CASA volunteers are ordinary people who are concerned about the happiness and safety of all children. Are you ready to start the process of becoming a Heart of Missouri CASA volunteer?

The Impact of Being a Volunteer with CASA

The average child with a Heart of Missouri CASA volunteer will spend only 18 months in foster care (CASA Manager data, 2015) as opposed to 24 months without one.

The average child with a Heart of Missouri CASA volunteer will change homes only 4 times (CASA Manager data, 2015) as opposed to 5 times without one.

Children with a Heart of Missouri CASA are more likely to find a safe, permanent home (Fostering Court Improvement, 2015 Annual Report of Court Performance Measures and CASA Manager data, 2015).

Children with a CASA are half as likely to re-enter foster care (National CASA data, 2015).

Children with a CASA are more likely to succeed in school (National CASA data, 2015).

What is a CASA Volunteer

CASA volunteers are assigned to an abuse or neglect case by judges. Each volunteer is carefully screened, trained, and supervised. Volunteers conduct thorough research on the background of the case, reviewing documents, and interviewing everyone involved, including the child. They make reports to the court, recommending what they believe is best for the child, providing the judges with information that will help them make an informed decision. CASA volunteers can be instrumental in assuring that a child and/or family receives services which the court has ordered – things like substance abuse counseling or special education testing. During the life of a case, a CASA volunteer monitors the child’s situation to make sure they remain safe and have a voice in court.

  • are 21 years of age or older;
  • give consent to a routine criminal background check;
  • have completed a high school education or equivalent;
  • are willing to commit to an average of 10 hours per month for a minimum of two years, including two visits per month with each child;
  • act as an independent investigator and represent the best interest of the child;
  • write and submit monthly activity reports and written reports to the court
  • CASA Volunteers are required to attend 30 hours of pre-service training, in addition to following guidelines established by Heart of Missouri CASA and the National CASA association.
  • These 30 hours are made up of 15 hours in class and 15 hours online.
  • The 15 hours in class are 1 evening a week from 6 – 9pm for 5 consecutive weeks.
  • Next training class is on Thursday evenings, 9/14, 9/21, 9/28, 10/5 and 10/12.
  • To keep all client and court information confidential
  • To communicate effectively both orally and in writing
  • To respect and relate to people from various backgrounds in a variety of settings
  • To maintain objectivity
  • To gather and record factual information accurately
  • To participate as a team member in order to collaboratively advocate for children and families
    Be available for daytime meetings and court hearings
  • To transport self to a variety of locations
  • To provide independent, factual information to the court regarding abused and neglected children.
  • To provide collaborative advocacy for abused and neglected children who are the subject of judicial proceedings.
  • To monitor cases involving abused and neglected children until the terms of the court order have been fulfilled.
  • To conduct independent and objective analysis concerning abused and neglected children.
  • To factually and objectively report findings and observations to the court.
  • To insure representation of the child’s best interest in all judicial proceedings.
  • To monitor cases following a court hearing or decision as designated by the court.
  • Complete an intensive independent review of the case.
    • Speak with the child and relevant adults
    • Review appropriate records and reports
    • Observe the child and significant others
  • Report findings to court and insure representation is in the child’s best interest.
    • Attend court hearing concerning the child
    • Attend and participate in all interagency meetings and conferences concerning the child
  • Monitor decision designated by court.

CASA volunteers are ordinary people who are concerned about the happiness and safety of all children. Are you ready to start the process of becoming a Heart of Missouri CASA volunteer?

Resources and Documents