The National CASA/GAL Core Model
The CASA/GAL program provides screened, trained, and qualified community volunteers to advocate for the best interests of children and youth who are before the court as a result of abuse or neglect as defined by the state child welfare laws1, living at home or in out-of-home care. State statute takes precedence if it provides for the CASA/GAL volunteer to take other types of cases.
CASA/GAL best interest advocacy is driven by the guiding principle that children grow and develop best with their family of origin if that can be safely achieved. CASA/GAL volunteers serve children from birth through the age defined by state statute as the limit to youth remaining in care.
CASA/GAL volunteers advocate for children’s best-interest through the following activities:
- Information gathering
- Visit the child at least monthly
- Collaborate and coordinate with legal, child welfare and other partners to assure service provision that is in the child’s best interests
- Report to the court with recommendations regarding the child's placement and needed services
- Monitor the case until released by the court
CASA/GAL volunteers are:
- Screened per National CASA/GAL Association Standards
- Trained according to National CASA/GAL Training and Facilitation Standards
- Supported by staff or peer in accordance with National CASA/GAL Standards