How Do I Donate?
On the main menu of our site, click donate or click on Online Donation – CFO.
This will take you to the Community Foundation of the Ozarks site. Type Mid-Ozark CASA into the Fund/Program field. Fill in the amount and billing information. Once the donation is complete, you will receive tax notification from CFO and the money will go straight to the
Mid-Ozark CASA fund. Thank-you in advance for your generosity.
Is CASA for You?
1. Do I have to be a lawyer or social worker?
No. People from all walks of life become CASAs. After you have been accepted into the CASA program, you will receive a minimum of 30 hours of training to prepare you for your work as a CASA. You will receive ongoing support from CASA staff.
2. What kinds of people serve as CASA volunteers?
Being a CASA volunteer requires no specialized degrees or legal experience. It does require special people over age of 21 who have:
- A concern for children;
- A genuine desire to help;
- The ability to remain objective;
- The maturity to deal with emotional situations;
- The commitment to complete a 30-hour minimum training course;
- Sensitivity to people who are different from themselves;
- Access to transportation and a flexible schedule; and
- A willingness to devote at least one year to a child’s case.
3. Do I have time for this?
Most CASA volunteers work full-time and find the CASA experience flexible enough to accommodate their schedules. You will go to court about 4-5 times a year and attend a few daytime meetings. The rest of a CASA volunteer’s work is done on his or her own time – visiting the child, reviewing records and reading and writing reports. You will meet, email and call others involved in the case. Throughout a child’s case, volunteers typically spend an average of 15 hours a month, including travel time and phone calls.
4. Can I handle this emotionally?
CASA volunteers are assigned to a case after the alleged child abuse or neglect has occurred and the child is placed in foster care. The CASA’s focus is on determining the child’s current and future needs. CASA staff provides emotional support and guidance throughout the case and accompanies volunteers to court hearings.
5. What kinds of children will I be working with?
Children who have been removed from their homes due to abuse or neglect. These children could be living in an emergency shelter, a foster home, a residential treatment center, or a relative’s home. They range in age from newborn to teenager and in numbers from one child on a case to a large sibling group. Volunteers can choose an age range that they prefer to work with and also whether they’d prefer to work with a sibling group or only one child. But, our goal is always to provide a CASA to every child who needs one.
6. Will I be safe?
CASA volunteers are never expected or encouraged to place themselves in dangerous situations. The work of CASA is challenging, but you will always have the support of a CASA staff person.
7. How do I know what to recommend to the judge in a case?
CASA volunteers make recommendations based on the time they spend with the child, the review of records, interviews with the caseworker, the attorney for the child, the foster parents, teachers, relatives, parents, and the CASA supervisor.
8. Why would the judge listen to me?
The judge appoints CASA to represent the best interests of the child and make recommendations to the court. Judges respect CASA volunteers and take their recommendations into account when making decisions.
9. Will my time make a difference?
Absolutely. CASA volunteers offer children a consistent helping hand to guide them through the foster care system and a strong voice advocating on their behalf. As a result, children represented by CASA are more likely to:
- receive the services and resources they and their families need;
- maintain stable placements while in foster care;
- avoid the court system once their case is dismissed.
10.How does a CASA volunteer differ from an attorney?
A CASA does not provide legal representation in the courtroom. A CASA takes into account what a child may want and speaks specifically to what is in the best interest of the child.
11. Are there any other agencies or groups that provide the same service?
No. There are other child advocacy organizations, but CASA is the only program where volunteers are appointed by the court to represent a child’s best interests. While attorneys are appointed to represent the child’s legal interests and advocate for what the child wants, CASA’s duty is to advocate for what the child needs.