What is a CASA volunteer?
There are so many adults that are part of the court system, it’s difficult to keep track. CASA programs throughout the state (and nation!) have one mission: to advocate for your best interest in court. Through building a relationship with you (we visit once a month), and learning more about your life through other adults (like your teachers and other family members), we provide a recommendation to the court with your safety and happiness in mind. Since CASA Volunteers are not in every county yet, you might have what’s called a GAL, who is also your advocate and cares about your well-being. Here’s the difference:
- A CASA volunteer is your special advocate to help your case reach the best outcome
- They are not an attorney, but they do complete 30 hours of training so they are allowed to be your “voice” in court
- They are supervised by their local CASA program, and a staff attorney to ensure they are completing visits and developing reports for the judge
- A GAL is a person from the court to investigate solutions for your best interest
- They are an attorney, and they complete an addition 6 hours of special training to be your guardian
- They provide recommendations, and sometimes a report, to the presiding judge in your case
By law, you have a CASA or GAL.
If you live in one of the counties with a CASA program, you can contact them directly to find out if you have a CASA volunteer.
If you don’t, contact your local court for information on your GAL. If you are having difficulty, contact us and we can try and help.