Walla Walla/Columbia County
What is a CASA/GAL?
A Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) or volunteer Guardian ad Litem (GAL) is a trained member of the community who volunteers to act as an advocate for children that are involved in court proceedings, due to having experienced abuse or neglect.
What role does a CASA/GAL have, what does a CASA/GAL do?
A CASA/GAL’s role is to advocate for a child by presenting to the court an informed and objective perspective regarding the best interest of the child.
CASA/GALs attend court hearings regarding the child’s case, visit the child on a regular basis, and attend case relevant meetings. As an advocate for a child, CASA/GAL volunteers talk with individuals involved in a child’s life and gather objective, factual, information. Using this information, a CASA/GAL makes recommendations as to what is in a child’s best interest by submitting a report to the court.
Does a CASA/GAL make a difference?
Studies have shown that the introduction of a caring adult in the life of an abused child can alter the path of that child’s life forever. CASA/GAL’s can make a profound and positive difference for an abused child.
Children with a CASA/GAL volunteer are more likely to find a permanent home and spend less time in foster care.
Who can be a CASA/GAL?
CASA/GAL volunteers come from a variety of educational, professional, and cultural backgrounds. No special skills are required, only someone who is committed to making a difference.
To become a CASA/GAL volunteer, you must be at least 21 years of age, be able to pass a background check, participate in an in-person interview, complete 30 hours of pre-service training, and be able to commit 18 months to the program.
For more information about becoming a CASA volunteer, call us at (509) 524-2800 or e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.