Continuing Education at ProKids


ProKids works every day to inspire people in our community, regardless of where they come from or their credentials, to learn how to advocate for those children who are most vulnerable in our neighborhoods.

This website is a resource for staff, board and volunteers to access ongoing continuing education opportunities.

ProKids staff and volunteers are required to complete 12 hours of continuing education annually. The hours required for new CASA Volunteers in their first year will be prorated based on date of graduation from CASA University.

ProKids offers monthly programming to staff, board and volunteers to help them complete continuing education. If a member of our community commits to attending just a few trainings each year, they’ll meet their continuing education requirement.

Special Topics in Child Protection

Held on the first Friday of every month, this training is facilitated by a member of the Advocacy and Professional Development staff. Topics will focus on timely issues in child protection. Attendees will earn 2 hours of continuing education for each training. You can register and find out upcoming topics here.

Now Playing: Child Protection in the Media

During each one-hour monthly meeting, CASA Volunteers will discuss a relevant series, documentary, or podcast and how we can use it to improve the work that we do. Participants will receive one hour of continuing education credit for each discussion attended plus up to four hours (total for the year) of media CE, as applicable. You can register and find out upcoming topics here.

Independent continuing education opportunities can help you focus your continuing education to issues specific to the case you are appointed to.

Because of national standards, a maximum of four out of the 12 required hours can be completed by individual activities (i.e. books, articles, podcasts, movies, shows or videos). Any remaining hours must be completed by attending virtual or in-person trainings. These training can be offered by ProKids or by another agency locally or nationally.

You can report independent learning via email to Kait.

The Kirwan Institute
The Kirwan Institute for the Study of Race and Ethnicity is an interdisciplinary engaged research institute at The Ohio State University established in May 2003. The goal of the Kirwan Institute is to connect individuals and communities with opportunities by educating the public. Two especially relevant webinar titles are listed below.

− Mitigating Implicit Bias

− N.C.A.S.E. of Bias Emergence Framework

Quantum Units Education
This website offers affordable continuing education hours featuring topics such as suicide prevention, trauma, ethics, child welfare. A few that may be especially relevant are listed below.

− Child Welfare and Human Trafficking

− Child Abuse and Neglect- Recognizing Signs and Symptoms $15.00/3 CEs

− Safely Reunifying Child and Parent $5.00/1 CE

− Juvenile Sex Offenders $15.00/3 CEs

− Challenges of Responsible Non-Custodial Fathering for Low Income Individuals $60.00/ 12 CEs

− Family Reunification- What the Evidence Shows $10.00/ 2 CEs

− Cultural Awareness and Trauma $5.00/1 CE − Trauma Awareness $10.00/2CEs

− Trauma and Urban Poverty $25.00/ 5Ces

− Supporting Families Impacted by Mental Health Problems, Substance Abuse, and Trauma $25.00/5 CEs

− Family Engagement to Improve Child Welfare Outcomes $5.00/1CE


The Social Context of Mental Health and Illness – University of Toronto

Autism Spectrum Disorder – University of California – Davis

Understanding Child Development – From Synapse to SocietyUtrecht University Coursera

Everyday Parenting – The ABCs of Child Rearing – Yale University Coursera

Note that a maximum of four out of the 12 required hours can be completed by individual activities (i.e. books, articles, podcasts, movies, shows or videos). Any remaining hours must be completed by attending virtual or in-person trainings. These training can be offered by ProKids or by another agency, locally or nationally.

Turning stones: My Days and Nights with at Risk Children by Marc Parent
This intense memoir documents one man’s work as a caseworker with Child Protective Services but reads like a narrative.

Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng
This novel and takes place in Shaker Heights, Ohio where Ng grew up. She described writing about her hometown as “a little bit like writing about a relative. You see all of the great things about them, you love them dearly, and yet you also know all of their quirks and their foibles.”

The Best of Intentions by Gilbert Van Hoeeydonk
Kurt is a disillusioned case worker struggling in an under-resourced child protection system. When he takes on the case of Gecko, a sixteen-year-old with a traumatic past and a shaky future, he is determined to make a difference. But the best of intentions are not enough.

Before and After by Judy Christie and Lisa Wingate
The Incredible Real-Life Stories of Orphans Who Survived the Tennessee Children’s Home Society

Atomic Habits by James Clear (now in the ProKids library)
Atomic Habits is a comprehensive and practical guide on how to create good habits, break bad ones, and get 1 percent better every day. This book is applicable to CASA Volunteers who want to build good habits or provide the youth you are working with actionable habit-improving tactics.

A Bright Red Scream: Self-Mutilation and the Language of Pain by Marilee Strong
A 1998 non-fiction psychology book written by American journalist Marilee Strong about self-harm. Marilee Strong explores this hidden epidemic through case studies, startling new research from psychologists, trauma experts, and neuroscientists, and the heartbreaking insights of cutters themselves–who range from troubled teenagers to middle-age professionals to grandparents.

A Child’s Journey Through Placement by Vera L. Fahlberg
The author shares her experience and expertise, outlining the significance of attachment and separation, the developmental stages specific to adoptive children and providing guidance on minimizing the trauma of moves. The book also features practical advice on case planning, managing behavior and direct work with children, and throughout are case studies and exercises which provide opportunities for further learning.

Somebody’s Someone: A Memoir by Regina Louise
In this poignant and heart wrenching true story, Regina Louise recounts her childhood search for connection in the face of abuse, neglect, and rejection. What happens to a child when her own parents reject her and sit idly by as others abuse her? Stop Walking on Eggshells by Paul Mason: This book describes the signs and symptoms of borderline personality disorder and explains how people involved can cope with BPD behavior while taking care of themselves.

Declutter Your Mind by S.J. Scott Barrie Davenport:
If you’re feeling overwhelmed with stress, worry, or anxiety, this powerful book will do its part in offering various techniques, tips and tricks to cope with an overactive mind.

What is the What by Dave Eggers:
A novel based on the life of Valentino Achak Deng who, along with thousands of other children —the so-called Lost Boys—was forced to leave his village in Sudan at the age of seven and trek hundreds of miles by foot, pursued by militias, government bombers, and wild animals, crossing the deserts of three countries to find freedom.

They Cage Animals at Night by Jennings Michael Burch
In this autobiography the author tells the story of his childhood with an epilogue of what happened to the family’s members. In the book, he talks about how he is pushed around from foster home to foster home, his horrible experiences, also including his good ones, and how he made it through his childhood years holding on to a single stuffed animal named

The Reason I Jump by Nooki Higashida
(Available in the ProKids library) A memoir of a Japanese boy, Naoki Higashida who, at the time of its writing, was thirteen. Naoki, who is autistic and writes with the aid of a visual alphabet card, offers his answers to a series of questions (including, of course, “What’s the reason you jump?”).

Children of Open Adoption by Kathleen Silber and Patricia Martinez Dorner:
This book explains the concept of open adoption, examines its effects on adopted children and discusses the long-term benefits.

Families Change by Mary Gallagher:
This is a children’s book aimed at explaining termination of parental rights to children in a way that lets them know it is not their fault and that they can remember and value their birth family while loving their new family. I Speak for This Child True Stories of a Child Advocate by Gay Courter:
The author recounts her experiences as a Guardian ad Litem, a volunteer court-appointed advocate for children involved in Florida’s court system.

Relatives Raising Children: An Overview of Kinship Care by Joseph Crumbley
This book gives professionals, agencies, institutions, communities, and organizations the information they need to develop and provide service to kinship caregivers, kinship families, children, and parents. The authors discuss common clinical issues, suggest intervention strategies, examine kinship care’s legal implications, and offer policy and program recommendations.

Healthy Beginnings, Healthy Futures
This book serves as a guide for judges on the wide array of health needs of very young children in the child welfare system. By sharing current research on physical health, child development, attachment, infant mental health, and early care and education, the authors provide tools and strategies to help judges promote better outcomes for babies, toddlers, and preschoolers who enter their courtrooms. Co-Sponsors: National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges Zero to Three National Policy Center

Note that a maximum of four out of the 12 required hours can be completed by individual activities (i.e. books, articles, podcasts, movies, shows or videos). Any remaining hours must be completed by attending virtual or in-person trainings. These training can be offered by ProKids or by another agency locally or nationally.


God Knows Where I Am
This documentary highlights the life of Linda Bishop, a mother, sister, and friend who becomes a victim of her own mind. The documentary documents the last months of her life using excerpts from her journal, giving us a look inside the mind of someone attempting to survive as she battles schizophrenia, starvation, and homelessness.

The Trials of Gabriel Fernandez
This docuseries delves into the factors that led to the death of eight-year-old Gabriel Fernandez, from the individuals directly responsible to the system that is overworked and underfunded. Please be warned there is graphic content and it can be hard to watch.

The Pharmacist
After the murder of his son, a pharmacist takes notice of the amount of prescriptions for high doses of OxyContin within his New Orleans community. This begins a relentless crusade to implement changes in regulations that perpetuate the epidemic.

The Race to Nowhere
A close-up look at the pressures on today’s students, offering an intimate view of lives packed with activities, leaving little room for down-time or family time. Parents today are expected to raise high-achieving children, who are good at everything: academics, sports, the arts, community-service. Tricked
This documentary looks at human sex trafficking, and its presence within the United States, from the perspectives of the victims involved in sex trafficking, the “johns” who pay for the sex and the pimps responsible for instigating the illegal business.


Helping Babies from the Bench
A 20-minute video that discusses the using the early childhood development science in court.

Note that a maximum of four out of the 12 required hours can be completed by individual activities (i.e. books, articles, podcasts, movies, shows or videos). Any remaining hours must be completed by attending virtual or in-person trainings. These training can be offered by ProKids or by another agency, locally or nationally.

Available through Apple iphone on the Podcasts App or the Google Play App or Podcast Player App on Android.

The Daily
A New York Times news podcast that airs five days a week for twenty minutes each day.

February 19, 2020 Episode
A Criminal Underworld of Child Abuse Part 1.

Child sexual imagery is now a problem on and almost unfathomable scale.

February 20, 2020 Episode
A Criminal Underworld of Child Abuse Part 2

Images of victims of child sexual abuse recirculate on the internet—seemingly forever. What are tech companies doing to stop it?

This American Life
A weekly podcast that explores new topics each week, usually featuring three or more stories related to the topic utilizing various vantage points.
Episode 142, Barbara
The story of one African American single mother who recorded her life over 7 months.

Episode 150, Kids as Adults
Stories of kids trying to act like adults—some by choice— some because they are forced to.

Episode 159, Mother’s Day
Stories of moms: How they treat us, how we treat them. Episode 207, Special Ed
Stories about people who were told they were different. Some of them are comfortable with it. Some didn’t understand it. And some understood but didn’t like it.

Episode 659; Before the Next One
People taking what they’ve learned from school shootings and try to use that knowledge to save others.

Episode 567; What’s Going on In There?
A teenage girl records a remarkable story about the boyfriend who abuses her and why it’s so hard to break up with him.

Episode 555; The Incredible Rarity of Changing Your Mind
Stories of those very infrequent instances where people’s opinions flip on fundamental things that they believe.

Episode 554; Not It!
A mysterious world of heroin addiction treatment centers where no one seems to be taking responsibility for the people they are treating.

You can find a list of resources related to racial equity and anti-racism at this link.

Coming in 2021, ProKids will be offering multi-session continuing education opportunities for CASA Volunteers to explore issues of diversity, equity, and inclusion in greater depth.