Volunteer Initial Training (VIT)
Volunteer Initial Training is for our CASA Volunteer Advocates and is an extensive program that educates new Volunteer Advocates about the children and youth in foster care in Contra Costa County. It includes 36 hours of in-class instruction to ensure that our volunteers can provide quality advocacy to the children and youth we serve.
Our training faculty includes experts in child welfare, law, and education. Topics include the juvenile dependency system, juvenile rights, Children and Family Services, child development and trauma, educational advocacy, domestic violence, and cultural sensitivity. Participants are given the opportunity to observe real case reviews.
Volunteers are provided with the tools they need to advocate for children and youth who have experienced abuse, neglect, and the trauma of being removed from their families.
Our volunteers report that training is both an eye-opening and a personal growth experience that leaves them feeling prepared to step into their new role. Training concludes with new Volunteer Advocates being sworn in as Officers of the Court by our local Juvenile Dependency Court Judges.
Support Volunteer Initial Training (SVIT)
Support Volunteer Initial Training is for our Support Volunteers, including CASA Tutors, and is designed to provide volunteers with the information needed to successfully begin a Support Volunteer position with our organization. Training consists of approximately 5 hours of pre-class self-study, as well as 9 hours of in class instruction. Topics include an introduction to the organizations structure and policy, the impact trauma has on the developing brain, trauma informed teaching practices, the child welfare system, cultural competency and implicit bias, boundaries, and confidentiality.
Both training programs are conducted on Zoom. Participants must have a computer with working camera and speakers to fully participate, and attendance at all classes in mandatory.