CASA volunteers are ordinary citizens at least 21 years of age with no felony convictions
or serious criminal history - regardless of how long ago. No special or legal background is
required. Volunteer Advocates are screened and trained very closely and thoroughly for
objectivity, competence and commitment. You must have access to independent and
reliable transportation and access to a computer or other electronic form of
Volunteer Advocates undergo a thorough training course conducted by this local CASA
program. Advocates learn about courtroom procedures from the principals in the
system – from judges, lawyers, caseworkers, court personnel, and others. Advocates also learn effective advocacy techniques for children, and are educated about specific topics ranging from seminars on child sexual abuse to discussions on early childhood development and adolescent behavior. Heart of Colorado CASA conducts new advocate training in February, June, and October each year.
The CASA concept is based on the commitment that every child has the right to a safe, permanent family.
The judge appoints a CASA to the child’s case. The advocate then becomes an official part of the judicial proceedings, working alongside attorneys and caseworkers as an appointed officer of the court. The advocate speaks exclusively for the child’s best interests.
By handling one or two cases at a time (compared to a caseworker’s average caseload of 18 to 25 families), the advocate has the time to explore thoroughly the history of each assigned case. The advocate talks with the child, parents and family members, neighbors, school officials, doctors, and others involved in the child’s background who might have facts about the case.
The advocate then reviews all records and documents pertaining to the child. He or she then submits a formal report to the court with information pertaining to the child and family and also provides the court with recommendations about the child’s best interests.