We need you. They need you.
Be 21+ years old
Pass a background check
Visit the children within their case at least once/month
Commit roughly 6 hours each month
Present recommendations to the judge at each hearing
Be ready to work with wonderful children who will change your life as you change theirs!
How do we support you?
Extensive initial and ongoing training
An assigned Advocate Coordinator who is on staff and ready to help you all along the way on your case
A dedicated Volunteer Manager ensures your experience with us is fulfilling and satisfactory
Regular Volunteer Roundtables offer volunteers and staff the opportunity to support one another throughout particularly challenging hurdles.
"Every child deserves a champion. An adult who will never give up on them, who understands the power of connection, and insists that they become the best they can possibly be."
- Rita F. Pierson
Between each hearing, the CASA conducts monthly home visits, investigating the children's circumstances in their foster home, home of origin, and school.
The judge assigns us to a case, and we assign a volunteer Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA). In Idaho, each foster child under age 12 is required to have a CASA, though we also serve teenagers in care when assigned.
A week before each hearing, the CASA compiles all of their findings, along with their recommendations for the children, into a report (often with the help of their Advocate Coordinator), and submits the report to the judge.
This repeats until either the child is reunified, or parental rights are terminated and the child is adopted.
The judge takes the CASA's findings and recommendations into account while making their ruling in the child protection case.
What does a CASA do?
"Being new in the community, we wanted to find a place where we could serve and influence others in a helpful way. The possibility of working with the CASA program came up. After an online search, email communication and training, we were assigned our first case in May. While we began with a bit of trepidation, we have found the 3rd District Guardian staff and mentors extremely helpful. "Additionally, we have been amazed at the openness of the community to support us as we seek information for our reports. The community seems to know that Guardians make a difference for the kids we represent."
-Merv and Linda
"It has been rewarding to stand beside children during traumatic seasons of their lives and to present their needs to the court. At the same time, we have been able to encourage their foster parents and to support their birth families in making positive changes.
"Along the way, we’ve been blessed to meet a number of wonderful people: the families we’ve tried to help, other volunteers, case workers, trainers, and program leaders. But our greatest joy, by far, is knowing that we may have made life a little better for a few vulnerable children in our community."
-Steve and Jackie
"I’ve been a volunteer for about a year now and I can’t brag enough about the program. I’ve met so many wonderful people. Although sometimes the cases can be difficult and frustrating, I enjoy being a constant for my kids and being someone they can trust. I find joy in the little things like when one of my kids sees me, gets a big smile, and runs up to give me a hug. I take pride in the fact that my only goal is to simply advocate for their best interest. In short, I volunteer as a GAL because it’s flexible, time consuming only if you want it to be, and because I get to make a positive difference in my kids’ lives, even if it’s just a little bit."