Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) are committed volunteers that take on the role of advocating for the best interest of a child in court and other settings.
The services provided by a CASA volunteer are the following:
The CASA conducts an independent investigation on behalf of the child they represent. This investigation can include interviews with medical professionals, mental health staff, sources in the neighborhood, the child's family, school officials, law enforcement personnel, and the child themselves.
The CASA helps to assure that court-ordered services are provided to the child and family, and monitors the case progress.
CASAs' are the advocate for the child during the difficult judicial process. Children are often unable to articulate their hurts, fears and needs. They may not know that their own opinions or interests may prevail over the adults who have abused or neglected them. The CASA is the spokesperson who assures that the child's wishes are heard and that the best interest of the child is presented to the court and agencies dealing with the child.
The CASA presents information to the court in written form and oral testimony at each hearing (approximately every six months) in the proceedings to assist the court in determining what is in the child's best interest.