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CASA volunteer training to start Oct. 19

CASA volunteer training to start Oct. 19

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The Franklin/Pittsylvania County Court Appointed Special Advocate program is recruiting volunteers to serve as advocates for children in our region. Training for the spring session will begin Oct. 19 and be held virtually.

CASA volunteers are appointed by a judge to speak up for children who are involved in judicial proceedings related to abuse, neglect or children in need of supervision or services. CASA programs work to promote safe, permanent outcomes for the children they serve.

Volunteers work with a child’s attorney, monitor the case for compliance with the court’s orders and report their findings back to the court. Court reports include case and family history, current family conditions, concerns and recommendations to ensure children remain safe and have permanent homes.

Anyone interested in becoming a CASA volunteer must be at least 21 years old, possess mature judgment and have the ability to communicate effectively both orally and in writing. Applicants must be able to interact with people, demonstrate objectivity and show attention to detail.

All CASA volunteers are asked to make an annual pledge of service, be willing to commit to 5-10 hours a month and be prepared to testify at court for hearings.

Volunteers must participate in training and have background and reference checks conducted. After completing training and being sworn-in, new volunteers are mentored by an experienced CASA volunteer for their first two cases.

“Being a CASA is not like being a big brother or sister, or even a mentor,” said Joyce Moran, executive officer of the Southern Virginia Child Advocacy Center. “It encompasses an ability to recognize need, analyze resources and communicate options and opportunities into a complex system response on behalf of the child.”

For more information, visit www.southernvacac.org or call 484-5566.

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