CASA recruits, trains and supports community volunteers who advocate on behalf of abused and neglected children in our community. CASA volunteers do their own investigation, get to know each child and write reports directly to the judge with recommendations for what’s in the child’s best interests.
CASA volunteers get cases moving through the child welfare system and advocate to help ensure each child is in a secure, safe home. The CASA program succeeds due to the help of dedicated staff, caring volunteers and generous supporters like you.
CASA of Merced County is appointed by Judicial Officers with Merced Superior Court. When a volunteer is available, he or she reviews the case information with a Peer Coordinator. If the volunteer accepts the case, he/she independently investigates the current circumstances of the child's life. The CASA visits at least two times a month and gathers information from the school, caregivers, and family. Each CASA is quided by their Peer Coordinator.
Prior to each court hearing, the volunteer, with the assistance of their Peer Coordinator, prepares a Court Report with his/her evaluations and recommendations for the child. The Juvenile Court Judge reads and considers the CASA Report along with the social worker's report prior to making a decision.
CASA volunteers are unique in providing information not usually available to the Court. Due to the enormous number of cases filed in Juvenile Court, the CASA's objective, unbiased recommendation to support the best interest of the child is an invaluable aid to the Judicial Officer.
If you'd like to find out more about volunteering, you may attend one of our informational orientations.
Call (209) 722-CASA (2272) or email firstname.lastname@example.org to find out when the next Orientation is scheduled.