The Opportunity to be Trained Virtually is Safe, Convenient, Comprehensive

On October 6, 2020

“Becoming a CASA is so incredibly important and needed, even more so amidst COVID-19. The opportunity to be trained virtually is safe and convenient, and I never felt I didn’t glean all the necessary training, discussion, role play, and coaching that is vital to preparing me for this role. The most surprising part of virtual training was how well our trainers fostered a sense of community among our group – simple asks like keeping our cameras on for the duration of training, putting participants in breakout discussions, and asking us icebreaker questions for the Zoom chat at the beginning of each session helped all participants feel more connected to each other. Kelly, one of our trainers, also loved to pick on me since I often ate dinner during the second half of evening training – I always had to share what I was having with the group!

“The biggest barrier is being familiar with the technology, and our trainers made it so easy. They utilized videos, Google classroom and documents, Zoom functions, email, and chat to their fullest capabilities, and they offered tech support every step of the way for those participants who needed extra help. They were patient, flexible, and quickly pivoted to a new approach if technology wasn’t working as they planned. We all grew and learned together.

“None of what you learn in CASA training, in my opinion, is ‘fun’ – this is difficult and serious content. Our trainers knew to recognize shifts in body language on camera, the need for some participants to step away from their computer, and give breaks as needed for us to process. Their compassion and care about us came through at every step.

“In the end, I feel just as ready and prepared as if I had been with our trainers in person. When the time is right and safe, I look forward to meeting them in person and offering a physical hug in lieu of the virtual ones I passed along at each night’s closing!”

– -Brittney Joyce, CASA Volunteer Advocate trained in May/June 2020