Chapter 1 Summary
Introducing the CASA Volunteer Role
In this chapter, participants learn about their roles and responsibilities as CASA/GAL volunteers and the principles that guide their work. This is a “big picture” chapter, setting the historical and current context of child protection and describing the CASA/GAL volunteer’s place in the overall system. Key child welfare laws will be discussed, as well as discussion about the local court system. This session provides an opportunity for participants to feel inspired, knowing they can make a difference in the lives of children. Court report writing and case studies are introduced in this chapter and integrated throughout the curriculum, as these key components are integral to the role of CASA volunteers.
Chapter 2 Summary – The Well-Being of the Child
This chapter focuses on all there is to know about child development and what a CASA/GAL volunteer needs to know to do his/her job. The goal is not for volunteers to master all the information, but to help develop intuition and be able to “red flag” situations that should be evaluated by a professional or discussed with a supervisor. The importance of attachment in childhood is also covered.
Chapter 3 Summary – Trauma, Resilience and Communication Skills
This chapter introduces the importance of effective communication in CASA/GAL volunteer work. Participants practice the skills they’re learning in order to build confidence and prepare them for their role.*Examines the dynamics of cultural differences.
Chapter 4 Summary – Mental Health, Poverty, and Professional Communication
In this chapter, it is important for participants to understand that while mental illness and poverty are risk factors for child abuse and neglect, most people affected by mental illness and poverty do not abuse and/or neglect their children. When working on a case that involves either mental illness or poverty, participants should always focus on the parent’s ability to provide a safe home.
Chapter 5 Summary – Substance Abuse and Cultural Competence
This chapter addresses substance abuse and how it can affect a parent’s ability to care for a child. This chapter also includes why participants need to know about this subject, why they need to be aware of their personal values about substance use/abuse, and ways volunteers can set aside their values in order to consider what’s best for a child. This chapter introduces the concepts of culture, diversity, disproportionality and cultural competence that will be further explored in chapter 6.
Chapter 6 Summary – Domestic Violence and Cultural Competence
This chapter goes deeper into cultural competency issues and delves further into addressing bias, stereotyping, institutional racism, and allowing participants the opportunity to create a plan for increasing their cultural competence.
Chapter 7 Summary – Educational Advocacy, Older Youth and LGBTQ Youth
The material in this chapter about educational advocacy and advocacy for older youth is intended to briefly introduce issues related to these topics.
Chapter 8 Summary – Wrapping Up
This chapter wraps up the pre-service training program. As participants prepare to launch into their real-world role as CASA/GAL volunteers, they review what they have learned in training, evaluate their strengths and challenges, and identify their support systems.
Training Topics included throughout each chapter
- Practicing the CASA Volunteer Role – Case Studies and Information Gathering
- Court Report Writing
- Documenting Case Notes into the Computer System
- Court Observation
- The Interactive curriculum is designed to help the CASA volunteer gain confidence in acquiring the competencies needed to become an effective CASA volunteer.
Ready to Take the Next Step?
The CASA program is currently exploring other training options which are offered by National CASA Association. These include Flex Learning Curriculum and Independent Studies. If you are ready to join this amazing program, please take the first step and fill out our Contact Information Form
or you can also show up to one of the Orientations