FAQ for Caregivers
If the child in your care has a CASA, you probably have some questions. You can always ask the CASA volunteer any questions you have about the role. Here are some FAQs to get you started.
What is a CASA?
CASA stands for Court Appointed Special Advocate. CASAs are volunteers who act as the "eyes and ears” of the court and often acts as the “arms and legs” of an overworked child protective system. CASAs look out for the children they are appointed to, making sure that their needs are being met and advocating for their best interest in court. For example, a CASA might make sure the children are getting appropriate educational support at school and advocating for more sibling visits.
CASA volunteers are appointed by the Family Court Judge to advocate for the best interests of abused and neglected children. Some of the primary responsibilities of a CASA volunteer are to gather information about the child, by reviewing records and talking with the people in the child's life, to recommend appropriate services to meet the child's needs and support their well-being, to visit with the child at least once a month, and to attend meetings, such as school meetings, to advocate for the child.
Is a CASA a social worker?
No. CASAs are people from the community who have been specially trained to advocate in court for the child's best interest. CASAs do not provide direct services, such as therapy or legal advice. They are not social workers or lawyers; they are advocates.
How will CASA be involved in the life of the child in my care?
The CASA volunteer will visit with the child or children in your care at least once a month. This way, the CASA will get to know the child and will form a relationship with them, which will help the CASA determine what their best interest is.
CASAs will also gather a full picture of the child's life by talking with the people in the child's life, such as yourself, their teachers, therapists, social workers, etc.
What can I expect from a CASA volunteer?
You can expect to be in regular contact with the CASA appointed to the child in your care. You can expect your CASA to be polite and to conduct themselves in a professional manner.
What will CASA expect from me?
CASAs visit the children they are appointed to at least once a month. Your CASA will be in contact with you to arrange these visits. The CASA may also ask questions about various aspects of the child's life and well-being, such as school and health.
You may also contact the CASA volunteer with information, or to let the CASA know about milestones in your child's life. CASAs sometimes attend birthday parties and other events for the child they are appointed to.
What about confidentiality?
CASAs take an oath of confidentiality. They will not share any of your information or any information about the child in your care with anyone except the social worker and GAL. This means that the CASA will also not be able to share information with you. Any questions you have about your child's case should be directed to the social worker.
What if I have complaints?
If you have an issue with your child's CASA volunteer, you can contact the volunteer's staff supervisor or the executive director to address the issue. You can also file a formal grievance with the executive director. You can reach CASA staff at 859-624-4794.