Volunteer Opportunities

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Volunteer to Make a Difference in the Life of a Child

Inquire today about the power you have to change a child’s life.

CASA is the only volunteer organization that empowers everyday citizens as appointed members of the court. In an overburdened social welfare system, abused and neglected children often slip through the cracks among hundreds of current cases. CASA volunteers in Mitchell and the surrounding communities change that. Appointed by judges, CASA volunteers typically handle just one case at a time and commit to staying on that case until the child is placed in a safe, permanent home.

While others may come and go, CASA volunteers provide that one constant that children need in order to thrive.

Are you ready to stand up for a child who needs you?

What is a CASA Volunteer?

For abused and neglected children, appalling living situations are only the beginning of their tragedies. Too often, it continues when they become caught up in bureaucracy. Their fates lie with child protection and juvenile court systems.

This is where CASA Volunteers make a world of difference. They are caring citizens, like you, who volunteer their services to the juvenile court.

After completing a training program, you'll be appointed by judges to speak on behalf of the best interests of a child whose case is in juvenile court.

You'll read court documents and visit the child in the foster home. You'll talk to social workers, teachers, doctors and family members. Then, you'll make a report the court about the child's situation.

  • Are the child's needs being met?
  • Does the child need counseling or special services?
  • Are the parents progressing in addressing the problems that brought the case to court?

The ultimate goal: A safe, permanent and loving home for a special child!

Qualifications and Training to be a CASA Volunteer

CARING IS THE ONLY EXPERIENCE YOU NEED!

You don't need a law degree or social work background to be a CASA Volunteer. You don’t have to have all the time in the world. The best qualification: A commitment to seeing children grow up safe, establish permanence and have the opportunity to thrive. And practical experience with children.

YOU'RE AN EFFECTIVE CHILD ADVOCATE IF YOU CAN:

  • Communicate effectively with a variety of individuals from various walks of life
  • Cope with the stressful issues and difficult situations children have experienced
  • Reach objective conclusions after considering all the facts
  • Maintain confidentiality
  • Work respectfully with people who have different values and life situations
  • Devote at least 8 to 12 hours each month to work on a case

Becoming a CASA volunteer advocate requires completion of 30 hours of pre-service training provided by CASA. Topics covered during training include an overview of the juvenile court system in South Dakota, sessions on report writing and information gathering, understanding the effects of child abuse, understanding cultural differences, and the roles of various professionals involved with abuse and neglect cases. Active volunteers are also asked to complete 12 hours of in-service training per year.