The demand for advocates for children in Clermont County continues to grow. More and more children are being introduced to the court system each day. In 2019, CASA for Clermont Kids served over 200 abused and neglected children through the dedication of 47 CASA volunteers, which is approximately 88% of the children in need in our community. Nationally, 93,300 volunteers are serving 271, 800 children in 49 states.
Qualifications to become an advocate:
- 21 years of age or older.
- Complete an application, attend an interview/information session.
- Complete and pass a criminal background check.
- Commit to 3-12 hours of monthly case activity.
- Maintain 2 year commitment.
- Complete the pre-service training curriculum which include materials provided online for study with 5 to 6 in-person classroom meetings to discuss and do a deeper dive into application of skills.
- Complete 12 hours of continuing education annually.
Responsibilities of being an advocate:
- Maintain confidentiality of all case information.
- Develop a relationship with the child by meeting in-person with the child once every 30 days at a minimum.
- Applying skills taught in training, obtain first hand a clear understanding of the needs and situation of the child. This will involve reviewing records, talking to the child and those closely involved with the child’s life and current situation.
- Appear at all hearings to advocate for the child’s best interests primarily by providing a written court report that includes findings and recommendations. It may also be necessary to provide testimony on occasion. Your training will prepare you well for these tasks.
- Advocate for the child’s best interests in the community by interfacing with mental health, educational and other community systems to assure that the child’s needs in these areas are met.
- Maintain complete records about the case, including appointments, interviews and information gathered about the child and the child’s life circumstances.
- Participate in all scheduled case conferences with supervisory staff.
- Provided the GAL Volunteer Coordinator with regular updates as to the status of your case and complete monthly activity logs.
Benefit to the Volunteer:
- Making a difference in the life of a child.
- Being part of a close knit local community of dedicated volunteers who share the values of safety, love and permanency for vulnerable children.
- Receiving extensive support from supervisors.
- Serving your community in a meaningful, rewarding way.