1 The judge assigns us to a case, and we assign a volunteer Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA). In Illinois, each foster child under age 12 is required to have a CASA, though we also serve teenagers in care when assigned.
2 Between each hearing, the CASA conducts monthly home visits, investigating the children’s circumstances in their foster home, home of origin, and school.
3 A week before each hearing, the CASA compiles all of their findings, along with their recommendations for the children, into a report (often with the help of their Advocate Coordinator), and submits the report to the judge.
4 The judge takes the CASA’s findings and recommendations into account while making their ruling in the child protection case.
5 This repeats until either the child is renunified, or parental rights are terminated and the child is adopted.