60% of children in need do not have a CASA volunteer...
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Find out more about CASA of the EP.

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FAQs

Q?

What is the cost to provide a CASA volunteer to one child for a year?

A.

The median cost per child is $4.00 per day for one year or $1460, which covers training, staff support and other costs.

Q?

How is CASA funded?

A.

Following is a breakdown on CASA-EP's funding sources.

  • Special Events such as the CASA-EP River Century, The CASA-EP Superhero and Doggie Dash, and the Pumpkin Pedaler.
  • Grant writing, foundation requests and local government budget requests.,
  • Circle of Hope Giving: private contributions from individuals and corporate entities.

Q?

What does it mean to be a certified CASA program?

A.

The 933 local and state member CASA programs adhere to formal standards set by National CASA and are required to pass a quality assurance review, which is administered every four years. This self-assessment is a course of action taken by local programs in order to evaluate and improve their operations.

Staff teams work together to answer 400 questions and gather 58 supporting documents for submission to National CASA. Professionals outside the CASA network determine overall compliance by conducting an independent review of the standards self-assessment instrument and supporting documentation. Programs must address any compliance concerns within six months in order to maintain CASA membership.

Q?

What is the process to become a CASA volunteer?

A.

CASA volunteers undergo a thorough training and development program that consists of at least 30 hours of pre-service training, followed by 12 hours of yearly in-service training. Volunteers learn about courtroom procedure from the principals in the system: judges, lawyers, social workers, court personnel and others. CASA volunteers also learn effective advocacy techniques for children, and are educated about specific topics ranging from seminars on child sexual abuse to discussions on early childhood development and adolescent behavior.

After completion of the initial training, volunteers are sworn in as officers of the court. This gives them the legal authority to conduct research on the child's situation and submit reports to the court.

Q?

What are the qualifications to become a CASA volunteer?

A.

Commitment: The vast majority of cases last one to two years, and the amount of time spent on a case per month typically will average 10 hours. Volunteers must make case time a priority in order to provide quality advocacy.

Objectivity: Volunteers research case records and speak to everyone involved in a child's life, including their family members, teacher, doctor, lawyer, social worker and others. Their third-party evaluations are based on facts, evidence and testimonies.

Communication skills: Once a volunteer has fully evaluated a case, they prepare a written report outlining their recommendation for the child's placement. They must be able to speak with authority as they present their rationale to the judge in court.

Q?

How many children in foster care are appointed a CASA volunteer?

A.

Last year, 50 children out of 199 children new to the foster care system in the Eastern Panhandle were matched with a CASA.

Q?

How are CASA volunteers assigned to cases?

A.

CASA-EP typically assign volunteers to the most difficult and complex cases involving physical or sexual abuse and neglect. Several other factors are also considered in making this decision:

Requests by the Judge and /or other Multidisciplinary Team Members is given top priority

  • The instability of the child's current placement
  • The presence of conflicting case information
  • Concerns about the implementation of special services, such as medical care, counseling and education assistance

Q?

What function do Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) volunteers serve?

A.

CASA volunteers are trained to act as first-hand experts on the individual needs of abused and neglected children in foster care, giving them the best possible chance at a hopeful future.

As an appointed member of the court, a CASA volunteer assumes the following core responsibilities:

  • Serve as a fact-finder for the judge by thoroughly researching the background of the assigned case
  • Speak on behalf of the child in the courtroom, representing his or her best interests
  • Act as a "watchdog" for the child for the duration of the case, ensuring it is brought to a swift and appropriate conclusion

Q?

What does CASA-EP stand for?

A.

Court Appointed Special Advocate-Eastern Panhandle.

Q?

How can I volunteer?

A.

If you are over the age of 18, have a desire to "give back" to your community and advocate for the rights of children in child abuse and neglect cases within this region please call us, 304-263-5100 or e-mail Shawn Valentine at shawn@mycasaep.org or Delbert Pope at del@mycasaep.org for more information. We will be happy to answer your questions!