Every year thousands of children fall victim to abuse, neglect or abandonment. These children become victimized and may be lost in the child welfare system. The CASA program believes that every child has the right to a safe, nurturing, and permanent home, and deserves the support and involvement of their community to make this all possible.
Our CASA volunteers represent the best interest of the abused and neglected children in Juvenile Court. A CASA volunteer is a trained advocate who is appointed by the Judge to provide consistency for the child and ensure that their special needs and best interests are adequately represented in court. A CASA volunteer is appointed to one case at a time and remains on the case until it is closed.
CASA volunteers come from all walks of life. They have a variety of professional, educational, and ethnic backgrounds. No special experience is required. Volunteers are selected on their objectivity, competence, and commitment. A potential volunteer must be at least 21 years of age and meet all CASA volunteer requirements.
Once accepted, volunteers are trained in Howard County Juvenile courtroom procedures, the social service and court systems, and the special needs of children who have been abused and/or neglected. The CASA submits reports to the judge prior to the court hearings to ensure the child's best interests are represented.
CASA volunteers are Everyday Heroes; people just like you who have chosen to speak up for a child.
To volunteer fill out the CASA Volunteer Application !
The CASA Program of Howard County, Inc. was established in 1986. Our program averages around 150 children, many of which currently do not have a CASA.
The mission of CASA is to speak for the best interests of abused and neglected children in our Juvenile court system. We promote and support quality volunteer representation for children to provide each child a safe, permanent, and nurturing home.
Please consider volunteering your time to help a child today!
Our dedicated volunteers come from all walks of life, and most are employed full-time. Commitment to children, objectivity, open-mindness, tenacity and great communication skills are several of the key characteristics of great court appointed advocate volunteers.
We'll teach you the rest through a comprehensive volunteer training program that empowers individuals to become effective advocates. Our CASA volunteers are provided guidance throughout the court process. Volunteers must be 21 years old or older, a high school graduate, undergo a background check and have regular access to the internet.
Frequently Asked Questions
- What kind of training do CASA volunteers receive?
Offered several times each year, our interactive training provides 32 hours of instructor-based training to prepare and empower individuals who are interested in becoming a CASA volunteer.
- 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. Information gathered by CASA volunteers for the judge helps expedite the court process and provide better outcomes for children under the court's protection. A CASA can make an immediate and critical impact on the life of a child.
- What is the time commitment required?
On average, CASA volunteers spend about 8-10 hours a month on each case. This time includes home visits, phone calls, team meetings, court hearings, emails and report writing. CASA of Howard County requests that a volunteer stay with their child through the entire court process or life of their case.
- Are CASA volunteers really important to the court and child welfare process?
Yes! Judges depend on CASA volunteers to help keep them better informed about each child's case. Typically a CASA volunteer only has 1-3 children assigned to them, so they are able to provide detail and a clear picture of what is happening in a child's life.
- Is it dangerous?
Our CASA volunteer's safety is of the utmost importance! Over the past 20 years there have been no incidents where a volunteer has been harmed, and the continued safety of our CASA volunteer is a priority. It is never mandatory for a CASA volunteer to enter a house, neighborhood, team meeting (for whatever the reason) if he/she feels uncomfortable. In a situation where the CASA does not feel safe, the supervising advocate will make the necessary arrangements.
Howard County Courthouse CASA Program of Howard County, Inc.
104 N. Buckeye, Room 100
Kokomo, IN 46901