Answers about CASA for Foster Parents
What is CASA?
- CASA stands for Court Appointed Special Advocate
- CASAs are trained volunteers appointed by the judge to advocate for your foster child
- The purpose of the CASA is to help determine what is in the child's best interest by finding out as much information as possible about the child
What is the role of a CASA volunteer?
- CASAs are responsible for taking the time to find out as much information as possible about the child and the child's circumstances through reviewing all relevant records and interviewing all relevant people, most importantly, the child
- CASAs then submit a written report to the Court to recommend to the Judge what they believe is best for the child's future; in all cases, CASA volunteers advocate for safe and permanent homes for children
What does the CASA expect from me?
- The CASA will visit often to observe and get to know your foster child in his or her living environment
- The CASA may also want to observe the child away from his or her living environment and is permitted to transport your foster child
- The CASA will ask you for specific information about your foster child's daily life; other topics may include his or her behavior related to certain things such as adjustments in school, behavior concerns and strengths, medical concerns, adjustment to separation/loss, contacts made by parents, etc.
- By spending time with your foster child and by talking with you, the CASA volunteer will be more knowledgeable and prepared to make recommendations to the Judge that are in your foster child's best interest
What information should I share with the CASA? What information can the CASA share with me?
- Through Court Order, CASA volunteers have access to all documents and information that relates to your foster child
- Due to strict confidentiality laws, the CASA volunteer can share only information, including the CASA report, with the direct parties in the case (social worker, county attorney, parents, parents' attorney, minor's attorney and the Guardian Ad Litem)
Does the CASA volunteer work for CPS?
- No; the CASA is a volunteer independently appointed by the Court and does not work for CPS (Child Protective Services)
- The CASA volunteer cannot provide direct services to your foster child, such as babysit him or her or supervise visitations
How can I get in touch with my foster child's CASA volunteer?