STEPS TO BECOME A VOLUNTEER
A Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) is a trained volunteer appointed by a judicial officer to provide advocacy for a child who is under the jurisdiction of the courts due to abuse or neglect. The CASA serves as the “eyes and ears” of the judge for children in foster care. Volunteers spend time with children, monitor needed services, and provide child-focused recommendations to the court based on the best interest of the children they serve. As a Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA), you would establish and maintain contact with a child, interview social workers, teachers, and others professionals involved and submit a written recommendation to the court outlining what is best for the child. If you care and have about 10 hours a month to spend, being a CASA can be very gratifying work.
Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) volunteers are ordinary people doing extraordinary work for abused, neglected and abandoned children and youth in foster care in our community.
As sworn officers of the court, CASA volunteers are appointed by a juvenile court judge to advocate one-on-one for children and youth in foster care. As an advocate you will be a powerful voice for a child or youth during their uncertain journey in the foster care system.
You don’t have to be a lawyer or social worker. CASA of Sonoma County will provide you with the training you need to succeed.
CASA volunteers come from various walks of life. They share the willingness and ability to commit two years, and 10 hours a month, to a foster child or youth to make a difference.
Step 1: Sign up for an Informational Session (Orientation).
We offer Orientation Sessions that are designed so every participant leaves with a clear understanding of what it means to be a CASA volunteer. Attending an Informational Session is required for each potential volunteer before submitting an application. Our executive director Heloisa Heinen will meet you personally to assist in your decision making process and encourages you to review our CASA Volunteer Brochure prior to the orientation.
Upcoming Orientation Sessions:
Tuesdays & Wednesdays at 10:00 am, 11:00 am or 12:00 pm.
Call 707-565-6375 to sign up or click here to send an email. Orientations take place in our Sonoma County office in Santa Rosa.
Step 2: Excited to be a CASA volunteer?
To be scheduled for an interview, you will need:
- Copy of your driver license
- Copy of your automobile proof-of-insurance card
Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) Application:
Thank you for your interest in becoming a CASA volunteer and taking time to complete our application. This application takes approximately 30 minutes to complete and must be submitted before your pre-training interview.
- PLEASE NOTE: THIS APPLICATION CAN ONLY BE SUBMITTED ELECTRONICALLY. The application cannot be saved so you need to complete it in one sitting. You do have the ability to print a copy of the application so you can review the questions and gather information before getting started.
- You will be asked for 3 references. One reference from a recent employer (or volunteer role), one from someone who has seen you interact with children, and one personal reference. Please provide complete and current emails.
- All information provided is held in the strictest confidence and is encrypted and safeguarded against electronic tampering by Optima.
- Be sure to press the “SUBMIT” button at the end.
You can open the application by clicking here or by pasting the following link into your browser: https://ca-sonoma.evintosolutions.com/VolunteerApplication
Contact our Training Coordinator
707-565-6375 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Step 3: Congratulations! You’ve completed the interview process and all required security screening and have been accepted into Volunteer Initial Training. The next step is to complete Volunteer Initial Training, which consists of 40 hours of classroom training, and post-training site visits to other organizations assisting our youth.
CASA of Sonoma County conducts quarterly training sessions each year which are held in the fall, winter and spring and summer. Classes are taught by CASA staff, volunteers, and experienced professionals from the various disciplines and agencies who work with foster children during the dependency process.
Step 4: After you complete Volunteer Initial Training and are sworn in as an officer of the juvenile court, the final step in the process is to be matched with the child or youth that you will advocate for.