CASA volunteer training set
A spring volunteer training for new Court Appointed Special Advocates — also known as CASAs — will be April 20 through May 20, on Monday and Wednesday nights from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m.
The training is a series of 10 classes with a specialized curriculum.
The new training program includes speakers from the court, CPS, schools and other service providers to help trainees learn about the court and child welfare system.
For those interested in learning more, a CASA orientation is scheduled from 5:30 to 7 p.m. on Monday, March 30.
The March 40 orientation includes an opportunity to learn and ask questions about becoming a CASA. It also gives attendees the opportunity to hear from Dependency Court Judge Scott Thomsen, as well as CASA staff and other experienced CASAs.
Screened, trained and supported by staff at Child Advocates of Nevada County, a CASA is appointed by a judge to one foster child or sometimes a sibling group.
CASAs work with the child’s family, social worker, other professionals, and the court to determine what is best for that child.
Also, CASAs see their assigned child generally once a week, sometimes visiting in the foster home, sometimes taking the child on outings to the library, park, yogurt shop, and the like.
CASAs listen and learn about the child’s situation, feelings, and needs.
In addition, they gather information from social workers, family members, teachers and others who are an important part of the child’s life and communicate what they have learned to the dependency court judge in the form of a court report.
CASAs make recommendations to the court for what they think is best for the child and what might contribute to the child’s development and well-being.
CASAs generally spend about 10 to 15 hours a month in their advocacy work.
Becoming a CASA requires an initial interview, background check, and substantial training.
CASAs take a 35-hour course to get prepared and have ongoing opportunities for additional learning about the many issues involved in helping children and families who have experienced abuse and neglect.
For additional information about the program and how to become a CASA, visit the Child Advocates of Nevada County website at http://www.caofnc.org, email Melinda@caofnc.org, or call 530-265-9550, ext. 222.
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