Child Advocate volunteers are everyday people – teachers, business people, retirees, stay-at-home parents, and grandparents – who are committed to making a difference for children:
- Children who have experienced trauma, abuse, or neglect
- Justice-involved youth
- Children and youth with educational advocacy needs
CHILD WELFARE ADVOCACY
Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASAs) are appointed by judges to guide one child or one set of siblings and their family during their involvement in the child welfare system (County Court at Law #3, Presiding Judge Amy Tucker). CASA volunteers research case records and speak to each person involved in a child’s life, including family members, teachers, doctors, lawyers, and social workers. They monitor the progress of the child and family throughout the case and advocate for the child’s current and future needs in court, in school, and in agency meetings. Their independent evaluations allow the court to make better-informed decisions.
JUSTICE-INVOLVED YOUTH ADVOCACY
(2024 Pilot Program)
Justice-Involved Youth Advocates (JIYs) are appointed by judges for Juvenile Court (County Court at Law #6, Presiding Judge Scharlene Valdez) in Montgomery County. JIY volunteers will serve as guardians ad litem for justice-involved youth, advocating for their best interests during formal probation. Advocates will work with the Juvenile Court to ensure that youth and families receive the support and connection to the resources they need to succeed and thrive.
(2024 Pilot Program)
STUDENT SUCCESS ADVOCATES
A Student Success Advocate (SSA) is a highly-trained volunteer from the community who is assigned to advocate for the needs of children. As part of the Gaining Opportunities for Achievement and Learning (GOAL) Advocacy Program, Student Success Advocates are assigned by the school (Montgomery ISD and Willis ISD only) in some truancy cases to support youth who are struggling with school attendance or participation. The Advocate will get to know the youth, gather information, connect families to community resources, and make recommendations to the court (Justice of the Peace, Pct. 1, Judge Wayne L. Mack). Information from Advocates helps the Judge and other professionals decide what is in the best interest of each youth and family involved.
Educational Surrogates (ES) are assigned to children in special education (Conroe ISD only) to make sure that their accommodations and/or modifications support their individual needs.
Because our volunteers serve on one assignment or case at a time, they truly get to know the child and family and can give each assignment or case the sustained, personal attention it deserves.
We invite you to join our family of volunteers and make a difference in a child’s life – and your own.
A CASA, Justice-Involved Youth Advocate, or Educational Advocate Volunteer must:
- Be 21 years of age or older.
- Successfully pass screening and background check requirements.
- Complete initial training provided by the CASA Child Advocates of Montgomery County program.
(39 hours of initial training (15 in-person classroom hours and approximately 20 online/independent reading hours), plus 3 hours of courtroom observation)
- 12 hours of continuing education annually related to the work of best interest advocacy.
- Be able to make a 12-month minimum commitment to a child welfare case (an average of 10-15 hours per month) and/or a 6-month minimum commitment to a Justice-Involved Youth or Educational Advocacy case.
- Be able to keep information confidential and work within established program guidelines.
- Be computer-literate.
Become a Volunteer Advocate
To get started please click the link below and complete our online application. For more information about becoming a CASA Volunteer Advocate, call or email Shellie Tyrrell at 936-441-5437 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
For your convenience, CASA offers day & evening classes. Click here for schedule of upcoming training classes.
Want more information or have questions? Attend one of our “Conversations with CASA” events, and you will have the opportunity to join current CASA volunteers for informational conversations about becoming an Advocate. View our calendar for upcoming events.
Interested in learning about other volunteer opportunities? View other opportunities here.