Prior to starting training, all potential volunteers must submit a written application, attend a personal interview, provide three references, and complete a criminal background check. Training sessions are offered 4 to 5 times a year and include 24 hours of in-class training completed in 8 three-hour sessions, plus an additional 6 hours of independent study and homework. Saturday classes comprise a morning and afternoon session.
Training topics include: The Law, The Child Protection System and the Courts; Children and Family Systems; The Impact of Child Abuse and Neglect; Exploring Our Cultural Sensitivity; Educational Advocacy; Healthcare Advocacy; Communication and Interviewing Skills; Information Gathering and Report Writing. Following the completion of training, volunteers are sworn in by a Family Court judge.
Volunteers must attend ALL
sessions of a training class to complete the course and be sworn in as a Court Appointed Special Advocate.