Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) Program

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About the Program

Since 1996, the Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) program of McLean County is dedicated to making a difference in the lives of children who have been abused and neglected through volunteer advocacy. CASAs are trained volunteers from our community who are committed to making a difference in a child's life. A CASA volunteer may be a stay-at-home parent, a corporate employee, a retiree, a nurse, a teacher, or anyone interested in advocating for children. We strive to provide a CASA volunteer to as many children in foster care as we can, but we need your help!


The mission of the McLean County Court Appointed Special Advocate program is to promote and protect the best interests of children who have been abused/neglected by providing well-trained volunteers to advocate for children and their families through a trauma-focused lens until a safe and permanent home is secured.


All children have the right to grow up feeling loved, nurtured, and safe in their homes and communities.

DEI Statement

McLean County CASA believes that Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) are central to our mission and align with our core values that all children have the right to grow up feeling loved, nurtured, and safe in their homes and communities and that every aspect of our organization supports Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion. We strive to ensure equity for all children and their families in McLean County regardless of race, ethnicity, gender identity, sexual orientation, religion, abilities, age, and/or socioeconomic status. 

Eyes & Ears of the Court

A CASA volunteer serves as the eyes and ears of the court. CASA volunteers are responsible for independently investigating and reporting the circumstances of their assigned cases to the court.  CASA volunteers are dedicated solely to reporting what is in the best interest of the child, and advocate for safe and permanent living arrangements.  

CASA volunteers are to be objective and professional. Each CASA volunteer develops their own independent assessment of what is in a child’s best interest and works in conjunction with a CASA case supervisor. CASA volunteers do not go at it alone, as the CASA staff supports them each step of the way. 

A CASA volunteer communicates with all parties to the case to gather information for the court. These parties may include attorneys, biological parents, foster parents, caseworkers, counselors, physicians, teachers, and of course, the children they are advocating for. The CASA volunteer then prepares an independent, objective court report detailing their findings. The court report outlines recommendations as to what the CASA volunteer believes is in the best interest of the child. The report is then submitted to the court for consideration.

About the Training Experience

Preservice training classes are offered four times per year (Winter, Spring, Summer, and Fall). For more information on upcoming training dates call the Volunteer Recruiter and Trainer at (309) 888-5855 or email them at [email protected]. Applications are due at a minimum of four weeks prior to beginning the preservice training. 

There are ongoing training opportunities for CASA volunteers after being sworn in by the court. CASA volunteers must complete 12 hours of continuing education each year. This can be completed through a variety of ways including monthly in-service training offered by the program, reading relevant books and articles, watching movies or documentaries relating to foster care issues, etc.

Volunteer Requirements

Anyone over the age of 23 years old, is not currently providing foster care for a child, and can pass a thorough background check is eligible to become a CASA volunteer.

Application Process

Persons interested in becoming a CASA volunteer need to fill out a Volunteer Application which includes 3 references, participate in an initial interview, undergo a background check, and participate in a 30+ hour preservice training course prior to being accepted by the program and the Court.

Click here to apply to be a CASA volunteer.

After we have received your application, an initial interview will be scheduled.

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