Any child who has been abused and who is under the jurisdiction of the Berrien County Family Court or the St. Joseph County Family Court can be a CASA kid, but generally our children have seen the worst. They may have been severely abused, they may have had several foster homes already, they may have many siblings and are separated from them. They may have extensive educational, medical or emotional needs. CASA Volunteers serve the children who need our advocacy, consistency and listening ear the most!
Many of our volunteers have full time positions outside of CASA but, most have some flexibility in their day to attend court hearings and some meetings.
Training is usually 10 sessions, 3 hours each in a classroom setting and generally weekday evenings. We provide everything you need. We learn about the law, culture, poverty, trauma, brain development, family supports, education and special education, medical needs, and “how” to CASA. After you are trained CASA Staff will fully support you during your advocacy.
We do our best to match volunteers and children. One of the best ways to do this is to listen to our volunteer’s preferences. Of course, we don’t choose our children, we serve those the court assigns so some flexibility is important.
Most CASA Volunteers have 1-2 children, in large families, we have a team of CASA Volunteers who advocate.
While all of our children will have court hearings in Berrien County or St. Joseph County, due to a lack of local foster homes, some children might be placed in surrounding communities. .