CASA University

An Orientation to CASA University

We are so glad you’ve decided to pursue becoming a CASA Volunteer with ProKids.

You’ll find information on this page to help you learn the steps you need to take to become a CASA Volunteer as well as all the materials you’ll need to attend CASA University.

If you ever have a question or need help, please feel free to reach out to our team via email.

Here are some helpful tips for when we return to in-person court proceedings:

Juvenile Court is held at 800 Broadway on the 6th floor.  You must pass through a metal detector upon entering the building.  Please plan to arrive at least 15 minutes before the scheduled start time.  The CASA Manager will meet you at the check in desk on the 6th floor.  If you carry a cell phone, it must be turned off or placed in “silent” mode once progressing beyond the check in desk.  Please note no food or drink is permitted in courtrooms.

After 10am parking at the casino is free.  There are many meters around 800 Broadway.  The meters accept change or credit cards.  Only park at a meter with at least 120 minutes (a 60-minute meter is usually not long enough).  For long visits there are 10-hour meters on 7th St. just beyond the intersection of Broadway (stay to the right and go down a little hill).  Those who plan on using a meter may want to consider downloading the Cincyezpark app ahead of time.  This will allow for payment from your cell phone and is particularly convenient if you end up being at court longer than originally anticipated.  If you take a picture of the parking meter zone (which is always 513) and space number, you will be able to extend your meter time without having to leave the courthouse.  There are also self-pay lots and attendant lots.  These are more expensive, require dollars or a personal check (for slots), and are probably not necessary if you are able to find a meter.

After you attend Class One, you can register for the remainder of CASA University by viewing the ProKids calendar.

Please note: You must attend a Snapshot prior to beginning CASA University. A member of the ProKids staff will register you for your first class.

Prior to attending class, please read the corresponding section of the CASA University Manual. Each section of the manual is located on this page below.

In addition to reading the material prior to attending class, please submit the homework assignment at the end of each section. You can find the link to submit your required homework under each class section on this page. Homework should be submitted prior to attending class as a PDF or as a Word file.

Bring your CASA University manual with you to class. You’ll be taking notes and adding materials to the manual throughout training.

While the ProKids office works remotely due to ongoing COVID-19 social distancing, we wanted to give you the opportunity to meet our staff virtually. If you have any questions for these staff members, please feel free to contact them by clicking on their names.

Kaitlyn Ratterman, CASA Development Manager

Peri Russo, Training and Certification Manager

Lindsay Clanton, Administrative Assistant

The Process of Becoming a CASA Volunteer

Make sure you have submitted your initial background check documents. If you have any questions or need assistance completing these documents, please contact Peri Russo or call 513-487-1047.

Download the packet to your computer, open from your computer, complete, sign, and email your paperwork to prusso@prokids.org.  Another option is to U.S. Mail your paperwork to the ProKids offices to the attention of Peri Russo.

After attending your third class, please schedule your CASA Volunteer interview. Available slots can be found here.

Please note: Interviews are currently being conducted via Zoom meeting until further notice.

After attending your fifth class, please schedule your fingerprinting.  Available slots can be found here.

Please note: Fingerprinting will be conducted in person at the ProKids office located at 2605 Burnet Avenue Cincinnati, OH  45219.

Expect to be in the ProKids building for roughly 15-30 minutes.  In addition to your fingerprinting, your picture will be taken for our database.  If there are no available dates/times that work for your schedule, please contact Peri Russo.

After attending court for the first time (virtually or in-person), complete your court observation report found here.

Please note: Because of changes in court process, many review hearings have been changed to paper-only reviews (no in-person hearing, court report only). Please do not submit a court observation form for these hearings.

CASA University Class Materials

Resource Materials 

National CASA/GAL Association for Children 

Ohio CASA Association 

Child Safety: A Guide for Judges and Attorneys 

This guide, while tailored for judges and attorneys, presents the model Hamilton County JFS uses to assess safety and make decisions in child protection cases. 

Working with Hamilton County JFS Children’s Services 

A guide provided to families involved in child protection. 

Class Three Manual

Homework Submission

Resource Materials 

Dependency Docket Bench Cards 

This guide, while tailored for judges and magistrates, helps present the standards and timelines used in child protection cases.  

Sample Compliant Package

COVID-19 (Coronavirus) Related Changes to CASA University

Because of the ongoing public health threat and guidance from local government, the following changes will be occurring with CASA University.

  • All classes are being held online. Instructions for participating in online training are located below on this page.
  • All background check information should be submitted via email as much as possible. Please email Peri Russo with any questions.
  • All CASA Volunteer interviews are being held virtually via Zoom meetings. After you schedule your interview, a member of the Professional Development team will be in contact with the virtual meeting login information.
  • Court observations will be held during the first hearing after you’ve been appointed to a case.

CASA University Online

ProKids has begun to offer online CASA University Training using Zoom videoconferencing and webinars.

During the current COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic, CASA University Training is only being offered online.

You can make sure you are set up for training by reading this Online Training User Guide.