Service to others is the rent you pay for your room here on Earth.
The smallest act of kindness is worth more than the grandest intention.
The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others.
Life’s most persistent and urgent question is, What are you doing for others?
How you can help
Every day across the Commonwealth a child is removed from their home, a victim of abuse or neglect, through no fault of their own. They are placed into an unknown world of foster care and family court. They need a friend. They need a voice. They need a CASA.
CASA stands for Court Appointed Special Advocates. We are trained community volunteers who work with foster families, the Family Court System, and the KY Cabinet for Health and Family Services. We serve as an extra set of ears and eyes for the Judge presiding over the case. Bur most importantly, we are the voice of the child during this time.
Requirements of a CASA
A CASA Volunteer undergoes 30 hours of training, as well as completing 12 hours of annual in-service training while active in the program. To become a CASA, a volunteer
- Must be at least 21 years old
- Must pass multiple state and national background checks
- Must not be an active foster home
- Must not be directly connected to an open case with the Cabinet of Health and Family Services
- Must be willing to fulfill the duties of a CASA
Duties of a CASA
So what exactly does a CASA do?
- A CASA will meet with the child at least once every month
- A CASA will meet regularly and as needed with other key stakeholders on the case, such as social workers, foster parents, therapists, attorneys, and anyone else that the CASA deems necessary to meet with to successfully advocate for the child.
- A CASA will submit written reports to the court and the family court judge two weeks prior to each court hearing
- A CASA will attend all court hearings to be the voice of the child
- A CASA, while working with many parties and their interests, will always remember that their ultimate purpose is the serve as the voice of the child and advocate for what is in the best interest of that child.
Traits of a CASA
What makes a good CASA? What things do our Advocates have in common beyond their training?
- Compassionate – First and foremost a CASA must have a strong sense of compassion and caring for children in need of help. We can train you in most of the skills you will need – but the baseline of compassion is what you bring to the equation.
- Organized – A CASA needs to be organized. You will take notes. You will schedule visits. You will enter reports in our online information portal.
- Observant – A CASA needs to observe the child, his/her environment, actions, reactions, attitudes – look for those things that will reveal themselves to you that will either support or question your views.
- Diligent – A CASA must do the work. Your child counting on you to be their voice.
- Timely – A CASA must meet deadlines. The last thing we want is for a hearing to be delayed for 3 months because a CASA failed to file a court report.