CASA of Gila County Provides Award Funds to Its Volunteers


CASA of Gila County was awarded a 2020 National CASA/GAL Professional Development Grant back in January. Due to the recent nationwide pandemic, National CASA/GAL Association had to rethink how they could proceed with this annual conference and how they would disburse these award funds.

National CASA/GAL is pleased to have the opportunity to support Gila County staff and volunteers in the important work towards providing quality volunteer advocacy for children who have experienced abuse and neglect at no fault of their own.

Reconnect, Recharge, Reignite will be a first of its kind, virtual conference being provided to both program leaders, staff and volunteers on Oct. 20-21, 2020.

This year’s conference will feature prominent speakers, dynamic sessions and more, with the goal of helping attendees prepare for a new tomorrow and ultimately better serve children and youth as we all move into 2021.

Through carefully curated sessions and institutes, conference attendees will:

1. Reconnect with peer-to-peer engagement.

2. Recharge through professional development opportunities and best practice sharing.

3. Reignite their passion for service.

The National Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) Association, together with its state and local member programs, supports and promotes court-appointed volunteer advocacy so every abused or neglected child in the United States can be safe, have a permanent home, and the opportunity to thrive.

More about our local CASA Program:

The CASA of Gila County program is administered by the Arizona Supreme Court with a focus of recruiting and training community-based volunteers to speak up for the rights of abused and neglected children in court. CASA volunteers are appointed by our presiding judge to foster children who have the greatest need for an advocate. Volunteers do not provide placement or a home for the child but are strictly advocates who submit their recommendations directly to the judge hearing a child’s case. CASA volunteers complete 30 hours of training to prepare them for their duties.

CASA Volunteers:

· Volunteers must be at least 21 years old.

· Volunteers go through a rigorous screening process including interviews, reference check, a fingerprint check, and polygraph exam.

· Volunteers are asked to make a commitment to one case until its conclusion, typically involving 10-20 hours per month.

· Volunteers must complete 30 hours of pre-service training, currently being offered on a virtual cohort.

· CASA volunteers are advocates, not mentors. Their objective is to help the court system determine the best outcome for the child.

· CASA volunteers try to build a 360-degree view of the child and his or her surroundings. To do this, they meet with teachers, counselors, physicians, and guardians. This interaction is currently being done virtually due to COVID-19 restrictions in place.

· CASA volunteers work to ensure that children are in safe, permanent homes where they can thrive.

For those interested in volunteering with CASA of Gila County, please call 928-402-4427 or apply online at www.CASAofGilaCounty.org

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