Pre-Service Training Format

Pre-service training classes are offered 2-3 times per year. Each class lasts 7 weeks and meets once per week for 3 hours. 

The following topics are covered in a blended classroom and online format using Moodle - an online learning platform:

  • Understanding Child Abuse and Neglect

  • Principles and Concepts that Guide CASA Volunteer Work

  • The Development of Child Abuse and Neglect Laws

  • Introduction of Child Protective Services and the Court Process

  • Roles in the Juvenile Court Case

  • Culture, Diversity, and Personal Values

  • Understanding the Needs of Children

  • Understanding Family Strengths and Culture

  • How stress, Domestic Violence, substance abuse, mental illness and poverty impact families.

  • Writing a Court Report


Courtroom Observation

In addition to classroom assignments and online coursework, our program requires trainees to attend at least two courtroom observations. Trainees will receive a court docket and will be able to choose which two cases to observe. The cases are spread throughout the district and one of our advocate managers will attend with you as well as the CASA volunteer who is assigned to the case. Being in court is hands-on experience that will allow you to familiarize yourself with the courtroom culture and norms, judge's expectations, role of the CASA and GAL, and best practices for effective advocacy for your CASA child.


Our Next Training Classes:

Application Deadline: December 16, 2019
Thursdays Feb. 5-March 25, 5:45-9:00pm Pearson Cancer Center in Lynchburg


Meet Our Trainer

Pam Ferrell facilitates our three 7-week training classes and is an active CASA volunteer advocate. In addition, she works full-time. How's that for a real-life superhero? Pam has years of experience as an advocate, making her the ideal facilitator for our classes. In her own words, "I truly believe that we (CASA) have the ability, indeed the privilege, to make a profound difference in a child's life when it matters most. I am blessed to have two wonderful parents, but I know that not every child is that fortunate. I feel I have a responsibility to use my talents and skills to make a difference where I can. For me, there is no better place to start than with our children, our future."