to interview, observe, listen, and analyze written material
  • Be able to write clearly and concisely
  • Have the ability to make decisions and set goals
  • Be willing to commit to the program for a minimum of 24 months
  • Accountability

Upon successful completion of pre-service training, background, and reference checks, the CASA Advocate will be formally accepted as an advocate at the official swearing-in ceremony. The CASA Advocate reports directly to either the Executive Director or Volunteer Coordinator.

Requirements

  1. Attend training arranged by the CASA office
    • Attend the pre-service training (30 hours)
    • Complete 10 hours of staff supervision and in-service training, and 6 hours of court watching
    • Attend 12 hours of in-service training per year (continuing education)
  2. Complete an intensive independent investigation of the case
    • Interview the child and all relevant parties to the case
    • Review appropriate records and reports—DCFS, schools, healthcare, etc.
    • Participate in case conferences concerning the child
    • Observe the child at least once per month and significant others as needed
    • Determine and assess the child/ren’s permanency options
    • Advocate that appropriate services be provided for the child and family
  3. Report findings to the Court
    • Provide a written report containing factual information
    • Provide the Court with as clear a statement as possible to what is in the child’s best interest; research/investigate available placement alternatives for the child including, but not limited to, relatives, foster care, and group homes
    • If appropriate, submit supplemental written reports to the court concerning changes in circumstances, recommendations for modifications in disposition, or compliance with the court orders
  4. Ensure representation of child’s best interest
    • Attend all Court proceedings to see that all relevant facts are presented
    • Attend appropriate interagency meetings regarding the child or family
    • Monitor the case following a Court hearing or decision as designated by the court
    • Attend administrative case review (ACRs), individual education plan (IEPs), and any other meetings regarding the child/ren or family
    • Continue contact with the child, family, or others (as ordered by the court) to monitor progress
  5. Consult with the CASA office
    • Review the case plan and set goals
    • Discuss preliminary findings
    • Review progress in the case
    • Review court report
  6. Submit volunteer information monthly
    • Case contact hours, time spent in court, and mileage/long distance phone calls (for reimbursement purposes only)
    • In-service hours (continuing education)