Dec 6, 2012 12:00am - 1:00pm

Piedmont CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocates) will offer  monthly Information Sessions for prospective volunteers beginning December 6, 2012. If you've been thinking about serving as a volunteer advocate for abused and neglected children in our community, then plan to attend one of these sessions. Registration is required.

The  sessions will be held the first Thursday of every month, one at 12 pm and one at 6 pm to accommodate peoples' schedules. The sessions, which will be no longer than an hour in duration, will be held at CASA offices, located at 818 East High Street in Charlottesville. These sessions provide an opportunity for those interested in volunteering to speak with current volunteers and to learn about the wonderful work being done by CASA.

The process to become a CASA Volunteer is quite thorough. Prospective volunteers attend an Information Session (mandatory), complete an application and interview process, followed by 32 hours of training (which also includes two hours of courtroom observation). Once the training is complete, the volunteers are inducted in a formal ceremony by one of the judges in the 16th Judicial District.

CASA conducts at least two training sessions per year, in spring and fall. No special experience is required to become a CASA Volunteer. "CASA Volunteers are ordinary people who do extraordinary things for children," according to the organization. CASA Volunteers come from all walks of life, and include people of all ages.

Last Fiscal Year, Piedmont CASAserved 213 children whose cases were before the courts of the 16th Judicial District of Virginiadue to abuse or neglect by their caregivers.  At the beginning of the current Fiscal Year, CASA was already serving 40 more children than it was the same time last year. Over the past month CASA has had a waitlist of as many as 22 children, including a newborn and toddlers.

For more information visit pcasa.orgor call 434.971.7515 to register for the Information Session, indicating which session (noon or 6 pm).

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