Becoming a
Mentor Advocate


The first step in becoming an advocate volunteer is to complete our application and submit it to our office. Next, we'll schedule an interview — an opportunity for you to ask questions and for us to get to know you better. After that, we'll contact references and perform standard background checks (the same used for teachers and childcare workers). Once this is completed, you're ready for training. At the conclusion of training, you'll be sworn in by our Family Court judges and then we'll assign you a case.

To start, read and complete the following:

Application
Position Description
Frequently Asked Questions

Once completed, email to info@casaulster.org or mail to:

Court Appointed Special Advocates
209 Clinton Avenue
Kingston, NY 12401

If you have any questions or if you would for us to send the application, position description and frequently asked questions to you, call us at 845.339.7543.

For information about other volunteer opportunities at CASA, visit our Volunteer Opportunities page.

Get Involved

To the world you may be just one person,
but to one person, you may be the world.


                                                                         — Josephine Billings
 
 
You can help a child at a frightening and bewildering time. You can help that child understand the confusing court process, present that child’s needs to the judge, and provide continuity for a child whose future is being determined by the Court.

You Can Speak Up for a Child

Are you a mature, responsible adult?
Do you care about children?
Do you have good communications skills?
Do you have time to commit?
If you answered "yes” to the above questions, you could be a CASA volunteer.

What does it take to become a CASA volunteer?


Commitment

When you take on a case, you take on a child's future. If you can commit approximately ten to twelve hours per month for eighteen months, you can make a positive difference in a child's life. It is hard work, but very gratifying.

Connection and caring
Children in foster care experience many disruptions. Often, they don't lose just their home. They lose their friends and their school. Most children in foster care have more than one "placement," which means the loss happens all over again. These children need the connection and caring of that one special adult who will be there for them, no matter what else changes around them.

Objectivity
The CASA volunteer’s role is to promote the best interests of the child. That may not always be what the child wants. CASA volunteers are particularly valuable to the Courts because they must be able to remain objective while gathering information from everyone involved in a child’s life.

Good communication skills

CASA volunteers must be able to talk with a wide variety of people from healthcare professionals to school officials to hurt, angry parents. The CASA volunteer must be willing to consistently communicate with family members and service providers and monitor the child’s progress. CASA volunteers present formal written reports to the court, sometimes speaking in the courtroom on behalf of the child's best interests.

Training

Applicants to the CASA program are carefully screened and then provided in-depth training on issues including the Family Court system; the child welfare system; family dynamics; the special needs of abused and neglected children; cultural awareness; as well as advocacy and interviewing techniques. Applicants must complete the thirty hour classroom training, as well as six hours of observations in the Family Courts.

Volunteers are required to participate in at least 12 hours of in-service training that is provided throughout the year. Staff is available to discuss your case, offer guidance and make sure you get the support you need.  For more information about training, click here.

Want to help but can't or don't want to become an Advocate Volunteer?

There are many help to help CASA change the lives of abused and neglected children.  Some are big, some are small.  Every effort helps us be a strong, independent organization to help children who need it most.  Click here to learn more about other ways you can volunteer for CASA.


Who are our volunteers?

CASA volunteers are ordinary people who care about children. They come from all walks of life, with a variety of professional, educational, and ethnic backgrounds. Some work full time, some part time; some are students; some retired; some do not work outside the home. No particular education or work experience is required.

Contact CASA about volunteering today.
For an application or additional information: info@casaulster.org


You can bring hope to a child’s life