Learn about all the ways you can get involved with CASA of Camden County and give a child a voice today.
Learn How To Get Involved
The CASA solution begins with a single volunteer—a specially trained court-appointed special advocate or guardian —trained to know what is in a child’s best interest and how to get those interests met by the system. Can you “Speak Up for a Child?” We appreciate you taking the time to see how volunteering, donating, or even inviting your friends to a sponsored event can provide hope.
Your donation gives children who’ve been abused or neglected the powerful voice of a CASA volunteer in court, in school and across our community.
A CASA volunteer helps children who have experienced abuse or neglect acquire the services they need and achieve permanency in a safe home as quickly as possible.
Attend an Event
Get involved by attending an event, learn more about our organization and the cause.
Become a Court Appointed Special Advocate
No special skills are required to be a CASA Volunteer and free training is provided.
CASA Volunteer Qualifications
YOU can put hope into action right now!
Four volunteers discuss the rewards and challenges they face when lending a voice to youth who are sometimes not heard. It’s not just one life that is impacted there are multiple lives that are assisted when you work with CASA.
Frequently Asked Questions
A Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) volunteer is a trained citizen who is appointed by a judge to represent the best interests of a child in court. Children helped by CASA volunteers include those for whom home placement is being determined in juvenile court. Most of the children are victims of abuse and neglect.
A CASA volunteer provides a judge with carefully researched background details about the child to help the court make a sound decision about that child’s future. Each home placement case is as unique as the child involved. The CASA volunteer must determine if the best interest of the child is staying with their parents or guardians, being placed in foster care, or being freed for permanent adoption. The CASA volunteer makes a recommendation on placement to the judge and follows through on the case until it is permanently resolved.
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.
Social workers generally are employed by state governments sometimes working on as many as 60 to 90 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 (average of 1-2 cases) to investigate a case. 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 restrictions.
CASA is a priority project of the Department of Justice’s Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention. The office encourages the establishment of new CASA programs, assists established CASA programs, and provides partial funding for the National CASA Association.
There are now close to 1000 CASA programs in every state across the country, including Washington DC and the U.S. Virgin Islands.
Preliminary findings show that children who have been assigned CASA volunteers tend to spend less time in court and less time in the foster care system than those who do not have CASA representation. Judges have observed that CASA advocated children also have better chances of finding permanent homes.
Each case is different. A CASA volunteer usually spends about 10 hours doing research and conducting interviews prior to the first court appearance. More complicated cases take longer. Once initiated into the system, volunteers work about 10 hours a month.
The volunteer continues until the case is permanently resolved. One of the primary benefits of the CASA program is that, unlike other court principals who often rotate cases, the CASA volunteer is a consistent figure in the proceedings and provides continuity for a child.
No. There are other child advocacy organizations, but CASA is the only program where volunteers are appointed by the court to represent a child’s best interests.
The CASA volunteer does not provide legal representation in the court room−that is the role of the attorney. However, the CASA volunteer does provide crucial background information that assists attorneys in presenting their cases. It is important to remember that CASA volunteers do not represent a child’s wishes in court. Rather, they speak for the child’s best interests.
CASA volunteers come from all walks of life and possess a variety of professional, educational and ethnic backgrounds. There are more than 70,000 CASA volunteers nationally. Local programs vary in number of volunteers they utilize. Aside from their CASA volunteer work, 64 percent are employed in full- or part-time jobs; the majority tend to be professionals with 58% college or university graduates. The majority (82%) of the volunteers nationwide are women.
CASA volunteers offer children trust and advocacy during complex legal proceedings. They help explain to the child the events happening involving the case, reasons they are in court and the roles of the judge, lawyers and case workers. While remaining objective observers, CASA volunteers also encourage the child to express his or her own opinion and hopes about the case.
The number varies from jurisdiction to jurisdiction, but an average caseload is one to two.
Yes. Juvenile and family court judges implement the CASA program in their courtrooms and appoint volunteers. CASA has been endorsed by the American Bar Association, the National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges, and the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention of the U.S. Department of Justice.
Children who are victims of abuse and neglect and become wards of the court are assigned CASA volunteers. The program is most common in juvenile and family court cases.
The National CASA Association is a nonprofit organization that represents and serves the local CASA programs. It provides training, technical assistance, research, media and public awareness services to members.
At the local level, CASA programs are generally funded through a state’s department of justice. Many programs are privately funded through service organizations such as the Junior League and the National Council of Jewish Women. The National CASA Association is funded through a combination of private grants, federal funds (U.S. Justice Department), memberships and contributions.
Become A "Friend of CASA"
A “Friend of CASA” is someone who can not commit to being a CASA Volunteer or a Board member, but still wants to help foster children in Camden County.
It only requires a desire to help abused and neglected children in Camden County.
Friends of CASA help our CASA program whenever they have time. It can be from helping out in the office, writing letters of support, helping out at fundraising/marketing events, passing out flyers, writing articles for our newsletter, etc. You help when it is convenient for you!
As a Friend of CASA you will receive event invitations, training announcements, newsletters, and relevant information pertaining to CASA of Camden County and the CASA Network.