An Advocate’s Impact
The CASA of Maricopa County program offers a volunteer opportunity like no other. A judge is making rulings and decisions on children’s lives daily. The judge must make a determination about the child's permanency and about the types of services the child will receive based on the information he or she receives. A CASA Volunteer can ensure that the judge has all the information needed to make the best possible decision about the fate of a child.
CASA of Maricopa County is a member of National CASA/GAL Association for Children, sharing their mission, vision, and values and is one of 15 programs in Arizona. The program is part of a national network of 950 programs with over 93,000 advocates, serving over 240,000 children annually (https://nationalcasagal.org/our-impact/our-reach/). To find out more information on other CASA programs within the state, visit CASA of Arizona.
Frequently Asked Questions
Only a judge can assign a CASA volunteer to a case. On occasion, the children’s or parents' attorneys, the caseworkers’ attorney or the children's foster parents, may request that a judge assign a CASA volunteer.
Advocates are assigned to children already in the foster care system. This includes youth of all ages, cultural backgrounds and those who have a variety of different needs.
The role of a Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) is different than a mentor or friend. Advocates make thorough inquires into dependency matters by speaking with all parties involved in the case and by submitting formal written reports to the court. The goal of a CASA volunteer is to move children efficiently through the child welfare system into safe, permanent homes. Learn more about a CASA volunteer's impact by visiting the National CASA/GAL Association’s website.
No specific type of background is required, CASA of Maricopa County is made up of volunteers from all walks of life. The most important part is that CASA volunteers have the time to devote to the case including a flexible schedule; the ability to communicate clearly, both orally and in writing and can keep an unbiased perspective.
In order to be certified, CASA volunteers must be at least 21 years of age, submit an application online, provide three references, and also provide a valid driver's license or state issued I.D. and proof of car insurance. The applicant must also complete an interview and be able to pass a background check including a polygraph. Volunteer advocates must have reliable transportation, the ability to communicate verbally and in writing through the computer and phone and the ability to dedicate an average of 15 to 20 hours a month, including visiting the child at least twice a month while committing at least a year and a half of service.
Please note that the application process must be complete within 120 day(s) from the submission of an application.
CASA of Maricopa County follows code and policy set forth by the Supreme Court. The application process includes screening procedures in which code is considered throughout the process. For more details, review the code here.
Please note that an applicant must be at least 21 years of age and a legal resident to become a volunteer advocate.
All CASA volunteers are required to complete 30 hours of pre-service training and court room and Foster Care Review Board observations. After certification, CASA volunteers are required to complete 12 hours of ongoing training yearly.
Please note an applicant must complete the application and certification process in 120 day(s).
Make a Life Changing Difference
Contact CASA of Maricopa County by email or call (602)506-4083.
Steps to Becoming an Advocate
- Complete an autobiography and provide three references.
- Interview with a Program Coordinator.
- Participate in a polygraph examination.
- Complete fingerprinting for a background check.
- Attend 30 hours of initial pre-service training along with courtroom and Foster Care Review Board observations.
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