Frequently Asked Questions
- What is C.A.S.A?
- What is the C.A.S.A Volunteer’s Role?
- How does a C.A.S.A volunteer investigate a case?
- Is there a “typical” C.A.S.A volunteer?
- How much time does it require?
- How does a C.A.S.A volunteer differ from a social service caseworker?
- How does a C.A.S.A volunteer differ from an attorney?
- Do Lawyers, judges and social caseworkers support C.A.S.A?
- How many C.A.S.A programs are there?
- Are there any other agencies or groups that provide the same service?
What is C.A.S.A?
A Court Appointed Special Advocate (C.A.S.A) is a trained volunteer who is appointed by the judge to represent the best interests of a child currently under the jurisdiction of the Juvenile Dependency court.
What is the C.A.S.A Volunteer’s Role?
A C.A.S.A volunteer provides a judge with recommendations that help the court make a sound decision about that child’s future. Each case is as unique as the child involved.
How does a C.A.S.A volunteer investigate a case?
To Prepare a court report, the C.A.S.A volunteer talks with the child, parents, family members, social workers, school officials, health providers, and others who are knowledgeable about the child’s history. The C.A.S.A volunteer also reviews all records pertaining to the child, i.e. school, medical, caseworker reports and other documents.
Is there a “typical” C.A.S.A volunteer?
C.A.S.A volunteers come from all walks of life, with a variety of professional, educational and ethnic backgrounds. Aside from their C.A.S.A volunteer work, 85% are employed in regular full-time jobs. Two-thirds of the volunteers nationwide are women, one-third are men.
How does a C.A.S.A volunteer differ from a social service caseworker?
Social workers are generally employed by state or county governments. They sometimes work on as many as 40 to 50 cases at a time and are frequently unable to conduct a comprehensive investigation of each case. The C.A.S.A worker is a volunteer with more time and a smaller caseload (on the average 1 to 2). The C.A.S.A volunteer does not replace a social worker on a case; he or she is an independent appointee of the court.
Are there any other agencies or groups that provide the same service?
No. There are other child advocacy organizations, but C.A.S.A is the only program where volunteers are appointed by the court to have the specific responsibility of looking after the child’s best interest.