Chrissy Wright and Geri Carlson each completed 33 hours of required pre-service training from the National CASA curriculum. This training includes: an introduction to the family court system, information on the Department of Child Services, information on families and child development, cultural competence training, specific training on both substance abuse and domestic violence and practice making recommendations using case studies. The recommendations made by a CASA volunteer are a culmination of talking with the child and those closely involved in the child’s life, as well as talking to service providers and working closely with the Department of Child Services and the schools to determine what is in the best interest of the child. The ultimate goal is to find a safe and permanent home for every child as quickly as possible. Through Child in Need of Services (CHINS) cases, parents complete services to work towards reunification with their child. The CASA makes periodic verbal and written recommendations to the court that focus on the child’s needs, permanency for the child, and any services for the children or the parents that could assist in reunifying families as quickly and safely as possible.
This specific class of volunteers was unique because they used the National CASA flex-learning approach to training. The information is divided between classroom discussion/activities and online interactive practice. The volunteers used case studies to apply their knowledge and prepare reports. CASA of Marshall County chose to utilize the flex-learning curriculum due to the small number of participants and the flexibility of scheduling.
To become a CASA volunteer, you must be 21 years of age or older and must pass the following background checks: criminal history, sex offender registry, CPS history and social security verification. There is no minimum educational requirement other than the 33 hours of pre-service training.
CASA of Marshall County currently has over 40 volunteers, but is always in need of more volunteers. If you are interested in volunteering, please contact Haley at email@example.com , (574) 952-1443 or visit our website: http://www.marshallcountycasa.org .
Pictured: Haley Kittrell (CASA Director), Chrissy Wright, Honorable Judge Curtis D. Palmer (Marshall County Circuit Court) and Geri Carlson.