Volunteer Pre-Service Training

This pre-service training will equip you with the solid base of knowledge you need to powerfully and compassionately advocate for a child that has been abused or neglected. In addition to gaining an understanding of child protection system and the CASA volunteer role, you will also learn about trauma and resilience, efforts at improving our systems, cultural competence and much more.

On this page you will find the required online Pre-Work (including videos and other activities) for each session.

Table of Contents

Session 1: The CASA/GAL Volunteer Role
Session 2: The Well-Being of the Child
Session 3: Trauma, Resilience and Communication Skills
Session 4: Mental Health, Poverty and Confidentiality
Session 5: Substance Abuse, Diversity and Disproportionality
Session 6: Domestic Violence, Bias and Cultural Competence
Session 7: Educational Advocacy, Older Youth and LGBTQ Youth
Session 8: Moving Forward as an Advocate

Download the Complete Volunteer Manual

SESSION 1: THE CASA/GAL VOLUNTEER ROLE

Please complete the following Pre-Work before you attend your first volunteer training session:

  1. Read pages 8–46, “The CASA Role” through the end of the “Bleux Case File.”
  2. Review and think about the Developing Competencies for CASA/GAL Volunteers assessment.
  3. Write down any questions you have about the “Child Welfare History” material.
  4. Using the Bleux Case File, write a case history in one or two paragraphs. Write down any questions you have about the case.    

Facilitator Materials

SESSION 2: THE WELL-BEING OF THE CHILD

Please complete the following Pre-Work before you attend your second volunteer training session:

  1. Read pages 66-98, “How Children Grow and Develop” through “The Importance of Family Engagement.”
  2. Read the “Bleux Case Court Report” provided by your facilitator.
  3. Read your program’s policies provided by your facilitator.

Facilitator Materials

SESSION 3: TRAUMA, RESILIENCE AND COMMUNICATION SKILLS

Please complete the following Pre-Work before you attend your third volunteer training session:

  1. Read pages 126-141, “Understanding Child Trauma” through “Initial Case Notes for the Black-Smith Case.”
  2. Watch “Shane’s Digital Story” video.
  3. Watch “CASA/GAL Sample Interview: 4-Year-Old Child Part 1” video, and take notes as instructed.
  4. Watch “First Impressions: Exposure to Violence and a Child’s Developing Brain” video
  5. Complete the assignment “Preparation for Interviewing a Child.”

Facilitator Materials

SESSION 4: MENTAL HEALTH, POVERTY AND CONFIDENTIALITY

Please complete the following Pre-Work before you attend your fourth volunteer training session:

  1. Read pages 152-171, “Mental Illness in Families” through “Initial Case Notes for the Greene Case.”
  2. Complete the “Examining Poverty vs. Neglect Scenarios” activity.
  3. Play the online game “Spent” to learn more about the challenges of poverty.

Facilitator Materials

SESSION 5: SUBSTANCE ABUSE, DIVERSITY AND DISPROPORTIONALITY

Please complete the following Pre-Work before you attend your fifth volunteer training session:

  1. Read pages 176-191, “What is Substance Abuse?” through “Initial Case Notes for the Bass Case.”

Facilitator Materials

SESSION 6: DOMESTIC VIOLENCE, BIAS AND CULTURAL COMPETENCE

Please complete the following Pre-Work before you attend your sixth volunteer training session:

  1. Read pages 200-217, “Understanding Domestic Violence” through “Initial Case Notes for the Amarillo Case.”
  2. Write down any questions you have after reading the “Understanding Domestic Violence” section.
  3. Complete the “Sorting People Online” activity.
  4. Complete the “Exploring Culture and Perceptions” activity.
  5. Complete the “Culturally Competent Child Advocacy” activity.
  6. Build an Individual Action Plan for Cultural Competence.

Facilitator Materials

SESSION 7: EDUCATIONAL ADVOCACY, OLDER YOUTH AND LGBTQ YOUTH

Please complete the following Pre-Work before you attend your seventh volunteer training session:

  1. Read pages 226-260, “Youth Aging Out of Foster Care” through “Initial Case Notes for the Brown Case.”
  2. Watch the “In Brief: How Resilience is Built” video and think about relationships you had as a youth that helped you build resilience.
  3. Listen to the “Childhood Reflections” audio clip.
  4. Complete the “Connecting With Your K–12 Experiences” activity.

Facilitator Materials

SESSION 8: MOVING FORWARD AS AN ADVOCATE

Please complete the following Pre-Work before you attend your last volunteer training session:

  1. Read pages 266-292, “Initial Notes for the Redd Case” through “CASA/GAL Volunteer Competencies Review Activity.”
  2. Using the Redd Case Notes and your program’s court report guide, complete the “Writing Your Court Report Activity” per your facilitator’s instructions.
  3. Complete the “CASA/GAL Volunteer Competencies Review” activity.

Facilitator Materials