What is a CASA Advocate

WHAT IS A CASA ADVOCATE?
CASA Advocates are volunteers who go through an extensive training process before being sworn in by the presiding judge and matched with appropriate cases. They are typically assigned to one child or set of siblings and spend an average of 10 hours per month on their case, including a monthly visit with the child. As an appointed member of the court, a CASA Advocate assumes the following responsibilities:
• To serve as a part of the fact finding process for the judge by thoroughly researching the background of the assigned case
• To speak on behalf of the child in the courtroom, representing his or her best interests
• To act as a monitor for the child for the duration of the case, ensuring that the case is brought to a swift and appropriate conclusion
Judges accept the recommendations of CASA of Cook County Advocates 85 percent of the time, demonstrating the confidence judges have in the work of CASA and our Advocates.

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DEDICATED VOLUNTEERS
IMPACT OF A CASA ADVOCATE
SAFETY
Less than 1% of children assigned a CASA re-entered protective care in 2018. There were no child deaths when a CASA was appointed.
PERMANENCY​
Children assigned a CASA have shorter lengths of time in protective care. 39%of children assigned a CASA left the foster care system vs. DCFS’s case closure rate of 25%.
WELL-BEING​
CASA volunteers are trained to advocate in court for the educational needs and physical and mental health needs of children. Our volunteers are the one consistent, caring adult connection throughout a child’s time in protective care.

Meet CASA Advocate, Leslie

Leslie has been hard at work on her first case after being sworn in as a CASA Advocate in February 2018. She decided to volunteer for CASA because advocacy was a skill she developed in both her career and caring for her own children with special needs. When asked what keeps her motivated on her CASA case Leslie says, “I enjoy digging deep to solve problems in all aspects of my life, so doing a deep dive into the CASA case file is a challenge I love.” And we appreciate the thoroughness of Leslie’s work! When she is not busy advocating for others, Leslie enjoys traveling, playing golf, hiking spending time with her family and managing her rental properties.