Cochise County is looking for volunteers to help 220 neglected and abused children in the welfare system who do not have a Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) to represent their interests.
To ensure the safety of the children, volunteers need to obtain recommendations from CASA staff, which are used for their appointment to the position by a Cochise County Superior Court. Volunteers receive 30 to 35 hours of training, including court hearings and meetings with legal experts. There are also mentors to help guide new advocates.
An extensive background check and polygraph test are also required. After this, volunteers must file written court reports and recommendations based upon their observations of various aspects of the children’s needs and well-being.
CASA volunteers work for about 15 to 20 hours a month. They need to be committed because they usually advocate for a child or his or her siblings until they are reunited with their parents, are adopted, or turn 18.
Although volunteers in all areas of the county are needed, volunteers in more rural areas are particularly scarce. Anyone interested in becoming a CASA volunteer can call 520-432-7521 or visit the website for more information.