Volunteers are men and women from all walks of life who have a variety of professional, educational, and ethnic backgrounds. Volunteers must be 21 years of age, submit an application and references, complete an interview, and attend at least 30 hours of training at the local CASA program. A criminal background check and child abuse registry check is also required. A college education is not required. A volunteer can have a full time job and still volunteer. The volunteer must also sign a Code of Ethics regarding maintaining confidentiality and professionalism.
A typical volunteer spends 10-20 hours a month on a case. Most volunteers have only one or two cases involving one or more children at a time.
The volunteer is asked to commit to the child, and to be that child's advocate until the case is completed-until the child is returned safely home, adopted, or placed in another safe and permanent home. It is very important for the child to have a consistent advocate throughout the case who is familiar with the child's situation and stands by the child until the end of the case.
To become a volunteer, contact the local GAL/CASA program in your community or in a community near you. You can find the location of all local GAL/CASA programs (http://www.childadvocatesnetwork.org/find-your-local-program/) or visit www.casa.in.gov.
To find more information about the National CASA Association or to locate CASA organizations outside of Indiana, you can visit the National CASA website at www.casaforchildren.org/site/.