The CASA Volunteer Program
Giving a voice to our most vulnerable children and youth.
The Piedmont CASA Volunteer program provides court-appointed special advocates for children in the foster care systems of the City of Charlottesville and the counties of Albemarle, Greene, and Louisa. We recruit, screen, and train hundreds of men and women in our community to assume this important and rewarding role.
Piedmont CASA Volunteers must successfully complete a background check and a 42-hour of training course that includes:
- the law governing child welfare
- local practice
- child development
- the dynamics of family violence
- court report writing
Graduates are then inducted by the judge as CASA Volunteers and authorized to accept appointment to a case. Each CASA Volunteer focuses on only one child or sibling group. They meet with them at least once a month, and are typically on the same case from beginning to end. Because of this, CASA Volunteers are often the most consistent presence in the lives of their children, which gives them a unique and critically important understanding of their circumstances.
CASA Volunteers conduct comprehensive independent investigations, working closely with physicians, therapists, lawyers, guidance counselors, social workers, teachers, parents, and others. They participate in family partnership meetings, special education meetings, and other child-specific treatment team meetings. All the information they gather is distilled into detailed court reports including recommendations that focus on short-term and long-term outcomes that are in the best interest of the child, ensuring that they receive appropriate and necessary services.
Changing a child's story.
Children who have CASA Volunteers receive more medical care, do better in school, spend less time in foster care, and find safe, permanent homes faster. These are all key to breaking the cycle of abuse and neglect ... and changing a child's story.