Volunteer Your Time to Change a Child’s Life
Nobody longs for a safe and loving family more than a child in foster care. As a court-appointed special advocate CANO CASA volunteer, you are empowered by the courts to help make this dream a reality. You will not only bring positive change to the lives of these vulnerable children, but also their children and generations to come. And in doing so, you will enrich your life as well.
What Do CASA Volunteers Do?
CASA volunteers listen first. Then they act.
Volunteers get to know the child by talking with everyone in that child’s life: parents and relatives, foster parents, teachers, medical professionals, attorneys, social workers and others. They use the information they gather to inform judges and others of what the child needs and what will be the best permanent home for them.
Who Can Be a Volunteer?
You do not have to be a lawyer or a social worker to be a volunteer. We welcome people from all walks of life. We are simply looking for people who care about children and have common sense. As a volunteer, you will be thoroughly trained and well supported by professional staff to help you through each case.
You must be at least 21, pass a background check, participate in a 30-hour pre-service training course and agree to stay with a case until it is closed (a year and a half on average).
What Are the Requirements to Be a CASA?
- Demonstrates emotional maturity
- Is objective and flexible
- Exhibits self assurance and assertiveness
- Has the ability to make decisions and set goals
- Is willing to commit to the program for a minimum of 24 months
- Demonstrates the ability to write and speak clearly and concisely
CASAs are not:
- CASAs are not Big Brothers or Big Sisters
- CASAs are not attorneys
- CASA are not social workers
- CASAs are not rescuers
- Friends of the Court
- Eyes and ears of the Court
- Independent and objective people who represent the child’s best interest
CASA Video: I Am for the Child
Did you know that 400,000 children in America are still waiting for their CASA volunteer? Waiting for that one trusted adult who will stick with them until their case is resolved. Waiting because today CASA can serve only 35% of the children in the foster care system. Waiting for YOU!
CASA Video: Everyday Heroes
Everyday Heroes highlights CASA volunteers making a difference in the lives of abused and neglected children. It provides a rare opportunity to hear directly from children about their homes before and after a CASA volunteer came into their lives.
Use Link to Become a CASA Volunteer
Are YOU ready to become a CASA Volunteer? Simply use the action button below to access the required forms and additional information about the application process. An abused and/or neglected child is waiting for YOUR help!
Graphic Credit: Ohio Valley Resource
Before a volunteer can accept a case, he/she must first complete pre-service training provided by Child Advocates of Northeast Oklahoma. Training includes 30 hours of classroom instruction plus approximately 10 hours of homework and courtroom observation.
These classes are using the new National CASA Association Volunteer Training Curriculum which provides volunteers with a solid base of knowledge and skills to begin their work with abused and neglected children.
The training curriculum covers:
- Role and responsibilities of the CASA
- Child abuse and neglect
- Juvenile court process
- Cultural awareness
- Child development, attachment and bonding
- Substance abuse
- Mental illness
- Domestic violence
- Information gathering and interviewing
- Report writing
In addition to the initial pre-service training, all CASA Volunteers are expected to earn 12 hours of continuing education credits each year thereafter. Continuing education opportunities are provided throughout the year through a variety of options, including online resources and training opportunities led the CANO staff. The CANO office also maintains an extensive resource library for its volunteers.
CASA Video: Former First Lady Laura Bush
Child abuse is an epidemic across this nation. Currently, fewer than half the children in foster care have a CASA volunteer to stand up for them. Former First Lady Laura Bush focuses on the need for more Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASAs).