An advocate is the heart of CASA Jefferson’s mission. Advocates are the eyes, ears, and most importantly, the voices for abused and neglected children in the court. These Advocates are trained and supervised to gather information to make recommendations so that judges decide the best possible outcome for the children in foster care.
What do children gain from having a CASA Advocate?
Children with a CASA advocate gain a voice in the court. Advocates provide constant support and are a source of hope in a child’s life during a very uncertain and lengthy time. CASA advocates help children access resources and services they need to heal from their abuse or neglect as well as providing recommendations to the court that can expedite the process ensuring a better outcome in the best interest of the child.
National research shows that children assigned an Advocate are:
- More likely to find a permanent home
- Less likely to enter the foster care system
- Spending on average eight months less time in long-term foster care than children without and Advocate
- Offered more services
- More likely to improve their performance in schools
(Statistics taken from Child Maltreatment Report 2012 and the National CASA Association)
What is the goal of an Advocate?
CASA Advocates make recommendations to the court based on a child’s best interest. Advocates get to know the children, review records, research information, make visits to the temporary home, and talk to everyone in the child’s life including teachers, family members, attorneys, social workers, and judges. While some children are reunited with their parents or relatives and others make connections with their adoptive family, the ultimate goal is to ensure a safe and permanent home where they can thrive.
What kind of person is a CASA advocate?
A CASA Advocate is you.
An Advocate does not need legal expertise or experience.
An Advocate is committed. The vast majority of cases last one to two years, and the amount of time spent on a case per month typically ranges between 8-10 hours. Volunteers must make case time a priority in order to provide quality advocacy.
An Advocate is objective. Volunteers research case records and speak to everyone involved in a child’s life, including their family members, foster parents, teachers, doctors, lawyers, social workers and others. Their third-party evaluations are based on facts, evidence and testimonies.
Advocates must be 21 years of age or older, undergo a background check and take part in a personal interview.
Become an Advocate