State & Local Programs

CASA: A Guide to Program Development
© 2002 National CASA

Date Posted:  6/01, Revised 1/02

Section 1 - Planning a Quality Program (Chapters 1-9)
Section II - Volunteers (Chapters 10-12)
Section III - Managing the Program (Chapters - 13-15)

Manual HomeIntro Chapters1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15
Guide to Program Development

Click on a link in the table of contents below or quickly navigate to a chapter using the Chapter navigation bar above.
Tools and Samples
These are Word documents. To save please RIGHT click on the links and choose Save As or Save Target As.

Download the Guide (PDF) 
(does not include the Tools and Samples, which can be downloaded separately - see right)

The complete published Guide to Program Development can be purchased in our ShopCASA store.


*Overview of CASA
What Is CASA? 
Conditions That Led to CASA
The Search for Solutions
CASA Offers a Solution
Growth of the CASA Idea
Who Supports CASA?
The National CASA Association

Section I: Planning a Quality Program

*Chapter 1: Initial Planning Steps
Become Educated About the Problems
Assess the Community’s Response to Child Abuse
Make the Case for CASA
Determine if the Program Will Succeed
Obtain Judicial Support
Enlist the Right People to Help
Form a Steering Committee
Plan the Committee’s First Meeting
Next Steps

*Chapter 2: Creating the Organization
The Mission
Establish a Plan

*Chapter 3: Organizational Structure
Establishing CASA as a Nonprofit Organization
  - Articles of Incorporation
  - Bylaws
  - IRS Tax Exemption Letter
Establishing CASA Under Another Organization
  - Compatible Missions as a Starting Point
  - Questions for Consideration
  - Factors Supporting Successful Umbrella Arrangements

*Chapter 4: Establishing the Board
Board Recruitment
Considerations in Selecting Board Members
  - The Judge
  - Social Services Personnel and Public Attorneys
  - Foster Parents
  - Relatives
Board Responsibilities

*Chapter 5: The Power of Image
Developing Community Support
  - Explaining the Benefits of CASA
Explaining How CASA Relates to Others in the System
  - CASA Volunteers and Attorneys
  - Social Workers
  - Citizen Review Panels
  - Foster Parents
  - School Personnel
  - Mental Health/Substance Abuse Therapists and Counselors
  - Medical/Public Health Professionals
Responding to Common Objections to the Program
Gaining Visibility in the Community
Getting Started: The Basics

*Chapter 6: Funding the Program
Developing the First Budget
Developing the Right Approach to Fundraising
Possible Funding Sources
Federal Funding for CASA Programs
National CASA Resource Development Protocol
  - Introduction
  - Research
  - Submission of Funding Requests

*Chapter 7: Staffing the Program
Where to Begin
Developing the Job Description & Qualifications
  - Getting the Word Out
  - Reviewing Resumes
  - Interviewing
  - Other Screening Requirements
  - Selection and Hiring
  - Employee vs. Contract Consultant
  - Additional Staff

*Chapter 8: Establishing an Office
Office Space
Office Environment
Furniture and Equipment
Computer System
Telephone System

Chapter 9: Establishing a Relationship with the Court
Role of the Volunteer
Guiding Principles
Agreement with the Court
  -Frequent Communication

Section II: Volunteers

*Chapter 10: Recruiting the Right Volunteers
Where and How to Find Them
Getting Prepared
  - STEP ONE: Determine the Type of Volunteers Needed
  - STEP TWO: Determine How Many Volunteers You Need
  - STEP THREE: Create a Recruitment Plan.
  - STEP FOUR: Develop a Written Volunteer Job Description
  - STEP FIVE: Develop a Volunteer Application
  - STEP SIX: Screening Volunteers
  - The Initial Contact
  - The Application
  - Reference Checks
  - Central Registry and Criminal Records Checks
  - The Interview
  - Training as a Screening Tool
  - Spotting Red Flags
Saying "No"

*Chapter 11: Volunteer Training
Designing Your Training Program
  - Schedules
  - History
  - Speakers
  - Frontline Experience: Courtroom Observation
  - A Question of Balance
  - In-Service Training
  - Volunteer Mentors

*Chapter 12: Volunteer Management
Volunteer Supervision/Consultation
Volunteer Policies and Procedures
Retaining Volunteers
Performance Evaluations
Disciplinary Action
Volunteer Recognition

Section III: Managing the Program

*Chapter 13: Financial Management
What is the Accounting Process?
Establishing an Accounting System
Establishing a Bank Account
Internal Controls
Financial Statements
Tax Returns

Chapter 14: Risk Management
*Fear of Legal Liability
  - Liability of the Individual Volunteer
  - Liability of the Organization to the Volunteer
  - Liability of the Organization Because of the Actions of Volunteers
Minimizing the Risk
  - Liability Insurance

*Chapter 15: Program Operations
Policy Considerations
  - Confidentiality
  - Procedures for Handling Complaints and Grievances
  - Personnel Policies
Keeping Records
  - Master File and Working File
  - Schedule of Hearings (Docket)
Gathering Statistical Data

*Go to Introduction

Mission Statement
Examples Program Mission Statements

Examples of Bylaws
Bylaws sample 1
Bylaws sample 2

Board Member Selection
Board Member Selection Steps
Board Member Selection Characteristics
Board Member Selection Assessment

Board & Staff
 Who Does What?

Memorandum of Understanding

NCASAA Graphic Standards
Standards as of 8/01 (Also: Complete manual)

Start-up Budgets
Sample Budget 1
Sample Budget 2

Job Descriptions
CASA Executive Director
Office Manager
Volunteer Coordinator
Board Member

Sample Forms
Volunteer Application Form
Reference Request Letter
Reference Form
Statement of Volunteer Commitment
Authority to Release Information

Questions for Volunteer Interview
Interview Questions 1
Interview Questions 2

Conflict of Interest Statements
Conflict of Interest Statement 1
Conflict of Interest Statement 2

Volunteer Evaluation Forms
Part A and Part B (single file)

Financial Policies & Procedures

Confidentiality Policy

The US Department of Justice has supported CASA advocacy since 1985 through its Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention.
This Web site is funded in part through a grant from the Office of Juvenile Justice and Deliquency Prevention, Office of Justice Programs, US Department of Justice. Neither the US Department of Justice nor any of its components operate, control, are responsible for, or necessarily endorse, this Web site (including, without limitation, its content, technical infrastructure, and policies, and any services or tools provided).