•Volunteers work within a group of professionals including, Social Workers, Attorneys, Judges and others. It is vital to keep an attitude of professionalism in all aspects of volunteering for CASA.
•Webster defines empathy as:
“the ability to understand and share the feelings of another. As a CASA Volunteer, it is most important to remember your role as an advocate for the child(ren). Each case will represent itself in a different and unique way and because of the different extremes of abuse and neglect, a level of empathy will be most needed by you to comfort and assess each individual case.
•Every case that you receive as a CASA Volunteer will require an immense amount of responsibility to different aspects of the case. The social workers, attorneys and judges will ask for your responsibility in seeing the children and reporting your findings. Your CASA staff will also ask of you to be reliable and diligent in any necessary paperwork and reports that are needed not only for your cases but also for grant funding for the organization as a whole.
•We are not alone. You are always encouraged to come to staff members and other volunteers if you are needing assitance or advice on different matters within a case (abiding by the confidentiality laws in place). You will also be working with a team of people who are assigned to your case, including case workers, attorneys, court officials, parents, child’s placement and more. We are all learning together and not one case is like another. Let’s work together!
•There is always an open line of communication between staff members and volunteers. Between, email, phone and face to face visits, please remember that if there is anything that staff can do to make your job as a volunteer easier, please do not hesitate to let us know. Communicating with everyone involved in your case (attorneys, CPS, caseworkers, parents, and foster parents) is a must and will be most helpful when retrieving the information you need as a volunteer.
•Child abuse cases have the ability to present situations and circumstances that most are not accustomed to. Remain teachable in all things, bringing an open mind to the table that will help you assess your case and will allow you to treat each case with an open perspective.