Become an advocate.

Speak up for children.

Rappahannock CASA trains volunteers to help vulnerable children thrive in safe, loving homes. The volunteers — called Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASAs) — are appointed by judges to speak up for the best interests of children experiencing abuse and/or neglect. CASAs get to know the children, gather information, collaborate with professionals and make recommendations about how to keep the children safe.

Without an advocate, traumatized children may not have anyone solely in their corner, speaking up for their needs. Will you help us make sure each child has an advocate?

Get Started

If you’d like to become a CASA, we encourage you to explore our website to learn some basic information about our program, and then call us at 540-710-6199. (You can also reach us by email: [email protected])

Prospective volunteers must complete an application, undergo background checks and take part in an interview before training with us. Our next training session will be held in early winter 2023; the tentative start date is January 23, 2023. We’ll post the full training schedule once we’ve finalized it.

Our volunteers bring a variety of life and work experience to their service. They tend to be most effective when they are reliable, have good communication skills, work well as part of a team, carefully gather and assess information, have compassion for traumatized children and have time to serve.

Get Trained

Prospective volunteers must complete our pre-service training program, which includes a series of classes (typically about 6) spread over several weeks. Because of COVID, some (or all) classes may be held by Zoom. We tend to offer training for new volunteers 2-3 times each year. Our next training session is tentatively scheduled to start January 23, 2023.

During pre-service training, volunteers learn about CASA practices and procedures; the court system; how children become involved in the child welfare system; family dynamics and challenges; child development; community resources; how to write effective reports; the impact of childhood trauma; and more. On the final day of training, volunteers are sworn in by a local judge.

After Training
New volunteers will be matched with a child or sibling group as quickly as possible after completing training. Depending on our caseload, this can happen almost immediately after training ends, or you may wait several weeks or even longer to receive your first case. You’ll be assigned a Case Manager, who will offer guidance and support for the duration of your case.