Become a Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA), mentor or tutor
The cornerstones of child welfare are the caregivers and social workers who provide constant, ongoing support for young people in foster care. But many other professionals and volunteers play a critical role in the well being of children who have been removed from their homes.
Court Appointed Special Advocates
CASAs are assigned by judges to represent a child's best interests in court. CASAs try to shorten a child's stay in foster care by looking for safe, loving and permanent homes—often with a child's grandparent, aunt, uncle or other close caregiver.
Mentors and tutors
As a mentor or a tutor, your work improves the lives of children who already have been placed in foster care. You help young people build lasting connections with caring adults and you help them make the most of their educational opportunities as they prepare for adulthood.
Contact the following organizations for more information about how your volunteer service can change the life of a young person in foster care.
The CASA program empowers everyday citizens as appointed members of the court. In an overburdened social welfare system, abused and neglected children often slip through the cracks among the hundreds of cases. CASA volunteers change that. Appointed by judges, CASA volunteers typically handle just one case at a time—and commit to staying on that case until the child is placed in a safe, permanent home.
National Mentoring Partnership
Mentors provide a child in foster care friendship, reinforcement and a role model. Mentors are good listeners, people who care, people who want to help young people bring out strengths they already have. If you're interested in becoming a mentor, visit the National Mentoring Partnership to find programs in your area.
Virtual mentoring is conducted online rather than in person. The vMentor program matches volunteers with current and former foster youth, ages 16-23. These matches take into consideration a youth's needs, including professional and extracurricular interests. vMentors make a two-year commitment to e-mail their youth on a weekly basis. Visit vMentor to learn more about how you can participate.