Do you ever wonder what happens once you get cleared to begin volunteer training? Allow us to fill you in.
Diving Deeper with our Training Team
The journey toward a life-changing experience as a CASA volunteer commences with a comprehensive 39-hour core training. Volunteers acquire a diverse skill set and knowledge base by covering a range of subjects, including domestic violence, mental health, and substance abuse, as well as extensive exposure to stories of children and their situations, as examples of what volunteers may encounter.
Lydia Garcia, CASA’s Director of Training, emphasizes, "What sets CASA volunteers apart is their commitment to truth and unbiased representation of reality. It's the concrete facts that translate our mission of advocating for the welfare of children into reality, without any preconceived biases."
Vanessa, a member of the CASA staff who recently completed the core training, reflects, "The topics we covered in core training changed how I see small day-to-day interactions. It gave me a new perspective on things you are and aren’t aware are always occurring.”
CASA's core training prepares individuals to carry out the role of a court-appointed guardian ad litem, speaking up for the best interest of children who have experienced abuse or neglect.
A Once in a Lifetime Event
Volunteers are ready to be assigned as advocates for children after the successful completion of CASA's core training and clearing our thorough background check and screening processes. In a ceremony attended by family, friends, and fellow volunteers, one of the Travis County judges administers the CASA oath to these volunteers.
One of the volunteers who recently swore the CASA oath described the emotions they felt while hearing the judge's remarks, marking the significant achievement and responsibility of becoming a CASA volunteer. They expressed, "The judge's articulation of volunteers' impact on children's lives is truly profound. It gives meaning to all the valuable hours of training and underscores the significance of the ensuing work."
Growth Through Our Continuing Education Trainings
We know that there is always more to learn to ensure that our advocacy is always of the highest possible quality and in children’s best interest. Our volunteers can hone their skills further and broaden their understanding through our array of continuing education training opportunities.
Ensuring that advocacy is trauma-informed, facilitating a child's return to school, fostering anti-racism principles, and managing the risks of sexual abuse are just a few of the diverse topics encompassed in our continuing education sessions.
"We not only host these opportunities out of necessity, as volunteers must fulfill 12 hours of continuing education, but also because it allows us the opportunity to expand on areas that we need to have deeper conversations about,” explains La'Kresha, one of our Training Specialists. Trainings are also spaces for volunteers to share their experiences with each other, engage with the broader community, and solve their own questions and others to achieve common growth.
We have established partnerships with organizations like Austin Public Health, PFLAG, Praesidium, and more, tapping into their reservoirs of knowledge and expertise to provide varied and comprehensive training.
"Our collaboration with external organizations allows us to delve into more intricate details about their services. It creates an avenue for us to pose questions for which we seek answers while fostering connections within the community," La'Kresha elaborates.
Whether via core training, continuing education sessions, or our swearing-in ceremony, CASA volunteers are consistently immersed in enriching opportunities to expand their knowledge, establish connections, and engage in meaningful conversations and experiences all focused on children’s best interest.
Learn more about how you can impact a child's life as a CASA volunteer today at www.casatravis.org/volunteer.