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Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA)

What is CASA?

CASA of Southern Maryland is one of 900 Court Appointed Special Advocate programs nationwide that works on behalf of abused and neglected children involved in the juvenile court system.

Our Mission

CASA of Southern Maryland’s mission is to recruit, train and supervise volunteers to provide a voice for the best interests of abused and neglected children.

What is a CASA Volunteer?

CASA volunteers are men and women from all walks of life, with a variety of professional, educational, and ethnic backgrounds. No special experience or background is required, only the desire to help our county’s children.

CASA volunteers have several roles:

  • Researcher: CASAs hold comprehensive interviews with the child, family members, foster parents and professionals involved in the child’s life. They review records, documents and clinical data.
  • Visitor: CASAs develop an informal one-on-one relationship with the child,
  • Facilitator: CASAs facilitate communication between the court and any individual with the child to ensure that all parties fulfill their obligations to the child.
  • Monitor: CASAs are responsible for monitoring all court orders to ensure compliance by all parties.
  • Reporter: CASAs are responsible for providing the court with objective written reports and, on request, oral testimony in court.

How to become a CASA Volunteer?

  • Engage in a comprehensive screening process including an in-depth personal interview, criminal background check and personal references.
  • Participate in 32 hours of pre-service training in the juvenile court process, child advocacy, laws affecting abused and neglected children, foster care, dynamics of abuse and neglect, child development, diversity, poverty, interviewing and report writing.
  • Receive individual supervision by professional staff and 12 hours/year of in-service training.
  • Uphold client confidentiality.
  • Maintain open and mutually beneficial relationships with the Department of Social Services, legal representatives, and community professionals.

 

 

Please call CASA of Southern Maryland at 410-535-3047 (Calvert)

301-475-6667 (St. Mary’s) or 301-609-9887 (Charles County)

Email casa@center-for-children.org for more information!

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