New volunteers 
Before being matched with a child, new volunteers learn about CASA practices and principles during our pre-service training program. Our next training session is tentatively scheduled to start in late fall 2020. Email us at to start the process of joining us.
Training includes five classes. Typically, we hold three classes during the day and one in the evening, and another class begins in the afternoon and carries into the evening. We are not currently offering weekend training. Note: We may hold training virtually, via Zoom or another platform, if we aren't able to gather in person in the fall. Please stay tuned for details and get in touch ASAP if you'd like to participate.

Volunteer candidates need to complete an application, take part in an interview and complete background checks before participating in training. We typically offer training for new volunteers 2-3 times each year. Please send an email to if you'd like to take part.
We recognize that it can be difficult for people working full-time to train with us; it's why, in a typical training session, 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. CASA staff email volunteers with upcoming training dates.
Quarterly meetings, which give volunteers a chance to discuss case challenges and successes and hear program updates, are held in the CASA office -- typically on Monday or Tuesday evenings from 6-8 p.m. In-service training sessions often feature guest speakers discussing topics relevant to CASA work. They are usually held on weeknights but occasionally on Saturday mornings.

Rappahannock CASA also periodically hosts book club gatherings and movie nights to provide CASA volunteers with the opportunity to learn about and discuss child welfare-related issues.

Note: Since we can't currently gather for training, we're encouraging volunteers to participate in webinars, read books and watch videos related to child abuse, substance abuse, domestic violence, childhood development, cultural diversity and other topics important to our work.