New volunteers 
 
Before being assigned to advocate for a child, new volunteers must complete our pre-service training course. Our next training course will start January 29, 2018.
 
The training program includes the following mandatory classes:
  • daytime classes (9 a.m.-3 p.m.) on Monday, Wednesday and Friday during the first week of training (Jan. 29, Jan. 31 and Feb. 2); 
  • evening classes (5:30-9 p.m.) on Monday and Wednesday during the second week of training (Feb. 5 and Feb. 7); and 
  • Courtroom observation time, a swearing-in ceremony and wrap-up events on Thursday or Friday from roughly 8-2:30 during the third week. (Tentative date: Thursday, Feb. 15)
Volunteer candidates need to complete an application, take part in an interview and complete background checks before participating in training. Please get in touch (540-710-6199 or rappcasa@gmail.com) if you'd like to take part! We typically offer training for new volunteers 2-3 times each year. 
 
We recognize that it can be difficult for people working full-time to train with us; it's why two of the six mandatory classes are held during the evening. We realize the upfront time commitment is big, but CASA service becomes much more flexible, time-wise, once training is complete! Our CASAs who work full-time have managed to take time off for training by using personal leave time, adjusting their work schedules, and sometimes, by counting CASA training toward their own workplace training requirements.
 
Pre-service training is vital to becoming an effective CASA. Our training classes cover a variety of topics related to the child welfare system, including:
  • the effects of substance abuse, poverty and domestic violence on families
  • the importance of objectivity, patience and compassion in CASA service
  • how to interview people, gather information and write effective CASA reports
  • the foster care timeline and child protection laws
  • the roles of social workers, Guardians ad litem and parents' attorneys
Training culminates with volunteers being sworn in by a local Juvenile & Domestic Relations Court judge.
 
Current volunteers
 
We hold several events each year to help our current volunteers acquire at least 12 hours of additional training -- the minimum annual requirement. The events also give volunteers a chance to gather for support, encouragement and new information.
 
Quarterly meetings: These meetings, which give volunteers a chance to discuss case challenges and successes and hear program updates, are held in the CASA office on Monday evenings from 6-8 p.m. 
 
In-service training sessions: These feature guest speakers discussing topics relevant to CASA work. They are typically held on Saturday mornings, usually from 9 a.m.-noon.