CASA of New Hampshire is pleased to welcome 18 new volunteers, an office intern, and a new staff member who graduated from our July training in Manchester. Taking place at Anthem BlueCross BlueShield’s downton office, these individuals completed 40 hours of extensive training that has prepared them to represent the best interests of abused and neglected children in the NH family court system.
Led by CASA staff members, this comprehensive training prepared the group by giving insight into the law behind child advocacy and what is expected of them at court. They are given the opportunity to visit a courtroom and meet a local judge to hear who helps volunteers understand the importance of their role. The training also teaches new volunteers about the different environments CASA children experience and gives case examples through role-play techniques. CASA volunteers do not have to have a background in social work or family law. This training serves to provide a foundation and resources for new volunteers as they learn to navigate their new role.
The role of CASA volunteers can be daunting at first. Many advocates worry about the time commitment, emotional effect and wonder if they have the qualifications. The most important lesson learned during their training is that no matter what, they have a strong support system behind them. Between CASA program managers, peer coordinators, support groups and on-going training’s, new volunteers are ensured that they will never be alone to face a problem on their case.
Now that they have finished their training, these advocates will be assigned their first case. With a growing need for advocate due to New Hampshire’s drug epidemic, these individuals will find that they have an immediate role in New Hampshire’s family court system to represent the best interests of victimized children.
Interested in becoming a CASA? Check out our volunteer information page and look for upcoming training dates here
As a final task during training, advocates are asked to write a message to their future child.