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Become An Advocate

You can help make a life-long impact in the lives of children in need!

STEPS TO BECOMING AN ADVOCATEADVOCATE FAQ’S

Henrico CASA - Advocates

Henrico CASA trains volunteers to help our county’s most vulnerable children thrive in safe, loving homes. These skilled volunteers are called Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) because they are appointed by judges serving in the Henrico County Juvenile and Domestic Relations District Court.

Advocates build a relationship with a child, gather information, and collaborate with professionals in order to make recommendations to the court. As our judges often note, these recommendations are vital to making the best decisions possible on behalf of children who experienced abuse or neglect.

Advocates make a big difference!

Henrico CASA - Advocates

Every 81 Minutes

A child experiences abuse or neglect in Virginia.

100% of Children Appointed

to CASA receive a dedicated advocate.

98% of CASA’s Cases

closed with safe, permanent homes

Less Than 1% of Children

are involved in re-abuse during case.
Henrico CASA - Advocate & Child

Steps to Become An Advocate

You Can Change a Child’s Life

Reflect on the Role
The children that Henrico CASA serves need stability. Our volunteer advocates meet that need by becoming a consistent presence in a child’s life. Having this place of influence requires an investment of time in terms of initial training and ongoing commitment.

  • Are you able to commit to our upcoming preservice training calendar (40 hours) here?
  • Would you be able to devote 10-20 hours per month to this role for at least one year?
  • Are you comfortable building relationships with a variety of people?
  • Do you have strong communication skills, both verbal and written?

Learn more about the advocate role by participating in an upcoming Information Session (Step Two).

Attend a Virtual Information Session

The first step to learning more is to attend a virtual information session! Register for our upcoming presentation on May 22 at 12pm. You can also click HERE to request access to view a pre-recorded session.

Submit an Application

Take a look at the upcoming training sessions schedules to ensure you are available to attend all classes within one of the sessions (Spring 2024 or Fall 2024). Then submit an application using the link below:

ADVOCATE APPLICATION

Henrico CASA is an equal opportunity organization providing access to services and employment without regard to age, race, color, national origin, gender, religion, sexual orientation, veteran’s status, political affiliation or disability.

Interview & Background Check
Participate in an interview, fingerprinting and background checks.
In-Person Training & Court Observation
Attend pre-service training (40 hours) and court observation. Trainees learn about the court process, the social service system, child development and educational advocacy, the family dynamics of domestic violence, the realities of substance abuse, and the special needs of children who have been abused and neglected by their caregivers.
Get Sworn In & Get Started!
Be sworn in as an officer of the court and get ready to accept your first case. This is where the real journey begins… the opportunity to help a child re-write their future.

We would love to have you join our team of 100+ advocates speaking up for vulnerable children in Henrico County!

Advocacy Infographic 2
Henrico CASA - Advocate Team
Henrico CASA Advocates
Henrico CASA - Advocate Team

Frequently Asked Questions

COMMON QUESTIONS FROM NEW ADVOCATES

Is the in-person training mandatory?
Yes. The training schedule is posted on our website and provided during the application and interview process to ensure that prospective volunteers can commit to attending all training sessions. The content taught in training is vital, in terms of knowledge and how to work a case as a volunteer advocate. The in-person nature allows for valuable dialogue as the training class works through a practice case together.
How quickly after training will I start my role as an advocate?
Many children are waiting for advocates, so new volunteers are likely to be assigned a case very quickly after the completion of training.
What support can I expect in my role as a volunteer advocate?

All volunteers are assigned a supervisor who is a Henrico CASA staff member. This supervisor is a constant source of encouragement and provides guidance to help volunteers navigate their case and the complexities of the legal and child welfare system. In addition, volunteers are invited to participate in monthly continuing education opportunities, attend regularly scheduled case processing sessions and listen to our Vigilant Voices™ podcast which qualifies for continuing education credits.

How long will my case last?
The length of a case varies based on several variables. Some end within weeks, others last years. The children we serve have experienced a significant amount of change and instability. CASA’s volunteer advocates are a consistent source of security for these children. Therefore, we ask that volunteers remain committed to a child until their case is fully resolved or CASA is relieved by the Judge.
Is safety a concern for volunteer advocates?
Henrico CASA prioritizes the safety and wellbeing of not just the children we serve, but also our team of volunteer advocates. Since 1994, no volunteer advocate has been harmed while working with the children and families we serve. We encourage advocates to understand that the cases we serve involve allegations of abuse and neglect that may or may not have merit. If the physical safety of children was of significant concern to Child Protective Services, the children are oftentimes removed from that environment prior to CASA’s involvement. Our staff trains volunteers on how to proactively prioritize safety and utilize available resources to ensure the ongoing safety for our advocates.

Have additional questions? Contact our Program Manager, Trish Stewart, at (804) 501-1670 or [email protected] for more information.

There are many ways to help!

Henrico CASA - Advocate Block

ADVOCATE WITH US

Become a volunteer with our program to help advocate for Henrico's children in court
Henrico CASA - Ambassador Block

BECOME AN AMBASSADOR

Help carry out education, engagement, and fundraising for Henrico's children
Henrico CASA - Donate Block

DONATE TODAY

Donations help to support our ongoing advocacy services to Henrico's children
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