Collaborating on the Curriculum Refresh

As a member of the Curriculum Development Committee, Jennifer Valentine, Director of Program Services at CASA for Children of Atlantic and Cape May Counties in New Jersey, had not only a hand in making revisions to the curriculum, but also a firsthand look at the new material in action as the leader of a pilot training site. With her front row seat, Valentine witnessed the potential impact of the updated training curriculum before its national rollout. 

“The changes equip volunteers with the latest thinking, knowledge, tools and skills to get results for the children we represent,” says Valentine. By focusing on critically important areas like case-based learning, trauma-informed care and even sharpening volunteer’s court report writing skills, we’re bringing volunteers in line with the very latest research and best practices from clinicians, mental health professionals, social workers and more.

“A critically important element in the updated training is the focus on cultural competency,” says Valentine. “Helping our volunteers understand and advocate for the needs of LGBTQ youth or Native American children, for example, helps the volunteer make recommendations in the child’s unique best interest.”


Curriculum Development Committee Members

Amia Barrows, Co-Chair
Virginia Department of Criminal Justice Services

Calvin Martin, Co-Chair
Florida Guardian ad Litem Program

Arbor Buchanan
CASA of Northwest Arkansas

Kimberly Deer
Okmulgee County Family Resource Center (OK)

Richard Heyl de Ortiz
Adoptive and Foster Family Coalition of New York 

Peggy Larson
King Co. Dep. CASA Program (WA)

Rand Rosenbaum
CASA of Arizona

Jennifer Valentine
CASA of Atlantic & Cape May Counties (NJ)

Janet Ward
National CASA Association