Frequently Asked Questions
CASA stands for Court-Appointed Special Advocates. Atlanta CASA is a non-profit organization of volunteers who are voices for abused and neglected children. The courts appoint CASA volunteers to gather information and make recommendations to help judges decide what is best for each child. CASA is the only volunteer organization that empowers everyday citizens as officers of the court. As a CASA, you would establish and maintain contact with a child. CASAs are community volunteers who are professionally trained to gather information about the child and his/her family, identify needs and possible services, speak on behalf of the child in court and monitor court orders and case plans to make sure that the case is moving forward. Responsibilities include meeting with the child monthly; talking with case managers, parents, and foster parents; and writing reports for and attending court hearings.
CASA volunteers are a source of hope and support for child victims as they wait for the courts to decide where they may safely live. Advocates help children access the services they need to heal from their abuse, and the information and recommendations CASA volunteers provide help to expedite the court process and deliver better outcomes for children under the state’s protection. For many abused children, CASA is the only constant during a frightening, uncertain time. A CASA volunteer can make an immediate and critical impact on the life of a child.
CASA volunteers undergo 40 hours of initial training and 12 hours of continuing education each year. Each volunteer advocate works with a CASA staff supervisor who provides guidance throughout the court process.
Yes. Judges depend on CASA volunteers to help keep them better informed about each child’s case. They want CASA volunteers on every case in their courts. Still, currently, Atlanta CASA can serve only 35% of the children who need CASA volunteers. A child is waiting for your help.
Our volunteers come from all walks of life, and most are employed full-time. Volunteers must be 21 or older, undergo a background check, and take part in a personal interview. Volunteer advocates are patient, open-minded people who have good communication skills, a history of following through on commitments, and a willingness to accept guidance. Above all, they care about children.
It will generally range from fifteen to twenty hours per month. Most of this time can be spent in the evenings or on weekends. Still, there are approximately eight to ten court hearings per year, as well as phone calls and occasional meetings during working hours. To share the volunteer responsibilities, some volunteers partner with a friend, a spouse, or another relative who also is a volunteer advocate.
Children of all racial, ethnic, and cultural backgrounds enter protective care. To serve these children effectively, Atlanta CASA maintains a pool of volunteers, staff, and supporters who reflect the diversity of our community. Racial, ethnic, and cultural diversity allows us to recognize and respond to the needs of individual children and to offer informed, culturally competent advocacy.
Attend a 60-minute information session. Learn more.
Whether you choose to volunteer a few hours per week in our office or provide volunteer support for one of our special events, your time and talents are valuable to us. Check Eventbrite to sign up for other helpful volunteer roles such as:
- Fundraising volunteers
- Administration volunteers
- Event volunteers