volunteer AdvocateS

 

CASA-NYC’s volunteer Advocates are a diverse group of more than 200 civic-minded New Yorkers who come together for the unique purpose of working on behalf of New York City’s foster children. Supported by licensed social workers and attorneys, volunteer Advocates make a thorough assessment of the needs and best interests of each child, collaborate with case workers, family members and attorneys, and report to the court at every hearing to provide critical information to assist judges in making informed decisions. They help children and families access needed services such as physical or mental health services, substance abuse counseling or special education, and monitor each child’s situation to ensure they remain safe.


 
 

 

Give Hope to a Child or Youth

Advocate for a child in need. Become a CASA volunteer.

Do you want to help children and youth in foster care find loving homes where they can thrive? Are you 21 years old and able to commit at least five hours of weekly service for a minimum of one year? Take the first step in becoming involved by completing our volunteer application.

We can’t wait to meet you!

 

Steps to Becoming an Advocate

 
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APPLICATION

  • Learn about our mission, read our FAQs (coming soon)

  • Submit an application online

  • Attend an information session

  • Participate in a phone interview

 
 
 

TRAINING

  • Submit 3 personal or professional references 

  • Pass 3 criminal and child abuse/neglect background checks

  • Participate in a 30-hour pre-service training

 
 
 
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APPOINTMENT

  • Attend a swearing-in-ceremony to be appointed

  • Be matched with a supervisor 

  • Attend a court observation

 

Objective

To provide diligent advocacy to ensure children in foster care have their needs met and rights protected; that they are moved out of foster care as quickly as possible; and that older youth aging out of foster care have the support and resources they need to live independently.

Qualifications

  • Completion of all screening requirements, which include a written application, interview, references, criminal background checks, and clearance with the New York State Central Register for Child Abuse and Maltreatment

  • Completion of 30-hour new advocate core training

  • Must be at least 21 years of age

  • Strong written and verbal communication skills

  • Ability to take initiative, work independently and navigate complex systems

  • Willingness and ability to travel throughout NYC when necessary

  • Knowledge of or willingness to learn about the NYC child welfare system

  • Knowledge of NYC government agencies and community resources a strong plus

  • Commitment to dedicate at least 3-5 hours each week on each case assigned, more if necessary

  • Commitment to serve for a minimum of one year after case assignment, or until an assigned case is closed

  • Computer literacy

  • Bilingual applicants strongly preferred

  • Applicants who reflect the racial, ethnic, economic and linguistic diversity of New York City communities are strongly encouraged to apply

  • Candidates may not be employed in a position and/or agency that might result in a conflict of interest

Responsibilities

  • Interview appropriate parties involved in the case to assess needs and determine whether necessary services are being provided to child and family; this may include interviewing child, parents, foster parents, teachers, service providers, attorneys for all parties, and other relevant resources

  • Participate in court hearings, foster care agency meetings and other relevant conferences and meetings when possible

  • Advocate diligently for the provision of services that are necessary for a child’s well-being or in the child’s best interest

  • Advocate diligently to protect the rights of children at all times

  • Advocate diligently for services for parents that will assist parents in reunifying with children, when the goal is reunification

  • Submit progress noted to supervisor bi-weekly

  • Respond promptly to inquiries by attorneys, court personnel, parents, children, youth, CASA staff and all related parties

  • Maintain accurate and complete records and documentation about all activities related to the case, including appointments, interviews, and information gathered about the child and family’s services

  • Submit written reports concerning the facts of the case to the court at all hearings

  • Gather information and report findings to the court without bias and discrimination on the basis of sex, sexual orientation, gender identification, race, ethnicity or national origin

  • Maintain complete confidentiality regarding information about the child, as well as information regarding other parties involved in the case

  • Exhibit professionalism in behavior and appearance

  • Notify supervisor immediately to request removal from a case if Advocate becomes aware of conflict of interest, including relationship to any party to the case

  • Respect a child’s inherent right to grow up with dignity in a safe environment

  • Report any new incidents of child abuse or neglect to the CASA supervisor and the State Central Registry

  • Complete a minimum of 12 hours per year of in-service training, either provided by CASA or by outside providers approved by CASA supervisor

  • Meet with supervisor in person at least monthly, for individual or group supervision

  • Maintain contact with supervisor by phone or email at least weekly


Have Questions?

Email Volunteer Coordinator, Lizaura German at volunteer@casa-nyc.org.