What Is A Court Appointed Special Advocate?

A Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) is a trained volunteer child advocate sworn in by the Family Court Judge to represent the best interest of children who are dependent, abused or neglected and are active cases in the Juvenile Court System. The CASA volunteer investigates the child’s circumstances, provides fact-based information and makes recommendations to the court while becoming a source of support for the child.

CASA program is independent but works closely with the court, social workers, therapists, attorneys, care providers and other professionals involved in a child’s case. CASA volunteers work under the direct supervision of the CASA Program Director or Volunteer Coordinators to further the child’s welfare and to expedite the case through the system.

CASA volunteer’s ultimate goal is to move the child out of temporary placement, usually in the foster care system, into a safe and permanent home. This could mean a return to the parent’s care, adoption, the appointment of a legal guardian, or some other permanent living arrangement that satisfies the court and fulfills the child’s needs.

If you do not live/work in one of our 6 county service area, check out the Kentucky CASA Network website for a program in your area:  www.kentuckycasanetwork.org

Requirements To Be A Court Appointed Special Advocate:

  • be 21 years of age
  • Must successfully pass screening requirements, which include a written application, three reference checks with non-relatives, local, state and national criminal record checks, a National Sexual Offender Registry check, Child Abuse and Neglect Registry check, Adult Protection Registry check, verification of social security number, and personal interview.
  • Must successfully complete initial training provided by the CASA Program, which is at least 30 hours. Any sessions missed must be made up by the applicant before being appointed to a case.
  • Must attend three hours of court observation
  • Must be accepted as a volunteer by the CASA Program Director and sworn in by the Family Court Judge.
  • Must participate in ongoing training, a minimum of 12 hours annually
  • Must accept supervision and seek feedback from the Program Director on a regular basis
  • Must be able to keep information confidential and to work within established program guidelines
  • KRS 620.505(7) which states: “Employees of the Cabinet shall not become volunteers or employees of the Court Appointed Special Advocate Program.”

Become a CASA Advocate

There are two ways to apply to be a CASA advocate: online or by paper.

Online Application Link                                                              Printable Application Link


A CASA advocate speaks on behalf of the child in the family court system and, in many cases, acts as their voice in the courtroom. Our primary focus is to ensure a safe and permanent home for the child.

The first step to being a CASA advocate is completing a 30-hour training series, this is currently being offered virtually. After being sworn in, advocates are qualified to be appointed to a case in the family court systems of Hopkins, Henderson, Webster, Union, Muhlenberg and Crittenden Counties (Generally the County in which you reside). Once appointed, they will interview everyone involved, including but not limited to the child, biological parents, foster parents, teachers, friends, doctors, therapists and relatives.

The CASA advocate uses the details obtained by their research to write reports sent to the judge, lawyers and social worker involved in the case. Judges value these reports as their eyes and ears on cases needing more attention than others. These reports provide information on critical cases that would not otherwise be available.

TIME COMMITMENT: CASA advocates should be able to commit to 6-10 hours a month for at least two years to the family to whom they are assigned.

TRAINING: The initial 30-hour training is held multiple times throughout the year. Additionally, CASA advocates are required to have 12 hours of continuing education per year. This requirement can be fulfilled by attending monthly CASA in-service trainings, reviewing approved books and videos or participating in outside training opportunities.

OTHER REQUIREMENTS: CASA Advocates must effectively communicate orally and in writing, pass criminal and CPS history background check, and be more than 21-years-old.

If you’d prefer a copy of the application to be mailed to you, call (270) 245-5112

If you fill out a hard copy, please mail it to the following address:

P.O. Box 2
Madisonville, KY 42431

Questions? Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

New Way to Volunteer:


Friends of CASA help support the mission of CASA of Midwest Kentucky, Inc. in many ways outside of our traditional volunteer role. If you don’t have the time to commit to being a CASA volunteer, or if you feel the role isn’t right for you right now, becoming a Friend of CASA is a great way you can still help children in need!

No special requirements exist to be a Friend of CASA — you just need a heart for helping kids! You can let us know in the form below what interests and skills you have, and what areas you would be interested in helping with. You can also ask for more information about our traditional CASA volunteer role if you’re uncertain whether you’d like to be a CASA volunteer, a Friend of CASA — or both!  Background checks will be required.


Event staffing — Filling volunteer shifts at community events such as the CASA Superhero Walk. Some events are run by CASA of Midwest Kentucky, Inc.; others are run by partner organizations that provide funding/assistance to CASA of Midwest Kentucky, Inc. from the event proceeds.

Event planning — Assisting with planning of a fundraising or outreach event, such as serving on a planning committee, helping with event-specific mass mailings, asking for auction items from businesses or acquiring sponsors for events.

Administrative assistance — Anything to do with running the physical CASA office or non-confidential office work, organizing CASA Kid Closet donations, assembling volunteer training manuals and other tasks around the office.

Outreach/recruitment — Connecting CASA of Midwest Kentucky, Inc. with groups to speak to about our mission; staffing booths or providing a presence at an event or festival; or serving on the CASA of Midwest Kentucky, Inc. Volunteer Recruitment/Public Relations Committee. 

Fundraising — Asking people to donate to CASA of Midwest Kentucky, Inc., connecting CASA of Midwest Kentucky, Inc. with individuals or organizations that may be interested in donating.

For more information or an application, please email Daphyne Maddox at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or call our office at 270-245-5112.


CASA of Midwest Kentucky

10 S Main St., Suite 26
P.O. Box 2

Madisonville, KY 42431

(270) 245-5112

Henderson Office

230 S. 2nd Street, Suite 410
Henderson, KY  42420

Call (270) 957-5044

Fax (270) 957-5045


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