BECOME A

VOLUNTEER

ADVOCATE

Advocate to Change
the Trajectory of a
Child’s Life

Advocate to Change the Trajectory of a Child’s Life

What it Takes

Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) volunteers get to know the child and gather information from everyone involved in their daily life, including family members, foster parents, teachers, daycare providers, doctors, lawyers, social workers, and other relevant people.

Application Process

Step 1: Complete a volunteer inquiry form

Step 2: A CASA-EP staff member will contact you to discuss your interest

Step 3: Complete an application

Step 4: Participate in a screening interview with CASA-EP staff

Step 5: Successfully complete a criminal background check and provide documentation of a safe driving record

Here is what it takes to be a CASA-EP Volunteer:

  • Be 21 years of age or older
  • Be committed to improving the lives of vulnerable children
  • Possess passion, positivity, and professionalism
  • Be able to effectively communicate orally and in writing
  • Be comfortable with word processing and database technology
  • Have availability to participate in 35 hours of training and 10-15 hours per month on child engagement and advocacy
  • A willingness to learn and an open mind toward life experiences different from your own

Your help is needed now more than ever.

Your help is needed now more than ever.

As a volunteer advocate, you can ensure that the voices of children in the Eastern Panhandle are heard and their needs remain a priority in an overburdened child welfare system.

What do you love best about being a CASA Volunteer?
“As a retiree it gives me a sense of purpose. While some cases do not end as I would want, others have endings where I know the children have an opportunity for a bright future and ones where I know CASA made a difference in the outcome.”

Current CASA-EP Volunteer
What do you love best about being a CASA Volunteer?
“I had a case that lasted two years. By the time it was ending, I was the only person the little girl recognized from the beginning of the case. I liked being the one that never gave up on her. Sometimes the threads that tether the children to caring adults aren't always there.”

Current CASA-EP Volunteer
Tell us a story about your BEST DAY as a CASAEP volunteer.
“The best day was the day my CASA partner and I attended an adoption Celebration for a sweet three-year-old ‘client’ whose case we had followed for a year or more. We had played a significant role in his journey from circumstances that were squalid and neglectful to a home that was nurturing and happy. It was very gratifying.”

Current CASA-EP Volunteer

Training

CASA-EP volunteers participate in a nationally accredited training and development program that consists of 35 hours of pre-service training, followed by 12 hours of yearly in-service training.

During this period of social distancing, all classes are conducted online and through independent study.

Meeting the needs of our CASA-EP volunteers is our priority.

Dedicated staff members, our Volunteer Supervisors, provide all volunteers with ongoing support. There is a peer mentoring program, Chat & Chew discussion opportunities, and you can even volunteer with a friend or partner so casework can be shared.

Other Ways to Volunteer and Support the Mission

If you do not have the time available to become a CASA-EP child advocate, there are other ways to make a difference and support our mission:

  • Become a CASA Champion and contribute time and expertise on a fixed schedule or project basis.
  • Donate professional services (such as advertising, printing, or technical services), or in-kind merchandise (school supplies, gift cards, etc.)
  • Make a tax deductible donation
  • Educate or inform others about the work of CASA-EP and our need for volunteers through your professional and community networks. Start with liking us on Facebook!
  • Invite a CASA-EP representative to speak to your employer, social organization, or group.
  • Serve as a Board Member. Complete and submit the nomination form.
  • Contact Us with other ideas you have!

Advocacy Resources

Our online training is only the beginning. We will continue to support you throughout your tenure as a CASA-EP volunteer. Here are some resources to help you excel as a volunteer advocate:
CASA-EP is also calling on the broader community to make sure children are safe. Here are some resources to learn more or report suspected abuse or neglect:
  • If you suspect a child is in immediate danger, contact the police or 9-1-1.
  • Any individual concerned for a child can report child abuse or neglect. If you suspect that a child under the age of 18 is being abused or neglected, or is at risk of abuse or neglect, you should make a report to your local law enforcement agency and call the WV Child Abuse Hotline (1-800-352-6513).
  • You can also contact the Child help National Child Abuse Hotline via text, phone, or online chat to report abuse or if you are afraid you might hurt someone: https://www.childhelp.org/childhelp-hotline/.
  • For information on preventing abuse, visit the Child Abuse America website: https://preventchildabuse.org/
  • If you are a parent or caregiver who needs support, contact the National Parent Hotline at 1 855 427 2736 or go to https://www.nationalparenthelpline.org/what-we-do