Court-Appointed Child Advocate
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CASA of Kent County

Court-Appointed Child Advocate

A CASA (or Court-Appointed Special Advocate) is a trained community volunteer sworn in by a judge to be an independent voice in court for a child in the foster care system because of abuse or neglect. As a CASA, you’ll spend time with the child assigned to you, getting to know them in order to act as their advocate. Your primary responsibility is to form a relationship with your CASA child, gathering information to make recommendations in a report for the judge at every court hearing for that child. You’ll also keep the court informed as to developments with the child and anything you might observe related to the child’s family or placement. You must be there for “the life of the case,” helping ensure the child’s needs are met throughout the case.

The time commitment required is 10-20 hours/month for the length of the case, which is an average of 18 months. These hours include three home visits/month, court hearings approximately every three months, and any team meetings. (Check out the official description, including national statistics, to learn even more.)

Show me how to get started
10-20 hours/month for case duration (avg. of 18 months), which includes three home visits/month and a court hearing every three months
21+; must have own transportation and current auto insurance; pass background checks, including a Central Registry Clearance Request
Locations vary by child’s living arrangement; court meetings at downtown city courthouse

Is This the Right Fit for Me?

You have a passion for working with kids, and you believe in the power of healthy relationships. You’ve got more time than the average person to devote to the life of your CASA child, and you know this is a truly valuable way to invest your time and your heart. You have a knack for building relationships, and you’re a particularly good listener with strong communication skills. You’re comfortable in a culturally diverse environment. You can collaborate with a team. You’re willing to look at every side of the story, resisting the desire for simple solutions.

About CASA of Kent County

CASA (Court-Appointed Special Advocates) of Kent County provides highly-trained Grand Rapids volunteers to advocate in the best interest of abused and neglected children in family court proceedings. Volunteers investigate, facilitate, advocate and monitor services for children who are wards of the court due to abuse and/or neglect. CASA volunteers present first-hand information and observations to help judges make the very best decisions about children’s futures.

What Others are Saying

“When I retired from teaching special education, a friend mentioned to me that she thought I would be a good CASA (court-appointed special advocate) volunteer. I have learned about the court system, the foster care system, the adoption process, and much more. I have learned what severe trauma looks like in children and have been a small part of providing care, protection, and love to those who are vulnerable. If you love children and are willing to give of your time, this is a most worthwhile organization to volunteer with. You will grow and learn, be part of something bigger than yourself, have great rewards, put many miles on your car, and sometimes have your heart broken.”


Contact the Organization

If you’re ready to ask some questions and get started, contact the CASA of Kent County directly.

Clare Parks Administrative Coordinator 616-632-5311

What to Expect

Contact Clare or click here to find out when the next quarterly informational meeting will be held. Anytime before or after that meeting, submit a volunteer application. Once your application is approved, you'll be invited to a 30-hour training course; ultimately, you'll be sworn in as an advocate by a family court judge. As a CASA, you’ll also have regular inservice training and opportunity to attend an optional annual training conference in Lansing.