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CASA Volunteer

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Description
CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocates) of Southwest Missouri believes every child who's been abused or neglected deserves to have a dedicated advocate speaking up for their best interest in court, at school and in our community. CASA volunteers come from every walk of life and share a commitment to improving children's lives, a willingness to learn, and an open mind towards life experiences different from their own. Volunteers complete an interview, background checks and a 30-hour intensive training program including in-person and online classes and courtroom observation. After being sworn-in by a judge, volunteers are appointed to a child or family of children and spend an average of 5-10 hours a month advocating for these children for two years. They get to know the child while also gathering information from the child's family, teachers, doctors, caregivers and anyone else involved in the child's life. Judges highly value CASA's recommendations which help them make informed decisions in the child's best interest. Children with CASA volunteers are more likely to end up with their family, and according to National CASA, more likely to receive therapy, health care and education and do better in school, and less likely to be bounced from one place to another or get stuck in long-term foster care. CASA’s vision is to provide a volunteer advocate for every child in need in our community. CASA volunteers are assigned to an abuse or neglect case by judges. They conduct thorough research on the background of the case, reviewing documents, interviewing everyone involved, including the child. They make reports to the court, recommending what they believe is best for the child, providing the judges with information that will help them make an informed decision. CASA volunteers can be instrumental in assuring that a child or family receives services which the court has ordered - things like substance abuse counseling or special education testing. During the life of a case, a CASA volunteer monitors the child's situation to make sure they remain safe. CASA volunteers may be the only constant the child knows as they move through the labyrinth of the child welfare system. Volunteer Qualifications are 21 years of age or older have completed a high school education or equivalent are willing to commit to an average of 5-10 hours per month for 2 years as a volunteer act as an independent investigator and represent the best interest of the child write and submit monthly summaries and activity log sheets and written reports to the court do NOT have any felony convictions involving domestic violence or child abuse/neglect NOT a current employee of the Juvenile Justice Center or Children's Division (formerly known as DFS) NOT a current foster care provider in Greene County, Missouri
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Location: Springfield, MO 65804