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Become a court appointed special advocate and change a child's story.

CASA volunteers are passionate about the well-being of children in their community, but they are not all alike. They come from different backgrounds and have different lived experiences. Some are students, some are working, some are retired, and some are stay-at-home parents. They bring a variety of skills and knowledge to thier role as a volunteer. They also bring the perspective of their race and culture. Each advocate is unique, and that uniqueness is leveraged in advocacy for a child.


While CASA volunteers are important advocates in the family ocurt system, they do not need any special legal or social work background. They also do not need to be licensed foster parents because they do not provide care or housing for chilren. Instead, CASA volunteers come as they are, with open minds and open hearts.  


Interested? Attend an info session.


Why you’re needed.

  • 206: the number of children who entered foster care in Kent County in 2022.
  • 739: the total number of children in foster care in Kent County in 2022. 
  • 18-24: the average number of months a child spends in foster care. 

When a child in Kent County is removed from their home because of abuse or neglect, they enter an overburdened child welfare system. Most often, they live in a foster home or a residential group shelter. Their family is assigned to a caseworker from a local child welfare agency and to a judge from the 17th Circuit Court Family Division. The child experiences trauma not only from the abuse or neglect they endured, but also because they are removed from everything and everyone familiar to them.

Family court judges rarely have the opportunity see or talk to the children about whom they make life-altering decisions. Because of this, they need help gathering as much information as possible. Although judges hear from caseworkers and attorneys, they often want to hear from one person who is exclusively focused on the children. In these situations, the judge orders a court appointed special advocate, or CASA, to serve on the case. Then the CASA becomes the voice of the child.

During this time, the child’s parents are also provided with attorneys, and they begin working with a foster care caseworker to address the initial problems that resulted in the removal of their children. From the beginning, the goal is to reunite the children with their parents whenever safely possible.

As a CASA volunteer, you may be the only consistent adult presence for a child in this situation—and the only person who will make sure their best interests are represented in court.


What CASA volunteers do:

Engage. Spend time regularly with the child in a variety of settings: at the foster home, at the park, or at school. Build rapport, listen, and ask questions. Become the trusted adult who will stay on the case until the child returns to a safe, loving, permanent home.

Build relationships. Spend time getting to know the child’s parents, the foster family, and all the professionals involved in the case. Become a trusted team member.

Gather information. Review documents and records to understand the child and family’s current and historical circumstances and situation. Interview everyone involved in the child’s life, from the teacher to the therapist.

Recommend services. Bring concerns about the child’s physical health, mental health, education, and general wellbeing to the appropriate professionals. Ensure that the children and family are receiving appropriate services, and advocate for those that are not immediately available.

“Be the glue.” Seek cooperative solutions among individuals and organizations involved in the child’s life, creating an environment in which the child’s needs can be met. As one volunteer said, “Be the glue that connects the pieces in a complicated child welfare system.”

Keep the court informed. Through written reports, update the court on developments with the child and family, and advocate for the child’s best interests. Share the child’s wishes with the judge. Provide oral testimony if called upon.

Monitor. Check to see that case plans and court orders are being followed, and that the child is receiving the needed services. Bring any concerns to the appropriate professional or to the court.

Advocate. Spend 10-15 hours per month focused on your advocacy. Speak up for and plead the case of the child. Make sure all actions are in the best interest of the child, remembering that the goal for every child is a safe, loving, permanent family in the shortest time possible.


Interested? Attend an info session. Ready to get started? Apply now

Start the process:

We are so excited that you are interested in becoming a court appointed special advocate, or CASA. If you can answer "yes" to these questions, you might be ready to fill out a volunteer application!

  • Have you learned enough about the role of a CASA volunteer to make an informed decision? If not, attend an info session or contact us for more information.
  • Are you at least 21 years of age?
  • Do you have a valid driver's license and auto insurance?
  • Are you willing to allow CASA of Kent County to check your criminal history and driving record? If there is something you're concerned about, we'd be happy to chat.
  • Do you have 10-15 hours a month to advocate for a child?
  • Can you fulfill the requirements of our volunteer job description?

 Change a Child's Story.

Hurting and vulnerable infants, toddlers, children, and teens need support from their community. You can be that person. Donate. Volunteer. Advocate. 

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