Henrico CASA seeks volunteers for training as child advocates

Henrico County Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) will be offering daytime training sessions for volunteers who would work in the court system on behalf of abused or neglected children.

Henrico CASA is recruiting volunteers for a free, two-week training course that is planned for January and February. Classes will last five to six hours and be held three days per week. The daytime sessions will be geared for retirees, stay-at-home parents or others who may have evening obligations.

Anyone interested in serving as a volunteer advocate must apply by Friday, Dec. 20, 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. To apply or receive additional information, contact Jeannine Panzera at (804) 501-1673 or pan01@co.henrico.va.us. Information also is available at www.henricocasa.org.

The training program will conclude with a swearing-in ceremony at the Henrico Juvenile and Domestic Relations District Court.

Henrico CASA is a private, nonprofit organization that works closely with the Juvenile and Domestic Relations District Court. Working typically 10 to 20 hours per month, volunteer advocates investigate the situations of children who are involved in the court system as a result of allegations of abuse or neglect.

The training program prepares volunteers to interview children and others involved in their case, submit reports to judges and assist case attorneys. Henrico CASA volunteers worked 11,006 hours and served 346 children in fiscal year 2012-13.