What do Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) volunteers do?

CASA volunteers are trained to act as advocates on the individual needs of abused and neglected children in family court. As an appointed member of the court, a CASA volunteer assumes the following core responsibilities:

  • Serve as a fact-finder, reviewing the health, education, and safety needs of the child;

  • Speak on behalf of the child in the courtroom, representing his or her best interests;

  • Advocate that the case is brought to a swift and appropriate conclusion.


What types of cases are referred to CASA?

The Family Court Judge refers the most difficult and complex cases involving abuse or neglect to the CASA program. Several other factors are also considered in making this decision:

  • Instability of the child's current placement;

  • Presence of conflicting case information;

  • Concerns about the implementation of special services, such as medical care, counseling and education assistance.

Trained CASA Volunteers are encouraged to select the case for which they will serve as an advocate. CASA’s continue to work on the case until they are released by the court or are no longer able to volunteer.


Where do CASA’s work?

CASA of the River Region serves children in six Kentucky counties: Jefferson, Oldham, Henry, Trimble, Shelby and Spencer. CASA volunteers are appointed by judges in one of these counties, however, children may move to different communities during the time they are in Family Court.


What qualities are needed to be a CASA?
  • Commitment: The average case lasts one to two years and requires approximately 10 hours per month.

  • Objectivity: Volunteers research case records and speak to everyone involved in a child's life, including their family members, teachers, doctor, lawyer, social worker and others. Their third-party evaluations are based on facts, evidence and testimonies.

  • Written and Verbal Communication: Once a volunteer has fully evaluated a case, they prepare a written report outlining recommendations for services and placement. They must be able to speak with authority as they present their recommendations to the Family Court judge.


How do you become a CASA volunteer?

Persons interested in becoming a CASA volunteer must go through a screening process that involves completing an application and passing a background check and an initial in-person interview. Applicant must then complete a thorough training and development program of 30 hours of in-class training, a court observation, and a home visit. During training, volunteers learn courtroom procedure from the principals in the system (judges, lawyers, social workers, court personnel) and practice effective advocacy strategies and techniques. After completing training, volunteers are sworn in as officers of the court with the legal authority to obtain information on the child's situation and submit recommendations to the court.


How can I support CASA?

In addition to volunteer advocates, CASA of the River Region benefits from the invaluable contributions of non-advocate volunteers. There are many ways to support our mission including serving on the Board of Directors, as a CASA Ambassadors or Office Volunteers. We have an ongoing need for volunteers to:


  • Prepare materials for volunteer training class

  • Write newsletter articles

  • Staff tables at community events

  • Make treats for volunteer trainings or recognition events

  • Organize a fundraiser

  • Contact businesses for in-kind donations of food and thank you gifts for volunteers

  • Facilitate an in-service workshop

  • Connect CASA staff to potential donors


For more information on volunteering, contact Shari Christoff here

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Main Office:

982 Eastern Parkway Box 9

Louisville, KY 40217


Henry, Oldham & Trimble Office:

P.O. Box 225

La Grange, KY 40031

Ext. 213

Shelby & Spencer Office:

P.O. Box 1276

Shelbyville, KY 40066

Ext. 214




09:00 AM - 5:00 PM



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