Become a CASA Volunteer

Every year, hundreds of children in Alaska are removed from their homes because of allegations of abuse and neglect. They are uprooted from the only family they've known, taken out of schools and away from friends. In short, their worlds are turned upside down. Going through the child welfare system is a traumatic process and no child should do it alone.

About CASA Volunteers

A Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) is a trained community volunteer appointed to speak up for the best interests of an abused, neglected, or abandoned child. Volunteers work with legal and child welfare professionals, educators, and service providers to ensure that judges have all the information they need to make the most well-informed decisions for each child.

Bringing urgency to a child's needs, both in and out of the courtroom, CASA volunteers advocate for safety, permanence, and well-being for children through independent assessments and recommendations.

Requirements for Becoming a Volunteer

No special background or education is required to become a CASA volunteer. We encourage people from all cultures and professions, and of all ethnic and educational backgrounds. Once accepted into the program, volunteers receive in-depth training on cultural sensitivity, recognizing and responding to trauma, interacting with the state’s legal system, and how to perform effective advocacy on behalf of Alaska’s youth in the child welfare system. We provide continuous support for and invest in our volunteers because we believe in their ability to affect positive change.

To be eligible to volunteer, you must

  • Be at least 21 years old

  • Be willing to complete necessary background checks, provide references and participate in a personal interview

  • Complete 30 hours of pre-service training

  • Be available for court appearances, with advance notice

  • Be willing to commit to the CASA program until the child’s case is closed

 

Alaska CASA volunteers are not expected to become legal experts, case workers, or administrative specialists. Our staff are continuously engaged with our volunteers and provide ongoing support throughout every stage of the volunteer’s journey.

CASA Volunteer Training
and Typical Activities

Once accepted into the program, volunteers receive in-depth training on cultural sensitivity, recognizing and responding to trauma, interacting with the state’s legal system, and how to perform effective advocacy on behalf of Alaska’s youth in the child welfare system. We provide continuous support for and invest in our volunteers because we believe in their ability to affect positive change.

Typical activities of the CASA volunteer include:

  • Spending quality time with your CASA child or children. CASA volunteers are asked to see their assigned children twice per month.

  • Taking your child(ren) to fun activities. Check with your local coordinator to see what passes are available. 

  • Staying in touch with family, caregivers, teachers, therapists and other important adults in your CASA child’s life.

  • Participating in case meetings and reviewing case documents.

  • Determining what is in the best interest of the child(ren) and presenting your information and opinions to the judge in court.

Alaska CASA Programs

Alaska CASA programs are operated by the Office of Public Advocacy and are located in Anchorage, Fairbanks, Juneau, and the Mat-Su Valley. We invite you to learn more about becoming a CASA volunteer in your community and we hope you decide to join our growing family of volunteers - everyday people who are committed to improving children's lives.

We hope you’ll join us in making a difference. For further reading on the CASA volunteer experience, please see our Frequently Asked Questions page. For additional questions, please send us a message through our Contact Us form.