A CASA or GAL is a person appointed by a court to represent a child’s best interest in cases of abuse or neglect. People of all kinds of backgrounds volunteer as CASAs and GALs. There’s no prior special training required (you receive training as part of the onboarding process). The most effective CASA or GAL is the person who stays involved with and accessible to the child and who commits to finding solutions in the child’s best interests, which typically involves getting the child into a safe and permanent home as quickly as possible. A CASA or GAL works with parents, foster parents, child welfare agencies, school teachers, and other important figures in the child’s life, assesses the child’s overall situation, and provides recommendations to the court.
If you’re interested in becoming an advocate for children this way, you can find a lot more information from the National Court Appointed Special Advocate/Guardian ad Litem Association.