Qualifications to become an advocate:
- 21 years of age or older
- Complete a screening, interview and background checks
- No criminal record
- Commit to 3-12 hours of monthly case activity
- Maintain 2 year commitment
- Complete 40 hours of pre-service training
- Complete 12 hours of continuing education annually
Responsibilities of being an advocate:
- Maintain confidentiality of all case information
- Obtain first hand a clear understanding of the needs and situation of the child by reviewing all relevant documents and records and interviewing the child, parents, social workers, teachers and other persons to determine the facts and circumstances of the child’s situation.
- The CASA/GAL shall meet in-person with the child once every 30 days at a minimum.
- Appear at all hearings to advocate for the child’s best interests and provide court reports which include findings and recommendations. It may also be necessary to provide testimony on occasion.
- 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.