CASA of Kern County is appointed directly by the Judicial Officers with the Kern Superior Court. When a volunteer is available, he or she reviews the case information with an Advocate Supervisor.
The CASA independently investigates the current circumstances of the child’s life. The CASA visits weekly and gathers information from the school, caregivers, and family. Each CASA is supported and guided by their Advocate Supervisor.
Prior to each court hearing, the volunteer, with the assistance of an Advocate Supervisor, prepares a court report with his/her evaluations and recommendations for the child. The Juvenile Court Judge reads and considers the CASA report along with the social worker's report prior to making a decision. To better serve the program, each volunteer is required to complete 12 hours of ongoing continuing education and training in relevant skills each fiscal year. The CASA of Kern County offers 30 hours of continuing education sessions each year.
CASA volunteers are unique in providing information not usually available to the Court. Because of the enormous number of cases filed in Juvenile Court and dwindling resources to adequately investigate cases, judges are often compelled to make decisions based on less than complete or objective data. A CASA's objective, unbiased recommendation to support the best interest of the child is an invaluable aid to the Judicial Officers.