We’re not looking for typical volunteers. Being a CASA is not your typical volunteer opportunity.
These committed, highly-trained volunteer Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASAs) are appointed by a judge to an individual child’s case, to act and advocate for the child’s best interests in court and in all aspects of their life, making a positive difference and giving them an opportunity to thrive. Through an intentional and culturally responsive lens, we train committed, consistent and caring adults who can change the trajectory of a child’s life through strengths-based advocacy and life-affirming connections.
What does a CASA volunteer do?
A Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) works one-on-one with a child in the foster care system. CASA volunteers gather information on a child’s circumstances to make recommendations to the court that will support the child. CASAs advocate for permanency, well-being and safety that help each child to flourish.
Why become a CASA?
“One person can be the tipping point that turns a life in a positive direction. Without that little nudge, that child’s life can take the opposite direction. If you can help change their trajectory where the youth feels like they might have a chance, maybe they have somebody in their corner, maybe they have someone who believes in them and believes them to be of value, that can change everything.”
SAM, CASA VOLUNTEER
Six Steps to Becoming a CASA Volunteer
Step 1: Attend an Information Session
Live Info Session
Attend an info session that lasts about 90-minutes. A staff person provides information about the role and responsibilities of the volunteer position and a current volunteer shares their experience and answers questions.
A webinar that lasts about 30-45 minutes. The webinar covers the role and responsibilities of the volunteer position and includes videos of CASA volunteers describing their experience with the organization.
Step 2: Apply
Complete an application to volunteer. Extra Credit: You can complete your application before attending an Information Session, so you are prepared for Step 3.
Step 3: Interview
Tell us more about yourself and share why you’re interested in volunteering. It’s our responsibility to make sure the volunteers who work with our kids are here for the right reasons, and we take that very seriously.
Step 4: CASA Training
Our CASA training will fully prepare you to be a successful advocate for a child. Pre-service training includes 35 hours of class – some in person and some online – plus an opportunity to observe court proceedings and meet a judge. During stay-at-home orders, all our trainings are held virtually.
Step 5: Graduation
Congratulations! You’ve completed pre-service training and will be sworn in officially as a CASA advocate by a judge in the children’s court.
Step 6: Meet Your Supervisor
Immediately following graduation, you will meet your advocate supervisor – a CASA/LA staff member who will work closely with you on the child’s case, offer resources, and provide support throughout your CASA service.
“It’s different than any other type of relationship. It allows me to be involved with my city in a way that makes a difference. I learn about people in my community and so does Ozzy. It is very precious to me. To know Ozzy and know his family…it’s a very personal and special connection for me.” ❤️
“Working with someone who has grown up in the Foster-care system has been humbling. Many of the odds are against Samantha and I believe more than ever that every child in foster care needs a CASA. I’ve been slowly finding my way into Samantha’s life, gaining her trust, and then learning ways to maneuver through systems that are incredibly slow and complex. Being a CASA is by far the most meaningful thing I do for my community. With over 20% of the kids in foster care being LGBTQIA+, they need all the help they can get. If you want to help a kid in any way, this is a great way to do it!”
“Kids in the system are really sheltered. All the resources around them are controlled. They aren’t even allowed to open the refrigerator. Yet when they turn 18, they’re expected to know how to act. They don’t. Many of them have never even made a sandwich.“
CASA of Los Angeles recognizes the disproportionate representation and disparate treatment of children and families of color in the child welfare system. As a partner of the Edmund D. Edelman Children’s Court, CASA of Los Angeles is committed to anti-racist work through education and advocacy.