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Frequent Questions

  1. What is a CASA volunteer?

    A Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) volunteer is a specially-trained citizen appointed by a family court judge to represent a child victim in cases of abuse and neglect.

  2. What does a CASA volunteer do?

    Advocating for the best interest of a child, a trained CASA provides a judge with carefully researched details about the child to help the court make a sound decision about that child’s future. He or she recommends to the judge what the child needs to be safe and what is in the best interest for a permanent home. The CASA makes recommendations to the judge in the form of a report, attends the child’s hearings and follows through on the case until it is permanently resolved.

  3. What training does a CASA volunteer receive?

    CASA volunteer advocates receive 30 hours of classroom instruction from program staff, and other professionals in our community. After the classroom instruction is complete the volunteer is sworn in by the family court judge. Thereafter, volunteers are required to fulfill 12 hours of in-service training per year.

  4. How does a CASA volunteer investigate a case?

    To prepare a recommendation, the CASA volunteer talks with the child, parents, family members, case managers, school officials, health providers, and others who are knowledgeable about the child’s history. The CASA volunteer also reviews all records pertaining to the child – school, medical, case manager reports, and other pertinent documents.

  5. How much time does it require?

    Each case is different. A CASA volunteer does research and conducts interviews prior to the first court appearance. Once initiated into the system, volunteer advocates work, on average, 10 hours per month depending on the complexity of the case to which they are assigned.

  6. How does a CASA volunteer differ from a social service caseworker?

    Caseworkers generally are employed by state governments. They sometimes work on over 20 cases at a time while CASA volunteers are able to provide their full attention to just one family at a time. No state agency could ever afford to provide the kind of one-on-one assistance that CASA makes available to children and families. The CASA volunteer does not replace the caseworker; he or she is an independent appointee of the court. The CASA volunteer can thoroughly examine a child’s case, has knowledge of community resources, and can make a recommendation to the court independent of state agency restrictions.

  7. How long does a CASA volunteer remain involved with a case?

    Our CASA program requires a minimum one-year commitment with the ultimate goal of the volunteer continuing until the case is permanently resolved and permanency has been achieved. That is because one of the primary benefits of the CASA program is that, unlike other court principals who often rotate cases, the CASA volunteer is a consistent figure in the proceedings and provides continuity for a child.

  8. How effective have CASA programs been in the lives of foster children?

    Research suggests that children who have been assigned CASA volunteers tend to spend less time within the foster care system than those who do not have a CASA volunteer. In our region, over 95% of foster children who have a CASA do not re-enter the foster care system. Judges have also observed that children assigned a CASA also have better chances of finding permanent homes than children not assigned a CASA.

  9. How can I donate to CASA?

    You can donate right here on our website or you can mail a check payable to "CASA SHaW" to 148 Main Street, Building D1, Lebanon, NJ 08833.

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