What are CASA volunteers?
Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) for children volunteers are the voice of the child and ensure that the rights of abused and neglected children are being protected.
A child who has a CASA volunteer finds permanency quicker, does better in school and is half as likely to languish in the foster care system.
Most importantly, CASA gives a voice to the child in court.
How do CASA volunteers investigate a case?
To prepare a recommendation, the CASA volunteer talks with the child, parents, family members, social workers, 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 worker reports and other documents.
How are CASA volunteers different from social service
In Montana, social workers are employed by the state, sometimes working on many cases at a time; they are frequently unable to conduct a comprehensive investigation of each case. The CASA volunteer has more time and a smaller caseload to investigate. The CASA volunteer does not replace a social worker on a case; they are an independent appointee of the court. The CASA volunteer thoroughly examines a child's case, knows about various community resources and makes recommendations to the court independent of state agency.