2020 has been the year of notable pre-service trainings. Back in January, we had our largest training class ever with 29 new advocates from Manchester. Shortly after that, our Dover class of 22 began their 40 hours of training. The group, once meeting face-to-face, was disheartened to learn that their classroom style of learning would have to take place virtually for the second half of their training. The friendships they made with one another during class made the transition bittersweet; sad to part ways with one another, but happy to distance themselves to prevent spreading any harm. The group completed training and attended graduation through their screens in the comfort of their own living rooms.
In the training, they are provided an overview of the CASA program, given a brief history of national child protection laws and how they came to be, and receive training on New Hampshire laws. They are provided with information about the social and mental health issues that may be involved in their cases, which can help them understand the different types of homes the children are in. During training, they are introduced to the strong support system that is offered to all advocates: CASA program managers, peer coordinators, support groups and on-going trainings to continue learning and growing as an advocate. Under the current circumstances, their support is all available virtually until it is safe to proceed with life as normal. Our new volunteers are ensured that they will never be alone during their cases, even during difficult times like these.
Now that they have finished their training, these advocates will be assigned their first case. With a growing need for volunteer advocates, these individuals will find that they have an immediate role in New Hampshire’s family court system to represent the best interests of abused and neglected children.
With the stay-at-home order in place, there are fewer mandated reporters around children who may be subject to neglect or abuse. WMUR’s Amy Coveno posted a response video to the recent decrease in reported abuse cases, saying, “keep a special eye on the children of New Hampshire, and their moms and dads, this is a hard time for all of us.” Advocates are needed now more than ever, so we are offering two online training sessions for anyone in New Hampshire who is interested in volunteering. Grab a friend and complete the application together, set up an interview, and join us in protecting New Hampshire’s most vulnerable children.
Curious about becoming an advocate? Join CASA-NH Director of Recruitment Diane Valladares and advocate Lisa Brown for a virtual information session! In the comfort of your own home, we will answer all of your pressing questions or concerns via Zoom. Click here to register for the Tuesday, April 14 or Wednesday, April 15 sessions. Alternatively, if you are ready to become a CASA, click here to start your application.
Thank you to our Dover class for willingly transitioning to an online platform and finishing the required 40-hours of pre-service training. Here are their messages to their future CASA children, photos taken through a computer screen…