We Need You!
It matters to children when someone stands up for them in court. This is especially true in dependent neglect trials when parents are not necessarily a source of stability or support for their children. Abused and neglected children in Montana need caring and committed adults who are trained to represent their best interests.
CASA advocates receive thirty hours of initial training, plus twelve additional hours a year in monthly trainings, readings and related opportunities. Advocates also have ongoing, one-on-one supervision and group supervision to assist with the technical steps of helping these children. Every advocate is trained in the special needs of abused and neglected children, courtroom procedures, social services and the Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA).
A CASA advocate is:
- An individual who has been screened and trained by CASA of Lewis & Clark and Broadwater Counties and appointed by the court to advocate for children who come into the court system primarily as a result of alleged abuse or neglect.
- An individual who respects a child's inherent right to grow up with dignity in a safe environment that meets that child's best interests.
- An individual who assures that the child's best interests are represented in the court at every stage of the case and in the community in all aspects of the child's life.
Speak Up For a Child
The children with whom CASA works are victims of child abuse and neglect. Many of them are in foster care. They need a “voice in court” in order to find a safe, permanent home quickly whether that means returning to a parent or being adopted. The CASA/GAL advocate provides that voice, sharing with the court both what the child wants and a recommendation about what is in that child’s best interest. It is valuable work that requires the commitment of your time, your energy, and your hear
How Do I Become an Advocate?
- CONTACT the Helena CASA office
- Complete an application HERE
- Provide three personal/professional references
- Participate in a personal interview
- Complete a CPS background check
- Complete a criminal background check
- Complete 30 hours of required training and review and sign required forms
- Get your ID picture taken and badge made
- Be sworn in as a Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) before the 1st Judicial District Court
- Be 21 years old
- Be willing to complete necessary background checks, provide references and participate in an interview
- Complete a minimum of 30 hours of pre-service training and sign all needed forms
- Be available for court appearances, with advance notice
- Be willing to commit to the CASA program until your first case is closed
- Have 4-10 hours per month of time to give to your case