The Maricopa County CASA Program offers a volunteer opportunity like no other.
A judge has a limited amount of time and information to determine the fate of an
abused child. In that set amount of time, the judge must make a determination about
where the child will stay and about the types of services the child will receive,
if any. There is little we can do to reduce the overloaded court docket, but we
can ensure that the judge has all the information he or she needs to make the best
possible decision about the fate of a child.
Every year, more than half a million abused and neglected children are in need of
nurturing environments. Too many spend years moving from one temporary home to another.
They are more likely than other children to face dropping out of school, homelessness,
unemployment, even prison as adults. Over 6,000 of these children live right here
in Maricopa County.
That's where CASA steps in. The Maricopa County Court Appointed Special Advocate
Program, (CASA) promotes and supports quality volunteer advocates to speak for the
best interests of abused and neglected children in the dependency court system.
Each child's case is different but generally, CASA volunteers maneuver through the
vast array of educational systems to assist their children in achieving academic
success; ensure that the child's medical needs, emotional needs, developmental needs
and permanency living plans are met and, if working with older youth, place emphasis
on the child's preparation for higher education, emancipation and the development
of durable life skills. As trained advocates, CASA volunteers are appointed by judges
to be a voice for these children in court and the community. Volunteer advocates
are the cornerstone of Maricopa County CASA.
Right now, Maricopa County CASA is only able to serve fewer than 15% of the 6,000
children currently in CPS custody due to life-threatening abuse domestic violence
or neglect. Maricopa County CASA’s goal is to provide one CASA volunteer for every
child that needs one. That’s where you come in. In the time you would spend on something
ordinary like a movie or a workout, you could do something extraordinary—Help to
redeem a child’s future.
Our CASA volunteer base is a diverse group of men and women bringing to the table
a variety of life experiences, professions, education levels and backgrounds. Are
you the volunteer we're looking for? If you are a proactive communicator who is
willing to commit to a child, then you are. If you can spare an average of 3 hours
a week and are at least 21 years of age, you are. We need both men and women of
every culture, but African-American, Hispanic, Native American, bilingual and male
role models are in especially short supply.
The first step: Complete an application including
three references. When we receive your completed application, you will be contacted
to schedule an interview appointment.
Every volunteer must pass a background check, polygraph exam and participate in
a 30-hour training course. After successfully completing the training, a volunteer
is assigned their first case. A volunteer’s average time commitment to a case is
approximately 15 hours per month.
Note: Interviews, polygraph exam and reference letters must be
completed prior to the commencement of training. Please submit your application
for consideration as soon as possible.