Resources and Forms

Every CASA Advocate needs 12 hours of in-service a year.

National CASA/GAL Association 2019 Fall Reading List

Each Advocate must have 12 credit hours each year.

In Service Hours from Home

BOOKS    (6 Service Hours)

Educated    by:  Tara Westover

Born to survivalists in the mountains of Idaho, Tara Westover was seventeen the first time she set foot in a classroom. Her family was so isolated from mainstream society that there was no one to ensure the children received an education, and no one to intervene when one of Tara’s older brothers became violent. When another brother got himself into college, Tara decided to try a new kind of life. Her quest for knowledge transformed her, taking her over oceans and across continents, to Harvard and to Cambridge University. Only then would she wonder if she’d traveled too far, if there was still a way home.

Damaged   by: Cathy Glass

A true story of an abused child written by Cathy Glass. Cathy was Jodie’s foster parent and writes about the time she spent with her child. Jodie is removed from her home when she is eight years old because of suspected child abuse by her parents. After being in five foster homes within four months, social services contacted Cathy to see if she would take Jodie and care for her. Cathy has been a foster parent for twenty years and has had success with all the children for whom she has cared.


Beautiful Boy   by: David Sheff

“A teenager’s addiction from the parent’s point of view – a real-time chronicle of the shocking descent into substance abuse and the gradual emergence into hope.”


Dope Sick   by: Beth Macy

“Chronicles America’s more than twenty-year struggle with opioid addiction, from the introduction of OxyContin in 1996, through the spread of addiction in distressed communities in Central Appalachia, to the current national crisis.”


Childhood Disrupted   by: Donna Jackson Nakazawa

How your biography becomes your biology. “Your biography becomes your biology. The emotional trauma we suffer as children not only shapes our emotional lives as adults, but it also affects our physical health, longevity, and overall wellbeing. Scientists now know on a bio-chemical level exactly how parent’s chronic fights, divorce, death in the family, being bullied or hazed, and growing up with a hypercritical, alcoholic, or mentally ill parent can leave permanent, physical fingerprints on our brains. When children encounter sudden or chronic adversity, stress hormones cause powerful changes in the body, altering the body s chemistry. The developing immune system and brain react to this chemical barrage by permanently resetting children’s stress response to high, which in turn can have a devastating impact on their mental and physical health as they grow up. Donna Jackson Nakazawa shares stories from people who have recognized and overcome their adverse experiences, shows why some children are more immune to stress than others, and explains why women are at particular risk.”


A Child’s Journey Through Placement   by: Dr. Vera Fahlberg

“Although much is available in the child welfare literature about families and casework process and procedures, there is little literature available that has the child as its primary focus. This book focuses on a child’s feelings, needs, and behaviors once the decision has been made to place the child in foster care.”


Mama’s Boy: Preacher’s Son   by: Kevin Jennings

“Growing up poor in the South, Kevin Jennings learned a lot of things, especially about how to be a real man. When his father, a fundamentalist preacher, dropped dead at his son’s eighth birthday party, Kevin already knew he wasn’t supposed to cry. He also knew there was no salvation for homosexuals, who weren’t “real men”–Or Christians, for that matter. But Jennings found his salvation in school, inspired by his mother. Self-taught, from Appalachia, her formal education had ended in sixth grade, but she was determined that her son would be the first member of their extended family to go to college, even if it meant going North. Kevin, propelled by her dream, found a world beyond poverty. He earned a scholarship to Harvard and there learned not only about history and literature, but also that it was possible to live openly as a gay man. But when Jennings discovered his vocation as a teacher and returned to high school to teach, he was forced back into the closet. He saw countless teachers and students struggling with their sexual orientation and desperately trying to hide their identity. For Jennings, coming out the second time was more complicated and much more important than the first–because this time he was leading a movement for justice.”


Sex Trafficking and Commercial Sexual Exploitation: Prevention, Advocacy, and Trauma Informed Practice   by: Lara B. Gerassi and Andrea j. Nichols

“Analyses the current research and best practices for working with children, adolescents, and adults involved in sex trafficking and commercial sexual exploitation (CSE). With a unique, research-based focus on practice, the book synthesizes the key areas related to working with victims of sex trafficking / CSE, including prevention, identification, practice techniques, and program design.”


Movies   (2 Service Hours)


This film features numerous individuals in the foster care system; however, the inspiration for this film started with just one child.


Paper Tigers

“The principal of Lincoln High School changes his school’s approach to discipline to help students overcome traumatic events.”

Below are links to National CASA’s book and film lists, these can be used as service hours as long as you provide the title of the book or film that you chose when entering your service hours into Optima.

National CASA Book List:

National CASA Film List: