Stevens County

C A S A


 

        215 South Oak Street, Room # 114, Colville, WA 99114
            Telephone: (509) 685-0673, TTY: (800) 833-6388,  Email:
casa@co.stevens.wa.us
          Office Hours: Monday - Friday  8:00AM - 4:00 PM

 

 

Frequently Asked Questions

Page last updated:  November 22, 2016

     
 

What do children gain from having a CASA volunteer?

 
  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 provide better outcomes for children under the court'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.  
   
   
   
     
 

What do CASA Volunteers Do?

 
  CASA volunteers listen first.  Then they act.

Volunteers get to know the child by talking with everyone in that child's life: parents and relatives, foster parents, teachers, medical professionals, attorneys, social workers and others. They use the information they gather to inform judges and others of what the child needs and what will be the best permanent home for them.

 
   
   
   
     
 

Who can Be a Volunteer?

 
  You do not have to be a lawyer or social worker to be a volunteer. We welcome people from all walks of life. We are simply looking for people who care about children and have common sense. As a volunteer, you will be thoroughly trained and well supported by professional staff to help you through each case.

You must pass a background check, participate in a 30-hour pre-service training course and agree to stay with a case until it is closed (a year and a half on average).

 
   
   
   
   
     
 

How much time does it take to be a CASA Volunteer?

 
  All volunteers must complete a 30-hour pre-service training. The time commitment to a case varies depending upon the stage of the case. Volunteers sometimes say that there is a greater amount of work in the beginning of the case, when they are conducting their initial research. On average, you can expect to spend approximately 10-15 hours a month on a case.  
   
   
     
 

Do I need to make a long-term commitment to the program?

 
  You are asked to dedicate yourself to a case until it is closed. The average case lasts about a year and a half. Most CASA/GAL programs require that a volunteer commit to serve for at least one year.  
   
     
 

Do I need to have any special skills or meet any requirements?

 
  No special background or education is required to become a CASA volunteer. We encourage people from all cultures and professions, and of all ethnic and educational backgrounds. Once accepted into the program, you will receive all necessary training in courtroom procedures, social services, the juvenile justice system and the special needs of abused and neglected children.
 
 
   
   
  Requirements include:
  • Be 21 years old
  • Be willing to complete necessary background checks, provide references and participate in an interview
  • Complete a minimum of 30 hours of pre-service training
  • Be available for court appearance, with advance notice
  • Be willing to commit to the CASA program until your first case is closed
 
   
   
   
   
     
 

Exactly what does a CASA volunteer do?

 
  CASA volunteers are appointed by judges to advocate for the best interests of abused and neglected children in court and other settings.  The primary responsibilites of a CASA volunteer are to:  
   
   
 
  • Gather information: Review documents and records, interview the children, family members and professionals in their lives.
  • Document findings: Provide written reports at court hearings
  • Appear in court: Advocate for the child's best interests and provide testimony when necessary.
  • Explain what is going on:  Help the child understand the court proceedings.
  • "Be the glue": Seek cooperative solutions among individuals and organizations involved in the children's lives.  As one volunteer said: Be the glue that connects the pieces in a complicated child welfare system.
  • Recommend Services: Ensure that the children and their family are receiving appropriate services and advocate for those that are not immediately available.  Bring concerns about the child's health, education, mental health, etc. to the appropriate professionals.
  • Monitor case plans and court orders: Check to see that plans are being followed and mandated review hearings are being held.
  • Keep the court informed:  Update the court on developments with agencies and family members.  Ensure that appropriate motions are filed on behalf of the child so the court knows about any changes in the child's situation.
 
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
 

 

 
 

What sort of support will I receive?

 
  You will be supported every step of the way.  You will have opportunities for continuing education and have access to online resources provided by National CASA, including a resource library, national Facebook community and Washington State conference.