You can become a CASA, Court Appointed Special Advocate, with specialized training available through San Joaquin County.
Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASAs) are volunteers, trained to advocate for children in foster care in the courtroom, classroom, and community. Volunteers are from all walks of life, from seniors, teachers, parents, young professionals, and others with a heart for kids. CASA of San Joaquin County matches each CASA with a staff member, who supports them on their case. CASA is the only nonprofit organization in San Joaquin County designated by the court to recruit, train, and lead CASA volunteers.
More than 1,400 children pass through San Joaquin’s foster care system annually. CASA of San Joaquin County operates as a program of the Child Abuse Prevention Council (CAPC). The CASA Program endeavors to ensure that abused, neglected and abandoned children who have become dependents of the San Joaquin County Court will have a safe and permanent home. Through a network of trained advocates, CASA of San Joaquin County will work closely with the court, Human Service Agency, the child’s legal counsel and community agencies to identify and protect the best interests of each child in the consideration of recommending permanent placement for the child.
CASA of San Joaquin County is currently recruiting community volunteers. CASA volunteers serve as the “eyes and ears” for the court, and provide a voice for the child throughout a sometimes very complicated court process. CASA of San Joaquin County provides the screening, training and ongoing support necessary to be successful advocates for the neediest of children in San Joaquin County. Volunteers are asked to give a minimum commitment of 18 months for the resolution of permanent placement for the CASA child. The CASA volunteer provides continuity by staying on the case until it is permanently resolved. Volunteers are expected to have contact with their CASA child every week, attend court hearings as needed, and provide written reports to the court. The written reports include all interviews, visits, and assessments taken by the CASA in regard to recommending a safe, permanent placement for the CASA child.
If you or someone you know is interested in becoming a CASA volunteer, contact CASA of San Joaquin County at 644-5372.
The next CASA volunteer training session will begin in February.