On Wednesday night, our fall 2018 class of 12 new CASA volunteers completed their final training. As we’re looking forward to officially swearing them in on November 29, we thought we’d share about the process our advocates have gone through in order to speak up for Luzerne County’s most vulnerable children.
The first step to becoming a voice for children is to attend an information session. This is a great opportunity for potential advocates to stop by and see what CASA of Luzerne County is all about. The information session last about 45 minutes.
The second step in the process to become a CASA is to complete an online application which takes about a half hour. We’ll ask you to submit three references and successfully complete a criminal background check.
Once we review your application, an interview will be scheduled with you at our office. Our staff will meet with you and talk with you about your life experiences and why you feel you’re well-suited to become a court appointed special advocate. Shortly after the interview, we will contact you to confirm an invitation to our next training class.
We hold two training sessions each year – one in the fall and one in the spring. The training class lasts approximately eight weeks and covers a variety of topics that you’re likely to encounter in your advocacy (the role of a CASA, foster care, professional communication, report writing and testifying, substance abuse, domestic violence, trauma and resilience, and educational advocacy). Our staff works directly with you to make sure you feel empowered and supported as you get ready to begin your journey as a CASA. You’ll also have the opportunity to hear from current advocates and local service providers.
When your training is complete, you’ll officially be sworn-in as a court appointed special advocate. We like to treat this event as a big deal – because it is. This is when you’ll take an oath to faithfully execute your responsibilities as a CASA and serve the best interests of the child or children to whom you’ll be assigned.
Soon after being sworn-in you’ll receive your first case. Our staff will be here to assist you throughout the entire time of your advocacy for a child – from that initial contact to each of your appearances in court.
Being an advocate is a unique and incredibly rewarding experience. You’ll have the opportunity to change the life of a local child in need and positively impact the future of our community. As an organization, CASA of Luzerne County is committed to making sure that you feel supported and encouraged as part of this special community of volunteers.
If you’d like to find out more about CASA and advocating for abused and neglected children right here in Luzerne County, we invite you to attend our upcoming information session on Monday, November 19 at 5 p.m. Please reach out to us to reserve your spot.
If you’d also like to attend the swearing-in ceremony for our fall class of advocates, we’d love for you to join us on Thursday, November 29 at noon in the large courtroom on the 3rd floor of the Bernard C. Brominski Building in Wilkes Barre.
There are currently 440 abused and neglected children in the Luzerne County court system. Our goal is to make sure each and every one of those children has an advocate who is committed to speaking up for them and their needs. We believe in you and what you have to offer. Please reach out to us if you’re ready to take the next step.