In order to keep current with issues that relate to the volunteer role, volunteers are required to complete a minimum of 12 hours of continuing education per year. If hours take place outside CASA, they must be approved by your supervisor.
You do not have to be a part of the Advanced Training initiative in order to participate in these classes. They are open to all CASAs. The classes do not have to be completed in any specific order. A CASA can work toward completion of Tier 2 even without having completed Tier 1 - but they cannot be certified as having completed Tier 2 until after they have been certified in Tier 1. When a group of volunteers is ready for certification, but there are a few who have not completed one or two classes, we will offer those classes again before scheduling the certification event. Contact Sandra for more information.
In addition to attending classes and online training, advocates are also able to read books related to the work we do to receive continuing education credit hours. Each 100 pages equals 1 CE hour. For example, if you read a book that is 300 pages long, you will receive 3 hours of continuing education credit.
To view the current reading list click here. If you have titles you would like to suggest be added to the reading list please contact Samantha Koepp-Stemplinger
Short Term 12
Short Term 12 delves into the lives of youth in a foster care facility for at-risk teens as told through the eyes of their supervisor, Grace. The characters face similar struggles to many of the youth for whom CASA volunteers advocate. One such teen is Marcus who will soon age out of the system and acts out in defiance because he is afraid to face the next chapter in his life. There are many other parallels with the children CASA serves. “One of the subtle beauties of Short Term 12 is the way it intimately depicts how the counselors find ways into these kids’ lives and connect with them.” — Christy Lemire for RogerEbert.com. Short Term 12 won the 2013 SXSW Audience Award for Best Narrative Feature.
Watch trailer: Click here
Where it can be found: Netflix, Amazon Prime, iTunes
Gimme Shelter is based on a true story about a pregnant teenager who flees her abusive mother in search of her father, only to be rejected. She is forced to survive on the streets until a compassionate stranger offers a hopeful alternative. A powerful movie demonstrating the impact one person can make on a child or teen. Every child deserves the chance to turn their life around. Starring: Vanessa Hudgens, Rosario Dawson, James Earle Jones and Brendan Fraser.
Watch trailer: Click here
Where it can be found: Netflix, Amazon Prime, iTunes, Redbox, Google play
The CASA College LMS includes the Online Core Advocacy Skills Training (OCAST), new e-learning materials we are developing, such as the Fierce Advocate Series, and an archive of past e-learning materials such as our monthly advocacy webinars. All these materials are available for continuing education or volunteer pre-service training.
TED Talk: Everything you think you know about addiction is wrong
What really causes addiction? How can we overcome it? Johann Hari has seen our current methods fail first hand and began to wonder why we treat addicts the way we do.
Podcast: Engaging Youth in Foster Care
As youth in care begin to develop their own sense of self and independence, you may experience difficulty engaging them to participate in their case plans or helping them realize the impacts their decisions may have on their long-term future.
Sexual Abuse and Maltreatment of Children
This course developed by the Dallas Children’s Advocacy Center teaches individuals who work with children about the signs and symptoms of child abuse. Professionals will learn facts about child abuse, including the factors that indicate a child is at-risk and how to recognize physical and behavioral signs of the varying forms of child abuse.
This training explains Child Protective Services’ expectations for the safe and effective use of psychotropic medications by children in DFPS conservatorship. This training will help you to understand the expectations and policies regarding medications administered to children.
Texas Victim Assistance Training (TVAT)
This training will provide the necessary tools for providing consistent and appropriate services to crime victims and how to work collaboratively with partner agencies. You may log in and out at any time.
National Center for Missing and Exploited Children Safety Training
With the school year upon us, it is a good time to read up on how to help prevent cyber bullying, sexting and other types of risky online behavior in children and teens. The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children has provided a website to help educate adults and children on these risks. You may count research as continuing education credit.
National Children’s Advocacy Center Online Training
Previously recorded webinars that offer information pertaining to multiple aspects of CASA cases can be found on the National Children’s Advocacy Center website and can be viewed at any time with no cost. On their website, you will be directed to create a login account to access the webinars. Click here to view available webinars.
Building Trauma-Informed Services for Children, Youth, and Parents Impacted by Domestic Violence
This is a 10-part recorded webinar series that can be accessed at any time. Topics include: Children and Domestic Violence, Caring for Others While Caring for Ourselves, Children Grow in the Context of Their Relationships, Understanding Children’s Responses to DV and Other Trauma, Responding to the Needs of Children and Families Impacted by DV, Engaging and Supporting Parents
Webinars from the National Center on Family Homelessness
Voices from the Field: Strategies for integrating domestic violence and homelessness services
Young Families: Risk and Protective Factors
Working with Young Homeless Families: Strategies to Foster Resiliency
Guidelines for Working with Young Homeless Families
Physical and Emotional Awareness for Children who are Homeless
Webinar Series: Trauma-Focused Interventions for Survivors of Domestic and Sexual Violence
Although research on trauma-focused interventions continues to grow, there are still only a limited number of interventions designed specifically for responding to the traumatic effects of domestic and sexual violence. This webinar series was designed to highlight some of these emerging and evidence-based approaches.
Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction for Survivors of Trauma: An Introduction
Beyond Trauma: A Healing Journey for Women
Beyond Anger and Violence: A Program for Women
“Faces of Human Trafficking” Video Series
The series is intended to be used for outreach and education efforts of service providers, law enforcement, prosecutors, and others in the community. The series includes information about sex and labor trafficking, multidisciplinary approaches to serving victims of human trafficking, effective victim services, victims’ legal needs, and voices of survivors.
TBRI® An Overview: Putting the Pieces Together
This short video explains the principles and concepts behind Trust-Based Relational Intervention®, a proven method for enriching the lives of at-risk, vulnerable children, adolescents, and their families. Trauma can impair language, sensory processing, and coping skills, and can lead to perplexing behaviors that are often mistaken for aggression or mental illness. This video features world-renowned experts who share research that documents how consistently positive experiences with loving caregivers can re-wire a child’s brain for lasting change.
Meth Addiction in Hawai’i – Podcast Series
A podcast series about meth addiction in Hawai’i that really puts a human face on the problem. The episodes range from 15-20 minutes each. Listen to all four episodes and read the accompanying written material for a 2 hour continuing education credit. Individual segments can be listened to for a smaller CE credit.
Promoting Family Health Through the Parent-Child Feeding Relationship
Unhealthy foods are readily available, cheaper than healthy alternatives, and advertised directly to children. Parents play an instrumental role in helping children navigate this unhealthy food environment. This presentation will discuss characteristics of children and parents that put some families at risk for eating challenges and how developing a positive parent-child feeding relationship benefits both parent and child. Dr. Doris Luft de Baker’s lecture is now available to view on the UT Dallas website.
Children’s Commission: 2015 Parent Resource Guide
Have you wondered what the parents on your case go through or wanted to learn more about the CPS process? Imagine being scared, confused, embarrassed or angry and having to navigate the CPS and legal process. Take a glimpse into the role of a parent going through this process and receive 2.5 continuing education hours for self study.
CASA of the Coastal Bend
Advocating for Children in Nueces and Aransas Counties