Henrico County Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) will offer a training program beginning Saturday, Feb. 28 for volunteers who would work in the court system on behalf of abused or neglected children.
The free, 14-session training course will include classes at the Henrico CASA office in suite A of the Hungary Spring Office Park, 3001 Hungary Spring Road. A swearing-in ceremony will follow Wednesday, April 1 at the Henrico Juvenile and Domestic Relations District Court.
Anyone interested in serving as a volunteer advocate must apply by Friday, Feb. 13, be at least 21 years old and have regular access to a computer. Applicants will be interviewed, fingerprinted and undergo criminal background and reference checks. Henrico CASA has a particular need for male volunteers, but all are welcome. For information, contact Jeannine Panzera at (804) 501-1673 or Jeannine.Panzera@henrico.us. Applications are available at www.henricocasa.org.
Henrico CASA is a private, nonprofit organization that has worked closely with the Juvenile and Domestic Relations District Court for 20 years to serve children in the community. Working typically 10 to 15 hours per month, volunteer advocates gather information on a child’s circumstances to supplement information provided to the court.
The training program prepares volunteers to interview children and others involved in their cases, submit reports to judges and assist case attorneys. Henrico CASA volunteers worked 8,000 hours and served 316 children in fiscal year 2013-14.