State & Local Programs

Training Volunteers and Staff

National CASA requires that all volunteers receive a minimum of 30 hours of pre-service training using the National CASA Volunteer Training Curriculum or its equivalent, as well as 12 hours of in-service training per year. The training program should be reviewed annually and revised based on the CASA/GAL program's assessment of its training needs.

For additional training requirements, please see section 7.C. Volunteer Training in the National CASA Standards for Local CASA/GAL Programs. (PDF).

Volunteer Training Materials

requires login to accessNational CASA Volunteer Training Curriculum: Download the 2007 revision of the National CASA Association Volunteer Training Curriculum from a set of PDF files. You'll find downloads for the Volunteer Manual, the Facilitator Manual, volunteer resources and materials from the Facilitator Toolkit.

requires login to accessFlex Learning Curriculum: National CASA Flex Learning curriculum is now available. Learn how this new training curriculum can help with your recruitment and retention efforts. Update: Read a 2013 year-end update on network use of the Flex Learning curriculum.

Independent Study Edition: Gain access to electronic files of the Independent Study Edition (ISE). This is a set of materials designed to help smaller and more rural programs offer training to volunteers on an individual basis. Other programs may also wish to use these materials as “make-up” content if a volunteer misses a chapter during an in-person pre-service training.

 Knowing Who You Are: This training curriculum helps participants explore race and ethnicity, preparing them to support the healthy development of racial and ethnic identity in youth in care.

requires login to access Fostering Futures Training Curriculum: A blended-learning curriculum produced by the National Court Appointed Special Advocate Association that focuses on improving outcomes for older and emancipating youth (14-21 years of age) served by trained CASA/GAL volunteers.

requires login to accessPeer Coordinator Model: The Peer Coordinator Model uses seasoned volunteers to support, coach and supervise advocate volunteers. This section includes a manual to guide you through the transition, training materials and implementation documents provided by local CASA programs.

 Continuing Education Resources: Download tools to help you assess the training needs of your volunteers and generate ideas for providing the required 12 hours of annual in-service learning opportunities. This section includes the Continuing Education Cookbook, additional lesson plans and access to training audio files.

 E-Learning Website: Log on to the National CASA Association's online opportunities for continuing education: Education and Youth in Out-of-Home Care and Aging Out: Supporting Youth Transitions into Adulthood.

requires login to accessNational CASA Training Calendar: See a list of upcoming trainings and webinars. Access past webinars in our Webinar Library.

National CASA Advocates' Support Library

Staff and Board Training Materials

Training of Facilitators Materials: A manual, sample facilitation video and learning style and adult learning principles lessons.

Understanding Disproportionality: Publications and online resources created by National CASA and other organizations, offered to help CASA/GAL programs understand and address the issues of disproportionality as they affect the children and families we serve.

National CASA Training Calendar: See a list of upcoming trainings and webinars. Access past webinars in our Webinar Library.

National CASA Advocates' Support Library

Resources from the Network:

The following articles, authored by Amia Barrows, training coordinator, Newport News CASA, and Jennifer King, program operations director, Georgia CASA, in August 2010, provide insights that strengthen volunteers' courtroom reporting.

  • Using Courtroom Observation - Learn how CASA trainers and staff can take advantage of courtroom observation, maximizing the experience and helping to increase the volunteers’ understanding of the system prior to and during training.  
  • CASA Court Reports and Checklists - Gain insight on strengthening and maximizing the CASA court report, and find more resources for ensuring that volunteers are well-prepared to advocate for the child’s best interest, both in and out of the classroom.

Three Secrets of Super-Successful Volunteer Coaches - This article, based on a 2013 National CASA Conference presentation, was contributed by D. Christopher Ramsey, program coordinator, CASA of Northeast Louisiana.

Additional Training Resources

Five CASA programs participated in a University of Texas at Austin Resliency Project that identified five core resiliency elements and strategies to build resiliency in staff and volunteers. Read an article about the pilot written by the project director.

Sample Oath (13 KB PDF)

Two-Part Article: Using Training Evaluations to Motivate Your Volunteers

 Hiring a Trainer for Your Conference or Event Requires login to access.

National CASA Advocates' Support Library

The US Department of Justice has supported CASA advocacy since 1985 through its Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention.
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