Gila County — CASA of Gila County has been selected for a 2020 National CASA/GAL Professional Development Grant award. National CASA/GAL is pleased to have this opportunity to support Gila County in the important work toward providing quality volunteer advocacy for children who have experienced abuse and neglect at no fault of their own.
Patti Dremler, program coordinator, reports that Emily Nader, volunteer coordinator out of the Globe CASA office, has been chosen to participate in the Professional Development coursework which consists of:
1. Volunteer Pro, an online management training, coaching and community to leaders of volunteers at all levels, sharing research, best practices and emerging innovations in volunteer engagement.
2. Volunteer Administrative Institute that is designed to empower staff with the knowledge, guidance, framework, and mindset to mobilize existing volunteer talent and resources for more impact. Discussion will not only include latest research related to volunteer administration, but also practical tools to use in our programs. Topics covered will include retention, setting expectations, providing support, navigating and managing difficult conversations, and strategies for successful volunteer recognition plans.
3. CVA Exam to test student’s knowledge after completion of the coursework and officially certify student in Volunteer Management.
Staff members directly benefiting from this grant must attend the National CASA/GAL Annual Conference in 2020. This year’s conference will be held in Washington, D.C. in June 2020.
“The coursework in the volunteer management program will strengthen and support my work as a volunteer coordinator,” remarks Nader, “ By shaping my skills in the seven core competencies and providing new knowledge to enhance my abilities to effectively train and retain volunteers, the course programs will allow me to serve our local CASA volunteers in a manner that is both professional and engaging resulting in an increase of the number of advocates serving the youth in our community.”
The National Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) Association, together with its state and local member programs, supports and promotes court-appointed volunteer advocacy so every abused or neglected child in the United States can be safe, have a permanent home, and the opportunity to thrive.
The federal grant funds distributed through National CASA/GAL are provided by the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention, U.S. Department of Justice, as authorized under the Victims of Child Abuse Act of 1990. In 2018, National CASA/GAL was awarded nearly $10 million in federal grants.
More about our local CASA Program:
The CASA of Gila County program is administered by the Arizona Supreme Court with a focus of recruiting and training community-based volunteers to speak up for the rights of abused and neglected children in court. CASA volunteers are appointed by our presiding judge to foster children who have the greatest need for an advocate.
Volunteers do not provide placement or a home for the child but are strictly advocates who submit their recommendations directly to the judge hearing a child’s case. CASA volunteers complete 30 hours of training to prepare them for their duties.
· Volunteers must be at least 21 years old.
· Volunteers go through a rigorous screening process including interviews, reference check, a fingerprint check, and polygraph exam.
· Volunteers are asked to make a commitment to one case until its conclusion, typically involving 10-20 hours per month.
· Volunteers must complete 30 hours of pre-service training.
· CASA volunteers are advocates, not mentors. Their objective is to help the court system determine the best outcome for the child.
· CASA volunteers try to build a 360-degree view of the child and his or her surroundings. To do this, they meet with teachers, counselors, physicians, and guardians.
· CASA volunteers work to ensure that children are in safe, permanent homes where they can thrive.
For those interested in volunteering with CASA of Gila County, please call 928-402-4427 or apply online at www.CASAofGilaCounty.org.