Morgan County Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA)

65 N. Jefferson Street, Martinsville, Indiana 46151

            

 

 

 Yes, I would like more information about becoming a CASA Volunteer!!

 

What is a CASA?

A Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) is a trained community volunteer appointed by a judge to speak up for the best interests of an abused or neglected child involved in a juvenile court proceeding.

The Morgan County Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) program was established to screen, train, and supervise community volunteers. These volunteers are then appointed by a juvenile court judge to advocate for the best interests of abused and neglected children involved in juvenile court proceedings.

More volunteers are needed to accommodate the increasing number of children that are entering the court system as children in need of services.

If you are interested in being a volunteer CASA, or to find out more about us, call the Morgan County CASA Coordinator at (765) 342-1082, or e-mail the Morgan County CASA Coordinator by clicking on this link

 

Job Description - Morgan County CASA

Indiana Code 31-9-2-28

“Court Appointed Special Advocate”, means a community volunteer who:

(1) has completed a training program approved by the court; (2) has been appointed by a court to represent and protect the best interests of a child; and (3) may research, examine, advocate, facilitate, and monitor a child’s situation.

 

Morgan County CASA Definition

A CASA Volunteer is a person appointed by the Morgan County Circuit Court or Superior Court No. 2 Judge to assist in assuring that the needs of children who may have been neglected or abused are met.  In order to do this, a CASA volunteer must determine the facts of the case, recommend a course of action to the court, help explain the court’s findings to the child, facilitate the resolution of problems, and monitor progress toward established goals. 

Criteria used in the recruitment of volunteers will be such as to insure that the individual is able to meet the qualifications of a Court Appointed Special Advocate.  No individual will be rejected because of race, color, religious creed, national origin, sex, age, or marital status.  No legal background is required.

What are the qualifications to be a CASA?

Qualifications:

·        Be at least 21 years of age.

·        Be a Resident of Morgan County.

·        Successfully pass screening, including:

o       *a written application,

o       *personal interview, three personal references and

*Note:  Each applicant will be evaluated on an individual basis regarding any history of abuse or emotional problem for which they received treatment.  In addition, the volunteer interview will be used to screen out appropriate judgment and values or the lack of verbal skills necessary to perform as an effective volunteer for children.

o       **Criminal, Bureau of Motor Vehicles, Office of family and Children, and Sexual Offender record checks.

**Note: This program does not accept applicants if they have been convicted of, or have charges pending for, a felony or misdemeanor involving a sex offense, violent act, child abuse or neglect, acts of dishonesty or related acts that would pose risks to children or to the credibility of the CASA Program.

If an applicant is found to have committed a misdemeanor or felony that is unrelated to or would not pose a risk to children and would not negatively impact the credibility of the CASA Program, the program will consider the following; the extent of the rehabilitation since the offense was committed, the recidivism rate of the acts, or any other facts that may influence a decision to accept the volunteer into the program.

If a person is convicted of a crime while serving as a CASA volunteer, that person will be dismissed subject to review of the circumstances.  While charges are pending against any volunteer, that person may not function as a CASA.

·        Make a commitment of service to the CASA Program not less than (1) one year.

·        Have time to devote to training sessions, investigations and follow-up of a case assigned.

·        Have the ability to work with a child, family members and professionals using tact, concern, and basic human relations skills.

·        Have the ability to communicate verbally and in writing, making verbal and written reports to the court, to the program coordinator, and to other persons as needed.

 

Training is provided and is designed specifically for CASA volunteers!

CASA Requirements

·        Attend and successfully complete initial training sessions of 30 hours and 3 hours of Court observation.

·        After initial training, serve as a volunteer for at least one child to permanency.

·        Respect a child’s inherent right to grow up in a safe environment

·        Maintain strict confidence of information by taking an Oath of Confidentiality.

·        A CASA must abide by the CASA Code of Ethics as set forth by the Indiana Office of GAL/CASA.

·        Attend in-service training sessions on an on-going basis.

·        Upon assignment of a case, review records and interview parties involved (including the child).

·        Keep the CASA Coordinator informed of all activities and confer with him/her at least one time per month.

·        Determine if a permanent plan has been created and whether appropriate services, including reasonable efforts, are being provided to the child and family.

·        Be aware of deadlines and timetables involving an assigned case and turn in all reports on time, signed with recommendations to the Court on what placement and services are best for the child.

·        Attend all Court hearings pertaining to assigned case.

·        Maintain up to date and complete file on each case assigned, including appointments, interviews, and information gathered about the child and the child’s life circumstances.

·        Upon closure of the case, the CASA must return the file to the CASA office within 3 working days.

 

If you are interested in being a volunteer CASA, or to find out more about us, call the Morgan County CASA Coordinator at (765) 342-1082, or e-mail the Morgan County CASA Coordinator by clicking on this link

 

 Yes, I would like more information about becoming a CASA Volunteer!!