Upcoming Training Dates for New Volunteers
SPRING 2013 TRAINING:
- APPLICATIONS DUE: February 22, 2013
- INTERVIEWS/APPLICANT STAFFING: March 18 – 21/March 25, 2013
- PRE SERVICE TRAINING: Tuesday, April 9 – Thursday, April 25, 2013
SUMMER 2013 TRAINING:
- APPLICATIONS DUE: May 3, 2013
- INTERVIEWS/APPLICANT STAFFING: May 20 – 23/May 28, 2013
- PRE SERVICE TRAINING: Tuesday, June 11 – Thursday, June 27, 2013
FALL 2013 TRAINING:
- APPLICATIONS DUE: August 30, 2013
- INTERVIEWS/APPLICANT STAFFING: September 9 – 12/September 16, 2013
- PRE SERVICE TRAINING: Tuesday, October 1 – October 17, 2013
CASA Training Overview
Introducing the CASA Volunteer Role
*Offers a broad view of the course agenda.
*Covers the role and responsibilities of the CASA volunteer.
*The activities in this chapter are designed to establish an environment that is conducive to participation and learning.
Introducing the Law, the Child Protection System and the Courts
*Provides a historical review of child advocacy, the importance of confidentiality, information about how cases of abuse and neglect come to the attention of DFS (Department of Family Services) and a general overview of the juvenile court process.
*The activities of this chapter are designed to help the participants become more comfortable with the courtroom experience.
Exploring Cultural Awareness
*Examines the dynamics of cultural differences.
*Participants examine values and how values determine how a culture meets and defines basic needs.
*Participants will identify their own values and relate those values to those of other cultures.
*Activities will give participants the opportunity to identify how language, class and culturally-bound values influence the recommendations they make concerning their CASA child.
*Participants are encouraged to gain competence working cross culturally, identifying ways to become more sensitive to cultural diversity.
Understanding Families – Part 1
*Focuses the CASA volunteer on strengths and resources within families and discusses risk factors (including substance abuse, domestic violence and mental illness) which influence the ways a family copes with change, crisis and stress.
*Activities in this chapter help CASA volunteers recognize personal values and maintain objectivity regarding risks for a child.
Understanding Families – Part 2
*Discusses the impact of parental substance abuse, poverty and domestic violence on children.
*Participants will separate myths from facts about poverty.
*This chapter will also focus on the bond children have with their families.
*Activities in this chapter will help the participant focus on the feelings and fears of the children for whom they will advocate.
*Analyzes a child’s needs, assesses age-appropriate behaviors, identifies behavioral signs of attachments and lack of attachments in children, recognizes typical reactions of children and their parents to separations and loss, examines a child’s need for a safe and permanent home, identifies warning signs which might require professional assessment and/or intervention.
*Activities will focus the participant on child development and on any issues which might require professional assessment and/or intervention.
Communicating as a CASA Volunteer
*Names the basic elements of communication, recognizes the importance of observation in gathering information about children and identifies the elements of a successful child interview, reviews important skills for building rapport and trust with a child, applies a collaborative approach to dealing with conflict, identifies different styles of dealing with conflict and revisits the concept of confidentiality.
Practicing the CASA Volunteer Role – Information Gathering
*Reviews the process used to appoint a CASA volunteer to a case, creates and implements a strategy to gather information about a case, identifies the components of a successful interview and names community resources that might be effective in addressing the needs of a child.
Practicing the CASA Volunteer Role – Reporting and Monitoring
*Systematically organizes information pertinent to a case, synthesizes information to write an effective court report, utilizes all of the above to make appropriate recommendations about the needs of a child, identifies strategies for testifying and presenting information in court effectively, practices the steps required to monitor a case from the dispositional order until the child is in a safe, permanent home.
*Activities are designed to help the CASA create an effective court report and gain confidence in presenting information to the court.
Pulling It All Together
*Identifies strategies for self-care, identifies safety tips for volunteers; reviews the role of the CASA program staff for volunteer supervision and support; reviews office procedures for case assignments, obtaining records, submitting court reports; revisits the need for an advocate for abuse and or/neglected children; wrap up.