In this season of social distancing, CASA YOUTH ADVOCATES OF DELAWARE & CHESTER COUNTIES, DAUPHIN COUNTY CASA and CASA OF WESTMORELAND swear-in new volunteers virtually!
We all know there are many ways to keep volunteers energized and involved during normal times, but these days are far from ordinary. Volunteers are the lifeblood of CASA programs, and keeping volunteers engaged virtually has allowed many local programs to maintain momentum. Virtual training to engage new volunteers, and working with judges who are getting creative about how they host swearing-in ceremonies for advocates are happening in programs across the state! We are proud to report that CASA YOUTH ADVOCATES of DELAWARE & CHESTER COUNTIES, CASA WESTMORELAND and DAUPHIN COUNTY CASA nimbly pivoted to the “new normal” by conducting virtual training and swearing-in ceremonies!
CASA YOUTH ADVOCATES of DELAWARE & CHESTER COUNTIES, announced a class of seven new advocates started their training in person the first week of March and, after the shutdowns, took one week off to transition to a 100% virtual training. Every single advocate who started the live training completed it virtually and were sworn in via Zoom. Judge Analisa Sondergaard shared eloquent and complimentary remarks about the exceptional CASA program and her respect for the new advocates. The judge executed all of the paperwork digitally as well! Following the swearing-in, CASA YOUTH ADVOCATES Executive Director Leigh Anne McKelvey said, “ I’m incredibly proud and impressed to say that all seven advocates who started live, completed the training virtually and were sworn in on April 29th. Their commitment, despite their lives being upended, is awe-inspiring, and I’m very proud that we were able to match their commitment as an organization by figuring out how to get them through the curriculum virtually.”
A second virtual training session began on May 4th, and 14 new advocates signed-up to participate in twice a month trainings!
DAUPHIN COUNTY President Judge John Cherry swore in eight new CASA Volunteers via Zoom on April 28th. Dauphin County CASA Executive Director Christine Phau Laney stated, “knowing every day each of us could reach our goal of becoming a connection and a voice kept our group of new CASA trainees focused and determined.” Board Chair Hon. Lori Seratelli thanked the new volunteers saying, “On behalf of the board of directors of Dauphin County CASA, I would like to congratulate and thank all of you for your time and talents in assisting the court with the children of Dauphin County. Especially in this difficult time, it shows how dedicated you are to have not been deterred when you had to change from live training to virtual training.”
CASA of WESTMORELAND held its first virtual swearing in via ZOOM on April 30th to appoint six new volunteers into service by Honorable Judge Christopher Feliciani. CASA of Westmoreland staff also “attended” the ceremonies. With the six new volunteers, CASA will be serving just under half of the children in care.