What is CASA's Role?
A CASA is appointed by the court, through the King County Dependency CASA Program, to serve as an advocate for the best interests of a child who is the subject of a Dependency proceeding in Superior Court. The CASA has party status for all legal proceedings involving the child and, barring withdrawal or removal, serves for the duration of the case. The CASA has no control over the person or property of the dependent child, does not provide a home for the child, and does not serve as the child’s legal guardian.
Primary Duties of the CASA
- To complete an independent, objective assessment of the child’s situation, by reviewing available documentation, interviewing the child’s parents, relatives, caseworker, teachers, counselors, and others having knowledge of the child’s situation;
- To complete, in a timely manner, a written report to the court that addresses the historical and current facts of the child’s situation and the CASA’s recommendations based on these facts to serve the best interests of the child;
- To appear in court for hearings involving the child;
- To monitor all court orders for compliance and to bring to the court’s attention any changes in circumstance that may require modification of the court’s order; to report to the court information on the legal status of a child’s membership in any Indian tribe or band; and to report to the court the child’s express wishes.
- To serve as advocate for the child’s best interest at meetings, staffings, or case conferences regarding the child;
- To meet with the child regularly, at least once a month where practical;
- To fulfill continuing education requirements of the CASA Program, and
- To maintain regular contact with the assigned CASA Supervisor.
Minimum Volunteer Requirements:
A CASA must be at least 25 years of age, have high school/GED education, must possess a valid driver’s license and have access to transportation. The CASA must complete an application form and authorize the CASA Program staff to check at least three references. The CASA must authorize and pass a criminal background check and submit fingerprints. The CASA Program will interview the applicant to determine suitability for the position.
The CASA must be comfortable speaking and writing in the English language, and be able to write a report that is fact-based and logical in its conclusions and recommendations, and appropriately speaks to the child’s best interests in court. The CASA must be comfortable with technology and typing of reports. The CASA must agree to perform the duties as described above, in an ethical and lawful manner, and consistent with the policies of the CASA Program. The CASA must be willing to make a minimum commitment of 24 months to the Program.