Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) are trained volunteers whose role is to advocate for the best interests of abused and neglected children in the Champaign County Juvenile Court system.


The CASA Volunteer must be an adult and have the following qualifications:

  • Age 21 or older
  • Possess emotional maturity, stability, and common sense
  • Be objective and flexible
  • Exhibit self-assurance and assertiveness
  • Have the ability to deal with hostility and rejection
  • Be able to keep information confidential
  • Be able to work within established guidelines
  • Have the ability to interview, observe, listen, and analyze written material
  • Be able to write clearly and concisely
  • Have the ability to make decisions and set goals
  • Be willing to commit to the program for a minimum of 24 months
  • Accountability

Upon successful completion of pre-service training, background, and reference checks, the CASA Volunteer will be formally accepted as an advocate at the official swearing-in ceremony. 

How to Volunteer

Now that you’ve decided to make a difference, you might be wondering how to become a CASA volunteer. The steps are listed below. Staff will be in contact with you during each stage of the process. If you have any questions about being an advocate visit our Frequently Asked Questions page, call our staff at (217) 384-9065, or send an e-mail to hmauch@casa4kids.org.

  1. Submit an online application
    • For a written application, you can choose to print the the online application from the link.
    • Do NOT submit any documentation directly to the Department of Children and Family Services.
    • An accurate email address must be provided for each reference listed.
    • Mail applications to CASA at 301 S. Vine; Lincoln Square Mall, Suite 210; Urbana, Illinois; 61801; or fax to (217) 384-6450; or e-mail to hmauch@casa4kids.org.
    • Our trainer will email you about the status of your application.
  2. Complete a pre-training interview and fill out the background check form.
  3. Attend and participate in pre-service training. (27 hours classroom)
  4. Participate in the swearing in-ceremony. (20 minutes)
  5. Observe Court. (6 hours)
  6. Meet your coordinator, select a case and develop an action plan. (2 hours)