Why becoming a CASA is so important
When children are removed from their home due to neglect, abuse, or abandonment, they suddenly find themselves in a confusing world of professionals they do not know. CASAs are often the only adults foster children can trust to remain with them for the entirety of their time in the system. These long lasting relationships help increase our children’s confidence and self esteem so they feel worthy of love. In Bergen County, our CASAs are committed volunteers who work diligently to make sure these children receive the services they need for the duration of their time in foster care.
Being a CASA volunteer is a unique experience that enables you to make a significant difference in a child’s life. Working one-on-one with children in foster care, you give them a voice by advocating for their best interests. Volunteers collaborate with others involved in the child’s life (such as parents, foster parents, mental and physical healthcare providers), conduct an assessment of the child’s needs, make recommendations on the child’s behalf, and provide critical information to the court to assist judges in making timely and informed decisions.
“Kids in the foster care system are some of the most vulnerable and neglected people in America. Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) trains volunteer advocates to ensure that every child’s voice is heard. These children need help, and in your free time you can change the trajectory of a child’s life.”
Nicholas Kristof, New York Times Op-Ed Columnist
The Five-Step Process to become a CASA
Attend one of our monthly information sessionsStep 1
Submit the online application to become a CASA.Step 2
Complete interview and pre-training paperwork.Step 3
Attend the next training series.Step 4
Success! You’re sworn in as an official CASA.Step 5
Eligibility to be a CASA
Your desire to help change a child’s story is the most important quality we look for when we screen prospective volunteers. You must have a valid driver’s license, be at least 21, clear a criminal background check, have computer skills, and be able to communicate orally and in writing. Being a CASA means being flexible in terms of your work and personal schedule. You must be willing to make a two-year commitment to the program and to your foster child. Additionally, CASA volunteers cannot be personally involved with the Division of Child Protective Services.
CASA for Children of Bergen County provides equal opportunities to all volunteers and volunteer applicants without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, disability, sexual orientation, or gender identity.