Age Minimum (with Adult): 21+
Portsmouth Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA)
A Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) volunteer is a trained citizen appointed by a judge to represent the best interests of children in court, most of whom have been removed from their parents or guardians due to abuse or neglect. They are in foster homes with the Dept. of Social Services having legal custody. After undergoing a criminal background check, volunteers complete 35 hours of pre-service training and court observation. CASA volunteers talk with the child, parents, family members, social workers, school officials, health care providers and others who are knowledgeable of the child's history. He or she also may review the child's school and medical records. The CASA then preperes a written report for the judge providing the information gathered while on the case. CASA volunteers typically carry one case and are not permitted to carry more than two. Each case is different. Some CASA volunteers prefer advocating for young children and others accept the challenge of advocating for teens. A volunteer usually spends about 10 hours per month on each case. Portsmouth CASA asks volunteers to make a one-year committment to the program.
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