How are CASA/GAL volunteers different than social workers, attorneys and others working with children in court?

  1. CASA/GAL volunteers are assigned to only one or two children or sibling groups at a time.

  2. Our volunteers stay involved on the case from the time of appointment until the child achieves permanency.

  3. Because of the small number of children a volunteer serves, they have more time to commit to each child.

  4. CASA/GAL volunteers are specially trained to consider issues relevant to the best interests of the child, which may be different than the interests of other parties or the child’s wishes. Traditional attorneys who represent children are required to advocate for their client’s—the child’s—wishes.


Evidence of Effectiveness

A child with a CASA volunteer is more likely to find a safe, permanent home:

  • More likely to be adopted

  • Half as likely to re-enter foster care

  • Substantially less likely to spend time in long-term foster care

  • More likely to have a plan for permanency

Children with CASA volunteers get more help while in the system...

  • More services ordered for the children

Children with CASA volunteers are more likely to have a consistent, responsible adult presence

  • Volunteers spend significantly more time with the child than a paid guardian ad litem

Children with CASA volunteers spend less time in foster care and are less likely to be bounced from home to home. CASA volunteers...

  • Improve representation of children

  • Reduce the time needed by lawyers

  • Are more likely than paid lawyers to file written reports

  • Are highly effective in having their recommendations adopted by the court

Children with CASA volunteers do better in school...

  • More likely to pass all courses

  • More likely to receive quality educational services

  • Less likely to have poor conduct in school

  • Less likely to be expelled

...and score better on nine protective factors:

  • Neighborhood resources

  • Interested adults

  • Sense of acceptance

  • Controls against deviate behavior

  • Models conventional behavior

  • Positive attitude towards the future

  • Valuing achievement

  • Ability to work with others

  • Ability to work out conflicts