Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Dallas CASA Needs Volunteers

Are you looking for a way to give back to the community?  We might have just the volunteer opportunity for you.  Dallas CASA is a non-profit organization of volunteers who are voices for abused and neglected children.  CASA (Court-Appointed Special Advocates) volunteers are appointed by the courts to gather information and make recommendations to help judges decide what is in the best interest of each child.

CASA volunteers serve as a source of hope and support for child victims as they wait for courts to decide where they will safely live.  Volunteers help expedite this process and provide better outcomes for children.  For many of these abused and neglected children, CASA serves as the only constant during a frightening and uncertain time.  As a CASA volunteer, you can make an immediate impact on the life of a child.

Unfortunately, Dallas CASA is able to serve only two out of every five children who need CASA volunteers. There is a child waiting for your help.

What kind of person is a CASA volunteer?

Our volunteers come from all walks of life, and most are employed full-time. Volunteers must be 21 or older, undergo a background check and take part in a personal interview. Volunteer advocates are patient, open-minded people who have good communication skills, a history of following through on commitments and a willingness to accept guidance. Above all, they care about children.

How much time does it take to be a CASA volunteer?

Your assignment will generally range from fifteen to twenty hours per month. Most of this time can be spent in evenings or on weekends, but there are approximately eight to ten court hearings per year, as well as phone calls and occasional meetings during working hours.

You must be 21 or older to volunteer.

How do I get started?

Step 1: Attend a CASA new volunteer information session.  Click here for the schedule.
Step 2: Submit an application. The application process includes a criminal background check and a short personal interview.
Step 3: Attend training. CASA volunteers participate in an intensive 30-hour training course which covers topics such as Dynamics of Child Abuse and Neglect, Advocate Responsibilities, Family Violence, Cultural Competence, Permanency Planning, Accessing Services and Court Proceedings. All classes must be completed for a volunteer to graduate and be sworn in by the court as a CASA volunteer. Don’t let that 30 hour requirement scare you. There are nine volunteer training sessions each year, so if you have to miss a class, you can make it up and still become a volunteer. You just might not be sworn in with your class.
Click here to get started: http://dallascasa.org/how-to-volunteer/become-a-volunteer-advocate.html

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