Foster Arizona Community Blog

Educating & Empowering Arizona's Families

Question: What is the difference between a mentor and a Court Appointed Special Advocate?

Becoming a mentor or a CASA are both great ways to make an impact on a child’s life but they are two different things. Here is a look at what each volunteer opportunity looks like:


Mentors – the main role of a mentor is to be a consistent and steady adult in a child’s life. Mentors spend some time with a child at least 2 times a month engaging in conversations, life events, and activities that matter to the child. Different programs vary in activities mentors are involved in: tutoring, life skills, fun events, etc. Background checks are required and a minimum 1 year commitment is requested. You can check out some of the mentor programs available here (LINK FOSTER ARIZONA WAYS TO GET INVOLVED-MENTOR)


CASAs– a CASA is Court Appointed Special Advocate which means you are involved in the court system. A CASA spends approximately 10 hours a month with a child or is involved in their case. Becoming a CASA requires 30 hours of training, background checks, and a commitment to stay on a child’s case until the case is closed (average length 1.5 years). The CASA attends court hearings, submits a report to the judge on what they believe is in the best interest of a child, attends CFT meetings to help with services, and gathers information from all parties involved in the case to better assess the child’s interest. Their main focus is advocating for a child. You can check out more on how to become a CASA by clicking here. 

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