Volunteer

Imagine the life of a child who has no guidance, no mentor, no sense of belonging - a young person confused and scared by the actions of the adults in his or her life. These are the children in our society at the greatest risk. They need compassionate, brave, driven men and women to help them through what should be the very best years of their life.

If you are interested in volunteering with Williamson County CASA, complete our volunteer application online  or see our advocate job description below. CASA volunteers come from all walks of life. The main requirement is a genuine desire to make a positive impact in a child’s life. Need more information? Here’s a list of frequently asked questions.

 

 
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Advocate Job Description

 

Position

Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA)

 

Reports to

CASA Program Director and/or CASA Advocate Director

 

Responsible to

CASA Executive Director and Williamson County Juvenile Court Judge

 

General Requirements

Each CASA must demonstrate the desire, willingness and ability to help a child. Volunteers must be at least 21 years of age, make at least a two year commitment, complete a 30 hour CASA training course and court observation hours, successfully pass a CASA background screening, receive supervision, work effectively alongside other “system” professionals, and report to the court.

 

Roles and Responsibilities

  • Establish a relationship with the child to better understand the child’s needs and desires. Meet withhim/her at least once a month.
  • Support the child throughout court proceedings: explain the court proceedings to the child (if ageappropriate), attend each hearing with or without the child, attend appropriate interagency meetingsregarding the child.
  • Explain the CASA volunteer's role, duties and responsibilities to all parties associated with the case. Review available records regarding the child's family history, school behavior, medical or mentalhealth history, etc.
  • Identify and explore potential resources that will facilitate family preservation, early familyreunification, or alternative permanency planning.
  • Interview all parties involved with the child regarding the child’s circumstances and needs, asdetermined by the CASA plan.
  • Communicate the child’s needs to the court in written reports including concerns andrecommendations.
  • Ensure that the court-ordered plans for the child are being implemented.
  • Communicate and coordinate efforts with the child’s case manager, probation officer, and/orGuardian ad Litem.
  • Comply with the National CASA Association standards.
  • Other duties and responsibilities as determined by the presiding Juvenile Court Judge or Magistrate.

 

 

Frequently Asked Questions

 

What is a CASA volunteer?

A CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocate) is a trained citizen who is appointed by the Judge to advocate for the best interests of abused and neglected children in court.

 

What is a CASA volunteer’s role?

CASA advocates provide the judge with carefully researched information about the child to help the court make a sound decision about that child’s future. They provide written reports to the court and follow through until that child reaches a safe, permanent home.

 

How does a CASA relate to the child?

CASA advocates offer children trust and advocacy during legal proceedings. They encourage the child to express his or her opinions and hopes, while maintaining their own objectivity.

 

How many cases do volunteers carry?

CASA volunteers typically carry one or two cases at a time.

 

How much time does it require?

It typically requires 10-20 hours a month per case until the case is resolved.

 

What kind of training is required?

CASA advocates complete a 30 hour training course and a mandatory court observation. All classes must be completed for a volunteer to graduate and be sworn in by the court as a CASA volunteer. Each volunteer must also complete 12 hours of continuing education every year after his or her first year of service.

 

What kind of person is a CASA volunteer?

CASA volunteers come from all walks of life. Volunteers must be 21 or older, undergo a background check, provide references and take part in a personal interview. Volunteer advocates are patient, open-minded people who have good communication skills, can maintain professionalism and objectivity, have a history of following through on commitments and a willingness to accept guidance. Above all, they care about children.

 

 
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Volunteer Schedule

In June 2016, the WCCASA staff will host another round of training for a group of interested advocates. Interest has been high, and we’re excited for this new session.

Training beings on June 15th, and each session is from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. The  volunteers who complete the 30-hour classroom requirements and mandatory court observation will be sworn in by Judge Guffee on June 27th in the Juvenile Court.

Though nearly full, there are a couple spots left in this June class. Training is by invitation only, please submit an application to be considered. To be considered for a future class contact the Executive Director, Marianne Schroer, at Marianne@WilliamsonCountyCASA.org.

Williamson County CASA Training Schedule – Summer 2016

  • Session 1: Introducing the CASA Volunteer Role & Session // Session 2: Law, Child Protection System and the Courts // Session 3: Developing Cultural Competence
    Wednesday, June 15th
    9:00 a.m.- 3:00 p.m. (Lunch/Snacks provided)
     
  • Session 4: Understanding Families- Part I // Session 5: Understanding Families – Part II // Session 6: Understanding Children
    Thursday, June 16th
    9:00 a.m.- 3:00 p.m. (Lunch/Snacks provided)
     
  • Session 7: Communicating as a CASA Volunteer & Session // Session 8: Practicing the CASA Volunteer Role – Gathering Information
    Friday, June 17th
    9:00 a.m.- 3:00 p.m. (Lunch/Snacks provided
     
  • Session 9: Practicing the CASA Volunteer Role – Reporting & Monitoring & Session // Session 10: Pulling it All Together
    Wednesday, June 22nd
    9:00 a.m.- 3:00 p.m. (Lunch/Snacks provided)
     
  • Court Observation
    Monday, June 20th and Tuesday, June 21st *subject to change
     
  • Graduation: Swearing In Ceremony
    Monday, June 27
    TIME TBD at the Williamson County Juvenile Court