Learn More about Becoming a CASA Volunteer
Currently, CASA for Douglas County advocates for over 500 children in foster care. At any given time in Douglas County, there are up to 1600 children in foster care. Our vision is to provide a CASA Volunteer to each child that needs one. We are in dire need of volunteers within our community to advocate for these children and make a difference in their lives.
No special background or education is required to become a CASA volunteer. We encourage people from all cultures and professions, and of all ethnic and educational backgrounds to volunteer.
If you would like more information visit our Contact Form.
A Court Appointed Special Advocate, CASA, is a trained volunteer, sworn in as an Officer of the Court and appointed to a specific case by a Judge. A CASA is the voice for abused and neglected children who are in foster care. Working in conjunction with case professionals and attorneys, a CASA advocates for the best interest of a child. A CASA meets with the child at least monthly and attends monthly team meetings with case professionals, parents and/or foster parents. A CASA will meet with teachers, daycare providers, medical and mental health providers, and other service providers as needed. At least every six months, a CASA will write a court report with recommendations to the court. A CASA will also attend periodic court hearings.
Essential Volunteer Duties:
- Meet with the child on a consistent basis, a minimum of one time per month.
- Attend meetings with case professionals, parents and/or foster parents.
- Establish and maintain contact with schools, therapists, medical professionals, and other professionals involved in the child’s life.
- Monitor court-ordered services to ensure effectiveness, and advocate for additional services as needed.
- Document observations, facts and circumstances of the child’s situation in a written court report including recommendations for placement, services, and permanency.
- Attend court hearings.
Participation and/or Support:
- CASA Holiday Party in December and the Volunteer Recognition Event in April.
- SHARE Omaha in May.
- Complete 30 hours of pre-service training and 2 hours of court observation.
- Complete 12 hours of continuing education training annually.
- Able to commit to a minimum of 2 years.
- Willing to commit 10 to 12 hours per month.
- Able to commit to training hours as noted above.
- Attend court hearings along or notify Advocate Supervisor if unable.
- Able to maintain objectivity and professionalism in dealing with the child and all other parties involved.
- Ability to maintain confidentiality.
- Possess excellent verbal and written communication skills.
- Possess a working knowledge of Microsoft Word and Email.
- Must have reliable transportation.
- Must be at least 21 years of age.
- Must pass a background check, have a valid driver’s license/identification, valid auto insurance (if applicable), valid phone number, and have a permanent address.
The process to become an advocate is comprised of 5 steps:
- Complete the online application. The application will take approximately 30 minutes to complete. Be prepared to provide address history, and three references (personal and/ or professional) and their email addresses.
- Interview with CASA Recruitment Coordinator. Once the application is completed, the Recruitment Coordinator will contact you to schedule a 60 minute interview. Initial acceptance into the program will be determined at this interview.
- Successfully complete background checks. CASA staff will initiate the background checks after initial acceptance into the program.
- Attend and successfully complete CASA training. CASA training takes place over five weeks. Each week, 3 hours of independent study is completed online prior to attending a 3-hour classroom session. Trainees also observe two court hearings.
- Be sworn in as a Court Appointed Special Advocate by a judge of the Separate Juvenile Court of Douglas County.
An advocate receives 30 hours of training and attends 2 court observations. CASA training is scheduled over a five-week period and includes 3 hours of independent study and 3 hours of training each week. The class schedule provides some flexibility throughout the year. Click here to view the 2022 Training Schedule.
All pre-service training is facilitated virtually via Zoom during the COVID-19 pandemic.
CASA Volunteers are required to complete 12 hours of continuing education each calendar year. CASA for Douglas County offers a variety of learning opportunities throughout the year.