Court Appointed Special Advocates
Tracy Leigh, Esq., CASA Program Specialist - (207) 213-2862
Darren Defoe, CASA Legal Services Advisor - (207) 213-2864
CASA stands for Court Appointed Special Advocate. CASA volunteers are a very special group of people who volunteer to act as guardian ad litem for abused and neglected Maine children involved in protective custody cases in the Maine District Court. CASA volunteers are appointed by the Judge and act as his or her neutral and impartial eyes and ears.
Please visit our new website: www.casaofmaine.org for extensive information about becoming a CASA volunteer in Maine!
- What Do CASA Volunteers Do?
CASA volunteers see that the child's best interests are served. They speak up for the child in court and work to insure that every child lives in a safe, permanent home.
- How Do CASA Volunteers Advocate for the Child's Best Interests?
After appointment by the Court, CASA volunteers meet with the child, the child's parents, the State's representatives, and any other people who have information that would be useful in determining the best interests of that child. The CASA volunteers prepare written recommendations for the Court and also appear at every court hearing regarding their CASA child's case. The CASA volunteers also have an important role in advocating for the child outside of the court and making sure that the child is receiving the best possible services.
- Who Can Become a CASA Volunteer?
No special background is required. The Maine CASA program conducts screening to find volunteers who care about children and are committed to helping. It is also important that CASA volunteers have the maturity to deal with complex emotional situations, can remain objective, and are willing to work hard to advocate for their CASA child.
- How Can I Become a CASA Volunteer?
You must be 21 years old to become a CASA Volunteer. To download and complete the Maine CASA application, visit our website.
- In order to process your application, we must have the following documents:
- the original signed completed application (including essay responses);
- a copy of your driver's license;
- a copy of your automobile insurance card;
- an original signed background check form; and
- three completed and signed reference forms
- I Would Like More Information About CASA
The Maine CASA program is a member of the National CASA Association. Nationally, there are 70,000 CASA Volunteers working with close to 280,000 abused and neglected children.
- What Training is Available for CASA Volunteers?
The Maine CASA program invites pre-screened applicants to participate in a four-day training which is offered 3-4 times per year There are also in-service trainings available on a regional basis. Many other organizations offer training which is also very useful for CASA volunteers.
- Where Can a CASA Volunteer Turn For Help?
The Maine CASA Staff are well-qualified to assist CASA volunteers. The central CASA office is located in Augusta and can be reached by e-mail, telephone: 207-213-2850, or fax: 207-430-4104.
The mailing address is CASA, Administrative Office of the Courts, Family Division, 171 State House Station, Augusta, ME 04333-0171
CASA volunteers can now download administrative and case management forms. These forms are in PDF format and require the free Adobe Acrobat Reader to view and print.
- Case Update Form (PDF)
- Call and Contact Form (PDF)
- Travel and Expense Voucher Form (PDF)
- Monthly Report Form (PDF)
Additional information about placement options and other resources is also available.
Related Web Sites
- Child Welfare Information Gateway
- North American Council on Adoptable Children
- Spaulding for Children
- Child Welfare League of America
- National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges Permanency Planning for Children Department
- Immigrant Legal Resource Center
- Zero to Three
- Court Improvement Grant
- Maine Judicial Branch Family Division Conference
Resources in Maine:
Adoptive and Foster Families of Maine 1-800-833-9786