Volunteer

Volunteer

Take the first step to becoming a CASA advocate:

VOLUNTEER!

All CASA Volunteers are required to have 12 hours of continuing education per calendar year after their first 12 month service as a Advocate. All continuing education hours must be approved by your supervisor/coordinator. This list is not all-inclusive, please check with your supervisor/coordinator to ask about anything not on this page.

RECOMMENDED READING

Attached is an extensive list of recommended reading. Those highlighted in yellow are available at the office in the volunteer room.
Recommended Reading

Suggested Videos/Movies

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 the trailer: Click here
Where it can be found: Amazon Prime, iTunes

The Ride
After a violent, racially charged incident lands John in juvenile detention, he is finally placed with an unlikely set of foster parents, Eldridge and Marianna, an interracial couple. Eldridge makes it his mission to overcome the challenges of John’s white supremacist upbringing, slowly beginning to forge a relationship through his foster brother’s fascination with extreme sports and BMX biking. Rooted by this newfound passion, the family builds a bond of mutual respect, love and redemption.

Watch the trailer: Click here
Where it can be found: Amazon Prime

Instant Family
When Pete and Ellie decide to start a family, they stumble into the world of foster care adoption. They hope to take in one small child, but when they meet three siblings, including a rebellious 15-year-old girl, they find themselves speeding from zero to three kids overnight. Now, Pete and Ellie must try to learn the ropes of instant parenthood in the hope of becoming a family.
Starring: Mark Wahlberg, Rose Byrne, Octavia Spencer, Joan Cusack

Watch the trailer: Click here
Where it can be found: Amazon Prime, Hulu

Gimme Shelter
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 the trailer: Click here
Where it can be found: Netflix, Amazon Prime, iTunes, Redbox, Google play

Which Way Home
“Which Way Home” is a feature documentary film that follows unaccompanied child migrants, on their journey through Mexico, as they try to reach the United States. We follow children like Olga and Freddy, nine-year old Hondurans, who are desperately trying to reach their parents in the US.; children like Jose, a ten-year old El Salvadoran, who has been abandoned by smugglers and ends up alone in a Mexican detention center; and Kevin, a canny, streetwise fourteen-year old Honduran, whose mother hopes that he will reach the U.S. and send money back to her. These are stories of hope and courage, disappointment and sorrow. They are the children you never hear about; the invisible ones.

Watch the trailer: Click here
Where it can be found: HBO Max

The Trials of Gabriel Fernandez
The Trials of Gabriel Fernandez is a thorough and heartbreaking examination of the systemic forces that allow child abuse to flourish undetected in the United States. At the center of the series is Gabriel Fernandez, an eight-year-old boy who died in May 2013 after being severely abused and tortured by his mother and her boyfriend, both of whom were arrested and convicted for his death. Through interviews with members of Gabriel’s family, courtroom testimony, and insight from experts on psychology and family relationships, documentarian Brian Knappenberger attempts to answer some key questions: What, exactly, happened to Gabriel, and why didn’t anyone step in to save him?

Watch the trailer: Click Here
Where it can be found: Netflix

Foster
This HBO documentary visits courtrooms, foster homes, juvenile centers, hospitals and the neighborhoods of Los Angeles to tell stories of the foster care system in the United States. One literally begins in the cradle, focusing on an infant born to a mother who tests positive for cocaine at the child’s birth.

Here is a link for more information https://www.hbo.com/content/hboweb/en/documentaries/foster/about.html

Precious
A story of a child that is physically, sexually, and mentally abused by her biological parents. Precious is physically and sexually abused by her father who she becomes pregnancy with two children. Her mother is physically and mentally abusive and did not protect her from her father. Precious is taunted for her weight and inability to read and write. When she meets Ms. Rains after transferring to an alternative school, she sees the chance to turn her life into something positive. It is a heartbreaking film about child abuse and oppression and how a child needs community members to help them in the journey from oppression to self-determination and success. 

Watch the trailer: Click Here
Where it can be found: Amazon Prime, Hulu, Apple TV

Rewind
Documentary made up of home footage that reveal a long-kept secret of Sasha Joseph Neulinger. It is a brave a wrenching look at his childhood abuse by someone he knew and his journey to reconcile the past.

Watch the trailer: Click Here
Where it can be found: Amazon Prime

From Place to Place
Two teens who have recently aged out of foster care face the struggles of life with little support beyond their social worker.

Trailer: Click Here
Where it can be found: Amazon Prime

Losing Isiah
A social worker adopts an abandoned baby whose drug-addicted mother becomes determined to reclaim her child years later.

Trailer: Click Here
Where it can be found: DVD at CASA office

The Glass Castle
Based on Jeanette Wall’s best-selling memoir, this film follows Jeanette as she learns to navigate life with her dysfunctional family. Her eccentric parents, who love their children and encourage them to reach for the stars, do not always know how to care for them.

Trailer: Click Here
Where it can be found: Amazon Prime

White Oleander
A mother is jailed for the murder of her lover, but still controls the life of her 15-year-old daughter, who struggles to navigate between multiple foster homes and her mother’s manipulations.

Trailer: Click Here 
Where it can be found: Hulu, Amazon Prime, and Youtube

Martian Child
A lonely science-fiction writer adopts a boy who claims to be from Mars, and he discovers that being a parent means anything is possible.

Trailer: Click Here
Where it can be found: Amazon Prime

PODCASTS & WEBINARS 

National CASA
Various Webinars on diverse topics provided by National CASA: National-CASA-GAL-Association-for-Children-2020-Archived-Webinars-Catalog.pdf
Just browse the catalog, click on the link provided, and turn in your notes/reflective for credit.

CASA College
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 the 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.

Psychotropic Medication
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
It is a good time to read up on how to help prevent cyberbullying, 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 of 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 fora lasting change.