State & Local Programs

Developmental Steps for CASA/GAL Programs

Provisional Membership Requirements

1. Establish Commitment

  • Contact national and state CASA/GAL organizations.
  • Seek judicial support.
  • Establish planning committee.
  • Inform child welfare agency.
  • Conduct needs assessment.
  • Inform key community leaders.

2. Establish Program Mission

  • Develop a mission statement consistent with National CASA Standards.

3. Establish Program Framework

  • Determine administrative structure.
  • Determine model of advocacy.
  • Determine volunteer and staffing needs.

4. Create Program Infrastructure
   If administrative structure is nonprofit:

  • Create a board of directors.
  • Incorporate with state.
  • File for tax-exempt status with federal government.

   For all programs:

  • Define and assign responsibility for governance and financial management.
  • Begin development of a working agreement with the court.
  • Determine liability risks and ensure statutory protection or secure insurance protection.
  • Establish goals and timelines.

5. Plan Resource Development Strategy

  • Assess financial need.
  • Create initial budget.
  • Identify potential funders.
  • Develop fundraising plan.
  • Seek funding.

 Full Membership Requirements

6. Develop Human Resource Policies

  • Determine program director qualifications.
  • Develop job description.
  • Establish policies and procedures for recruitment, screening and selection of program director.

7. Build External Relations

  • Develop public awareness materials in compliance with National CASA graphic standards.
  • Speak to civic and community organizations regarding need for volunteers and resources.

8. Initiate Program Operations

  • Secure funding.
  • Establish office.
  • Recruit and hire staff.
  • Orient and train staff.
  • Complete development of personnel policies and procedures.

9. Implement Volunteer Program

  • Develop volunteer policies and procedures.
  • Recruit and screen volunteers.
  • Conduct pre-service training.
  • Arrange swearing-in.
  • Assign cases.
  • Supervise volunteers.
  • Create a plan for required volunteer in-service training.

This outline provides brief general guidance only. National CASA provisional and full membership will be considered after satisfactory completion of the application, including submission of the required Indicators of Compliance and payment of dues. Before granting membership, National CASA will communicate with your state CASA/GAL organization (if one exists) regarding the status of your program. Please call National CASA at (800) 628-3233 if you have questions. 

The US Department of Justice has supported CASA advocacy since 1985 through its Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention.
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