CASA of North Mississippi
An Inside Look at Volunteer Training
Before becoming a CASA, our volunteers have to go through training to learn the ins-and-outs of their work. In training, they learn about the foster care system, children’s development, mental illness and substance abuse, cultural sensitivity, poverty, and the effects of trauma among other things. Training takes thirty hours and prepares our volunteers for practically everything they’ll encounter as a CASA. Though thirty hours, particularly on those longer days, can seem tedious, volunteer training is extremely informative, and can often be incredibly moving. It is common in any training or job to get bogged down in the details—in this case, that could be laws, trial placements, or any number of things. However, the thing that stands out most in our volunteer training is how human CASA work really is. It is founded in advocacy, which requires a careful balance between sympathy and realism. Often, the cases CASA takes can be emotionally taxing, as is seen time and time again in the case examples in training, but ultimately, the reward is well worth it—to help these kids as much as possible and perhaps provide them some light and some semblance of understanding in the midst of the most turbulent times in their lives.
For the past two weeks, CASA of Lafayette County has been training three new volunteers, who are to be sworn in on July 31st. In discussing their experience in training, volunteer-in-training Connie Caviness said, “I’ve enjoyed learning about all the steps that children have to take—all the processes and changes you have to negotiate to get to where these children end up. I just didn’t realize, you know?” Building off of what Connie said, volunteer-in-training Tiffany Babb expressed, “I definitely appreciate the timeline more now. In order for these parents and kids to be reunified, it does take time! We need to see what these parents are capable of.” The three women have built up quite the rapport during training, and expressed that training made them feel like they could do anything, like they were a superhero trio wanting to save the world. Volunteer-in-training Jessica Ramsey even joked, “We’re like the ghostbusters!”
If you or someone you know is interested in becoming a CASA, please come out to our CASA Volunteer And CPS Foster Family Recruitment Event today (July 17th) from 2:30pm to 6pm at Oxford Nutrition located at 1101 Merchants Drive. Outside of that, don’t hesitate to contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org to find out more!