CASA

CASA of Lassen Family Services

Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) is a national association in the United States that supports and promotes court-appointed advocates for abused or neglected children in order to provide children with a safe and healthy environment in permanent homes.
Court Appointed Special Advocate
“Every day in this country, 1,900 children become victims of abuse or neglect, and four of them will die. Every day. Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) for Children is a network of nearly 1,000 community-based programs that recruit, train and support citizen-volunteers to advocate for the best interests of abused and neglected children in courtrooms and communities. Volunteer advocates—empowered directly by the courts—offer judges the critical information they need to ensure that each child’s rights and needs are being attended to while in foster care.”- National CASA Association.
 Children in foster care have been removed from their homes due to abuse or neglect. They are separated from their siblings and all they know, living in a confusing world surrounded by strangers. CASA volunteers, or Court Appointed Special Advocates, help create a brighter future for a foster child. These volunteer advocates ensure foster children’s needs are met and help them find a safe, permanent home. With just 8-10 hours a month, you can change the life of a foster child in your community! Your local program will provide you with all the training you need and support you throughout your volunteer service.

Take the first step.  Attend a volunteer information session to learn about the roles and responsibilities of a CASA volunteer and how you can help change the life of a foster child and give them the happiness every child deserves.

CASA Mission

Court Appointed Special Advocates

CASA of Lassen Family Services mission is to provide specially selected and trained community volunteers to advocate for abused and neglected children in Lassen County’s juvenile dependency system.  We are a non-profit program under the umbrella agency of Lassen Family Services Inc.  Our program works in collaboration with key agencies, legal counsel and community resources together to ensure that each child’s best interests are protected until permanency is achieved.  

​The focus of our advocacy is on the following areas: 

  • Placement
  • Education
  • Mental/physical health
  • Permanency

It further is the purpose of our program to educate the community regarding the great need for CASA volunteers. We are committed to advocating for each dependent child’s best interests and believe our mission will be accomplished when each dependent child has a secured, safe and permanent home.

Who

Children presently average more than three years in the limbo of foster care, with their futures unresolved and uncertain. The judge, with as little as ten minutes to determine a child's fate, is facing increasingly complex cases, limited support services, and disjointed, insufficient or outdated information on which to make sound decisions.

What

The heart of our program is the Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA), a specially trained and supervised community volunteer, appointed by the judge. CASAs make a difference in the lives of abused and neglected children by working with the parties and monitoring cases involving children in foster care.

When

When children are abused or severely neglected, they must rely on adults to help them obtain justice and services. Who deserves an advocate more than an abused or neglected child? That is the intent of the social service and Juvenile Court systems, but all too often these systems are fraught with escalating caseloads and reduced resources.

Why

CASAs usually advocate for only one or two cases at a time, allowing ample time to gather thorough information. They build relationships with their CASA kids, spending time with them, gathering facts about their life so they can report back to the judge who can then make a much better decision as to what is best for the child.

Become A CASA

Qualities Needed
  • Able to make a minimum of an 18-month commitment to the program and child(ren)
  • Understand and follow the CASA confidentiality policy
  • Respect and relate to people from various backgrounds in a variety of settings
  • Communicate effectively both orally and in writing
  • Gather and accurately record factual information
  • Meet report deadlines and requirements
  • Be objective, open-minded and flexible
  • Act with confidence and courage in advocating for your CASA child(ren)
  • Accept supervision and seek feedback from CASA case supervisors
  • Maintain professional relationships with all community service providers
  • Provide own transportation
  • Pass a volunteer background screening consisting of a national criminal record check, DMV record check, Child Index Registry check and provide three references.
Responsibilities Required
  • Maintain consistent contact with CASA child(ren)
  • Maintain consistent monthly (or more often, as necessary) contact with CASA case supervisor
  • Submit volunteer reports to CASA case supervisor monthly
  • Keep appropriate case notes
  • Complete court reports in a timely manner
  • Complete 12-hours of continuing education yearly
CASA's Do Not
  • Take a child to the home of the advocate
  • Give legal advice or therapeutic counseling
  • Make placement arrangements
  • Give large amounts of money or expensive gifts to the child or the family