CASA volunteers must:
- Be 21 years or older.
- Possess a valid California drivers license and insurance (if planning to transport a child by car).
Advocates can not be currently providing other services to children in the foster care/dependency system.
A CASA volunteer must be able to:
- Commit at least 18 months to the program and your youth – it is typical to spend anywhere from three months to 2 years on a case, depending on the circumstances.
- Be consistent in communicating and meeting with your youth.
- Use concern, tact, and basic human relations skills when working with your youth, family members and professionals.
- Communicate clearly both verbally and in-writing to the court and others as needed.
- Respect and relate to people from various economic, cultural and educational backgrounds in a variety of settings.
- Gather and accurately record factual information regarding your youth’s case and to maintain OBJECTIVITY at all times.
- Maintain confidentiality regarding your youth at all times.
- Speak another language is desirable, but not necessary.
Advocates will be trained and screened as follows:
- A one-hour orientation
- Criminal history clearance
- An interview process
- 30-35 hours of in-classroom training covering:
- A Juvenile Dependency Court observation
- Advocacy and the Law
- Court Process/Monthly and Court Reports
- Sexual Abuse and the Developing Child
- Learning/Behavior Disorders
- Substance Abuse
- The Social Worker’s Role
- Cultural Awareness
- The Role of the Attorney
- Mock Case Assignment
- Survival as an Advocate
In-class trainings last for about 5 weeks, 2 nights/week, from 6:00 – 9:00 pm.
Blended trainings last for about 5 weeks and consists of both in-class time as well as online access. Upcoming blended trainings:
- September 27 – October 27, 2016
- January 24 – February 23, 2017
In order for CASA Sacramento to represent the best interests of youth in the juvenile court proceedings, CASA volunteers must be cognizant of, and sensitive to, the child’s frame of reference, including his/her heritage, culture, ethnicity, religion, family structure and/or disability. Advocates must also be able to communicate, with sensitivity, the child’s needs to the court. Because we live in a multicultural society, a CASA program must be multicultural. Therefore, CASA Sacramento will strive to achieve an advocate base that reflects the diversity of the children in the judicial and county child welfare systems as well as in the Sacramento community. Advocate services will be made accessible to all individuals regardless of gender, age, ethnicity, socioeconomic situation, or disability. Cultural awareness and competency will be an integral component of all training for board members, staff and advocates. CASA Sacramento will strive to achieve as broad a diversity and inclusiveness as possible in its board, staff and volunteer composition, as well as its activities, outreach and publications.