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Volunteer Continuing Education

Continuing Education: Readings

This section offers suggestions for written training courses, publications, and books that volunteers can read for continuing education hours. The publications and written training courses indicate the number of applicable continuing education hours and include a brief summary of the topics covered. For books, we recommend that you receive continuing education hours matching the time it takes you to read the book. Track the time it takes you to read the book and record that on the KCN In-service Form. If your program has a different requirement for receiving continuing education hours for books, please adhere to your program’s practice.

Upon completion of any of the training opportunities listed below, document your experience by completing the KCN Volunteer Continuing Education Form. You will automatically receive a copy of your responses, which you should then forward to your Local Program for its continuing education records. You should complete the form each time you complete a training opportunity. If you have questions about the form or any of the opportunities listed below, please contact us.

Book Lists

The books contained in these lists are recommended for continuing education credit. We recommend that you receive continuing education hours matching the time it takes you to read the book. If your program has a different requirement for receiving continuing education hours for books, please adhere to your program’s practice.

CASA of Arizona Book List

This book list contains some titles that overlap with the National CASA list, and some additional titles. The books are broken into the following topics: CASA volunteer work, child development, child protection and the legal system, child welfare, communication, cultural competence, domestic violence, education, foster care and adoption, medical, mental health, and substance abuse.

National CASA Fall 2019 Reading and Media List

View National CASA’s Fall 2019 suggested film and TV list on topics ranging from abuse and trauma, addiction, cultural awareness, domestic violence, sexual abuse, and more.

Between the World and Me – by Ta-Nehisi Coates (NEW)

Americans have built an entire society on the idea of “race,” a false construct whose ramifications damage us, but fall most heavily on the bodies of black women and men— bodies exploited through slavery and segregation, and, today, threatened, locked up, and murdered out of all proportion to their number in the population. What is it like to inhabit a black body and find a way to live within it? And how can we all honestly reckon with this fraught history and free ourselves from its burden? Between the World and Me is TaNehisi Coates’s attempt to answer these questions, in the form of a letter to his adolescent son. (Diversity, Equity & Inclusion)

Blindspot: Hidden Biases of Good People – by Mahzarin Banaji and Anthony Greenwald (NEW)

Explores hidden biases that we all carry from a lifetime of experiences with social groups – age, gender, race, ethnicity, religion, social class, sexuality, disability status, or nationality. The title’s “good people” are the many people – the authors included – who strive to align their behavior with their good intentions. The aim of Blindspot is to explain the science in plain enough language to allow well-intentioned people to better achieve that alignment. (Diversity, Equity & Inclusion)

Dying of Whiteness: How the Politics of Racial Resentment Is Killing America's Heartland – by Jonathan M. Metzl (NEW)

In the era of Donald Trump, many lower- and middle-class white Americans are drawn to politicians who pledge to make their lives great again. But as Dying of Whiteness shows, the policies that result actually place white Americans at ever-greater risk of sickness and death. Physician Jonathan M. Metzl’s quest to understand the health implications of “backlash governance” leads him across America’s heartland. Interviewing a range of everyday Americans, he examines how racial resentment has fueled pro-gun laws in Missouri, resistance to the Affordable Care Act in Tennessee, and cuts to schools and social services in Kansas. And he shows these policies’ costs: increasing deaths by gun suicide, falling life expectancies, and rising dropout rates. White Americans, Metzl argues, must reject the racial hierarchies that promise to aid them but in fact lead our nation to demise. (Diversity, Equity & Inclusion)

Freedom Is a Constant Struggle: Ferguson, Palestine, and the Foundations of a Movement – by Angela Y. Davis (NEW)

Activist and scholar Angela Y. Davis has been a tireless fighter against oppression for decades. Reflecting on the importance of black feminism, intersectionality, and prison abolitionism, Davis discusses the legacies of previous liberation struggles, from the Black Freedom Movement to the South African anti-Apartheid movement. She highlights connections and analyzes today’s struggles against state terror, from Ferguson to Palestine. (Diversity, Equity & Inclusion)

How To Be An Antiracist – by Ibram Kendi (NEW)

Ibram X. Kendi's concept of antiracism reenergizes and reshapes the conversation about racial justice in America--but even more fundamentally, points us toward liberating new ways of thinking about ourselves and each other. Instead of working with the policies and system we have in place, Kendi asks us to think about what an antiracist society might look like, and how we can play an active role in building it. (Diversity, Equity & Inclusion)

Invisible No More: Police Violence Against Black Women and Women of Color – by Andrea Ritchie (NEW)

Invisible No More is a timely examination of how Black women, Indigenous women, and women of color experience racial profiling, police brutality, and immigration enforcement. By placing the individual stories of Sandra Bland, Rekia Boyd, Dajerria Becton, Monica Jones, and Mya Hall in the broader context of the twin epidemics of police violence and mass incarceration, Andrea Ritchie documents the evolution of movements centered around women’s experiences of policing. (Diversity, Equity & Inclusion)

Killing Rage: Ending Racism – by bell hooks (NEW)

One of our country's premier cultural and social critics, bell hooks has always maintained that eradicating racism and eradicating sexism must go hand in hand. But whereas many women have been recognized for their writing on gender politics, the female voice has been all but locked out of the public discourse on race. Killing Rage speaks to this imbalance. These twenty-three essays are written from a black and feminist perspective, and they tackle the bitter difficulties of racism by envisioning a world without it. (Diversity, Equity & Inclusion)

Me and White Supremacy – by Layla Saad (NEW)

Me and White Supremacy: A 28-Day Challenge to Combat Racism, Change the World, and Become a Good Ancestor leads readers through a journey of understanding their white privilege and participation in white supremacy, so that they can stop (often unconsciously) inflicting damage on black, indigenous and people of color, and in turn, help other white people do better, too. The book goes beyond the original workbook by adding more historical and cultural contexts, sharing moving stories and anecdotes, and includes expanded definitions, examples, and further resources. (Diversity, Equity & Inclusion)

Nobody: Casualties of America's War on the Vulnerable, from Ferguson to Flint and Beyond – by Marc Lamont Hill (NEW)

Marc Lamont Hill carefully considers a string of high-profile deaths in America—Sandra Bland, Freddie Gray, Michael Brown, Eric Garner, Trayvon Martin, and others—and incidents of gross negligence by government, such as the water crisis in Flint, Michigan. He digs underneath these events to uncover patterns and policies of authority that allow some citizens to become disempowered, disenfranchised, poor, uneducated, exploited, vulnerable, and disposable. To help us understand the plight of vulnerable communities, he examines the effects of unfettered capitalism, mass incarceration, and political power while urging us to consider a new world in which everyone has a chance to become somebody. (Diversity, Equity & Inclusion)

Pushout: The Criminalization of Black Girls in Schools – by Monique W. Morris (NEW)

Monique W. Morris chronicles the experiences of Black girls across the country whose intricate lives are misunderstood, highly judged—by teachers, administrators, and the justice system—and degraded by the very institutions charged with helping them flourish. Called “compelling” and “thought-provoking” by Kirkus Reviews, Pushout exposes a world of confined potential and supports the rising movement to challenge the policies, practices, and cultural illiteracy that push countless students out of school and into unhealthy, unstable, and often unsafe futures. (Diversity, Equity & Inclusion)

Raising White Kids: Bringing Up Children in a Racially Unjust America – by Jennifer Harvey (NEW)

For white people who are committed to equity and justice, living in a nation that remains racially unjust and deeply segregated creates unique conundrums. These conundrums begin early in life and impact the racial development of white children in powerful ways. What can we do within our homes, communities and schools? Should we teach our children to be “colorblind”? Or, should we teach them to notice race? What roles do we want to equip them to play in addressing racism when they encounter it? Talking about race means naming the reality of white privilege and hierarchy. How do we talk about race honestly, then, without making our children feel bad about being white? Most importantly, how do we do any of this in age-appropriate ways? (Diversity, Equity & Inclusion)

So You Want to Talk About Race? – by Ijeoma Oluo (NEW)

Widespread reporting on aspects of white supremacy--from police brutality to the mass incarceration of Black Americans--has put a media spotlight on racism in our society. Still, it is a difficult subject to talk about. How do you tell your roommate her jokes are racist? How do you explain white privilege to your white, privileged friend? In So You Want to Talk About Race, Ijeoma Oluo guides readers of all races through subjects ranging from intersectionality and affirmative action to "model minorities" in an attempt to make the seemingly impossible possible: honest conversations about race and racism, and how they infect almost every aspect of American life. (Diversity, Equity & Inclusion)

Stamped from the Beginning: The Definitive History of Racist Ideas in America – by Ibram X. Kendi (NEW)

In this deeply researched and fast-moving narrative, Kendi chronicles the entire story of anti-Black racist ideas and their staggering power over the course of American history. Stamped from the Beginning uses the life stories of five major American intellectuals to offer a window into the contentious debates between assimilationists and segregationists and between racists and antiracists. From Puritan minister Cotton Mather to Thomas Jefferson, from fiery abolitionist William Lloyd Garrison to brilliant scholar W.E.B. Du Bois to legendary anti-prison activist Angela Davis, Kendi shows how and why some of our leading proslavery and pro-civil rights thinkers have challenged or helped cement racist ideas in America. (Diversity, Equity & Inclusion)

The Fire This Time: A New Generation Speaks About Race – by Jesmyn Ward (NEW)

Responding to James Baldwin’s 1962 “Letter to My Nephew,” which was later published in his landmark book, The Fire Next Time, award-winning author Jesmyn Ward has gathered short essays, memoir, and a few essential poems to engage the question of race in the United States. And she has turned to some of her generation’s most original thinkers and writers to give voice to their concerns. (Diversity, Equity & Inclusion)

The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness – by Michelle Alexander (NEW)

Alexander shows that, by targeting black men through the War on Drugs and decimating communities of color, the U.S. criminal justice system functions as a contemporary system of racial control, even as it formally adheres to the principle of colorblindness. The New Jim Crow is a stunning account of the rebirth of a caste-like system in the United States, one that has resulted in millions of African Americans locked behind bars and then relegated to a permanent second-class status—denied the very rights supposedly won in the Civil Rights Movement. (Diversity, Equity & Inclusion)

White Fragility: Why It's So Hard for White People to Talk About Racism – by Robin DiAngelo (NEW)

White people in North America live in a social environment that protects and insulates them from race-based stress. This insulated environment of racial protection builds white expectations for racial comfort while at the same time lowering the ability to tolerate racial stress. White Fragility is a state in which even a minimum amount of racial stress becomes intolerable, triggering a range of defensive moves. This book explicates the dynamics of White Fragility and how we might build our capacity in the on-going work towards racial justice. (Diversity, Equity & Inclusion)

Why Are All the Black Kids Sitting Together in the Cafeteria? And Other Conversations About Race – by Beverly Daniel Tatum (NEW)

Walk into any racially mixed high school and you will see Black, White, and Latino youth clustered in their own groups. Is this self-segregation a problem to address or a coping strategy? Beverly Daniel Tatum, a renowned authority on the psychology of racism, argues that straight talk about our racial identities is essential if we are serious about enabling communication across racial and ethnic divides. (Diversity, Equity & Inclusion)

Children's Bureau

Acts of Omission: An Overview of Childhood Neglect

This bulletin for child welfare professionals addresses the scope of the problem of child neglect as well as its consequences, reviews definitions and strategies for assessing neglect, presents lessons learned about prevention and intervention, and suggests sources of training and informational support. Strategies for addressing neglect, beginning with prevention, are included. (0.5 hours)

Addressing the Needs of Young Children in Child Welfare: Part C - Early Intervention Services

Early intervention (EI) services can help young children (ages birth to 3 years) with developmental delays or disabilities and their families overcome challenges and achieve improved well-being and outcomes. Partnerships between the child welfare and EI systems can expand the array of supports and resources for children and their caregivers in order to help children remain safely in their homes, stabilize placements, and improve well-being. This bulletin describes the intersection of child welfare and EI, provides an overview of the EI process, and outlines the challenges and strategies for implementing EI provisions in Federal law. (0.5 hours)

Belonging Matters – Helping Youth Explore Permanency

Discussions with youth about permanency should take place over time, with close youth engagement and input. Child Welfare Information Gateway conducted a series of interviews with young people—those adopted from foster care and those who aged out of the system—to help illuminate the beliefs and concerns that motivate a desire for either achieving legal permanency or emancipating without it and the emotions behind them. This bulletin includes tips based on the shared experiences of youth formerly in foster care, along with links to resources that may help child welfare advocates in their work. (0.5 hours)

Partnering with Relatives to Promote Reunification

This factsheet shares stories and advice from caregivers and birth parents who have experienced kinship care on the importance of maintaining boundaries, managing family dynamics, building trust, positive parenting and communication, and securing support. Relative caregivers may face certain challenges when caring for a family member’s children. A better understanding of how to maintain boundaries and respond to the birth parents’ needs and concerns can help kinship caregivers improve reunification odds and long-term outcomes. (0.5 hours)

Promoting Permanency for Older Youth in Out-of-Home Care

Permanency efforts should include both legal permanency (e.g., reunification, adoption, kinship care) and relational permanency (i.e., a relationship or connection with a caring adult, such as a relative, neighbor, service provider, teacher, or other important person in the youth’s life). This bulletin provides information for child welfare professionals about the importance of permanency—both legal and relational—for older youth and strategies for achieving it. (0.5 hours)

Protective Factors Approaches in Child Welfare (NEW)

Protective factors are conditions or attributes of individuals, families, communities, and the larger society that mitigate risk and promote the healthy development and well-being of children, youth, and families. This issue brief provides an overview of national protective factors approaches to prevent child abuse and neglect. It is designed to help child welfare professionals, administrators, service providers, policymakers, and other interested individuals understand the concepts of protective and risk factors in families and communities and learn ways in which building protective factors can help lower the risk of child abuse and neglect now and in the future. (0.5 hours - Child Abuse/Neglect Prevention)

The Risk and Prevention of Maltreatment of Children with Disabilities

This publication examines the statistics and research related to the maltreatment of children with disabilities, risk factors, and strategies for prevention. Issues encountered when assessing a child with a disability for maltreatment are explored, and information about promising prevention, collaboration, and training approaches are outlined. (0.5 hours)

Rural Child Welfare Practice

This publication highlights the importance of understanding the concerns and needs of children and families in rural communities, their strengths and resources, and the cultural sensitivity required of child welfare professionals as they work to achieve safety, permanency, and well-being for rural children. (0.5 hours)

Supporting Brain Development in Traumatized Children and Youth

Summarizes the effects of early trauma on brain development and steps child welfare professionals can take to screen for developmental delays and identify the trauma-affected children and youth in their care. Looks at ways to access cross-sector, therapeutic, and evidence-based treatment to encourage healthy recovery for trauma-affected children and youth. (0.5 hours)

Working with Kinship Caregivers

This bulletin is designed to help child welfare professionals promote kinship care by providing kinship caregivers with information, referral, and support services to ensure the safety, permanency, and well-being of children in their care. Information about trends in kinship care, caseworker and caregiver training, and examples of successful State and local kinship care programs are included. (0.5 hours)

Working with Youth to Develop a Transition Plan

This bulletin is intended to help child welfare professionals and others who work with transitioning youth to understand the Federal legislative requirements for transition plans and partner with youth to develop a plan over time and through close youth engagement that builds on their strengths while supporting their needs. (0.5 hours)


2016 CYPM In Brief: Improving Educational Outcomes for Crossover Youth (Center for Juvenile Justice Reform)

The Crossover Youth Practice Model (CYPM) was developed to improve outcomes for youth who are involved in the child welfare and juvenile justice systems. This brief is the third in a series that addresses important issues faced by crossover youth and the systems that serve them. (0.5 hours)

2017 CYPM In Brief: Engaging Court Appointed Special Advocates to Improve Outcomes for Crossover Youth (Center for Juvenile Justice Reform)

This brief, which is the fourth in a series of CJJR publications that addresses important issues faced by crossover youth and the systems that serve them, highlights the critical role that CASAs play in supporting crossover youth. (0.5 hours)

2018 LGBTQ Youth Report (Human Rights Campaign)

The Human Rights Campaign Foundation and the University of Connecticut released the largest-of-its-kind survey ever of more than 12,000 LGBTQ teenagers across the nation, revealing in distressing detail the persistent challenges so many of them face going about their daily lives at home, at school and in their communities. (1 hour)

Adoption and Guardianship for Children in Foster Care (NEW)

Research shows that kinship foster care is generally better for children than non-related foster care. This brief focuses on adoption and guardianship for children in kinship foster care and provides a general overview of the two options, how they differ, and trends in state laws as they impact these options. (0.5 hour - Kinship Care)

Beyond the Golden Rule: A Parent’s Guide to Preventing and Responding to Prejudice (NEW)

Whether you are the parent of a 3-year-old who is curious about why a friend’s skin is brown, the parent of a 9-year-old who has been called a slur because of his religion, or the parent of a 15-year-old who snubs those outside of her social clique at school, this book is designed to help you teach your children to honor the differences in themselves and in others — and to reject prejudice and intolerance. Three age-specific sections feature everyday parents sharing personal stories about the challenges and rewards of raising children in today’s diverse world. Psychologists, educators and parenting experts offer practical, age-appropriate advice to help you integrate lessons of respect and tolerance in day-to-day activities. And a final section offers guidance for reflecting upon your own biases, and how those biases affect your parenting. (2 hours - Diversity, Equity & Inclusion)

Decision-Making in Child Welfare for Improved Safety Outcomes (NEW)

Child welfare agencies have the responsibility to ensure the safety of all children who come to their attention. Child welfare decision-making practices directly affect the ability of agencies to achieve safety outcomes. The information in this brief will describe and explore current practices, tools, and factors influencing decision-making. (0.5 hours - Child Welfare Trends)

Equipping Foster Parents to Actively Support Reunification (NEW)

Child welfare professionals work hard to recruit, engage, develop, and support the foster parents and kinship caregivers who will care for children who cannot remain safely with their birth parents. As part of that work, it is critically important to fully address the importance of foster parents’ role in reunification. Practices must effectively position foster parents to help work toward reunification and to feel supported after children return home. (0.5 hour - Reunification)

How to Implement Trauma-Informed Care to Build Resilience to Childhood Trauma

Children who are exposed to traumatic life events are at significant risk for developing serious and long-lasting problems across multiple areas of development. However, children are far more likely to exhibit resilience to childhood trauma when child-serving programs, institutions, and service systems understand the impact of childhood trauma, share common ways to talk and think about trauma, and thoroughly integrate effective practices and policies to address it—an approach often referred to as trauma-informed care (TIC). This brief summarizes current research and promising practices for implementing TIC to support the well-being of children exposed to trauma and help them reach their full potential. (0.5 hours)

Icebreaker Meetings: A Tool for Building Relationships Between Birth and Foster Parents (NEW)

Icebreaker meetings, developed by the Annie E. Casey Foundation's Family to Family initiative, are facilitated, face-to-face, and child-focused meetings between birth and resource parents that often include input from the child. Icebreakers aim to encourage birth families to remain involved in caring for their children while they are in foster care and to build connections and open communication between the two families in order to meet the full spectrum of the child's needs, encourage mutual support, and expedite reunification. This step-by-step practice guide was created to help child welfare agencies understand Icebreaker family meetings and shift into "parent partner" mode. (2 hours - Reunification)

Keeping Kids in Families

This report examines how placements for young people in foster care have changed from 2007 to 2017 using data from all 50 states and the District of Columbia. It suggests how states can leverage the federal Family First Prevention Services Act to prioritize family placement and high-quality, family-centered settings to support even better outcomes — and a brighter future — for kids in care. (0.5 hours)

Mentoring Youth in the Foster Care System Toolkit (NEW)

When implemented carefully and intentionally, mentoring programs not only provided a supportive relationship for foster youth who are disconnected from family members, but also increase other supportive relationships in the youths’ lives. The Youth Collaboratory membership identified four key areas as having a significant impact on the quality of programming offered to youth, and on their eventual success. This toolkit discusses these four areas (one module per area) and provides tools within each. (1 hour - Mentoring; Foster Youth)

Relationships First: Creating Connections that Help Young People Thrive (Search Institute)

This report provides an overview of the Developmental Relationships Framework, including how individuals can strengthen one-on-one relationships to help youth learn, grown, and thrive. (1 hour)

The Road to Adulthood: Aligning Child Welfare Practice with Adolescent Brain Development (Annie E Casey Foundation)

With knowledge of how the adolescent brain matures, adults can do more to ensure that the road leaving foster care will take young people to self-sufficiency and successful adulthood. This guide tells how. (1 hour)

Strong and Thriving Families 2019/2020 Prevention Resource Guide (NEW)

This resource guide, created by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Children’s Bureau, Office on Child Abuse and Neglect, its Child Welfare Information Gateway, and the FRIENDS National Center for Community-Based Child Abuse Prevention was developed to support service providers in their work with parents, caregivers, and their children to prevent child abuse and neglect and promote child and family well-being. Highlights include helpful information about the protective factors framework and an abundance of tip sheets for parents and families. (1 hour - Child Abuse/Neglect Prevention)

Transformational Relationships for Youth Success (Center for the Study of Social Policy)

Transformational relationships help young people see that they matter and that they can change the way they think, feel, and act. This recent report describes a study that looks at the role of transformational relationships in the lives of youth and how to promote them. The report describes what makes relationships transformational, the attributes of workers who are most successful at creating such relationships, and what organizations need to do to promote them. It also probes the larger question of how complex public system can avoid getting in the way of relationships and actually promote them. (0.5 hours)

CASA of Arizona Training Courses

Anxiety Disorder

Anxiety disorders are the most common mental illness in America. This training module discusses different kinds of anxiety disorders, including panic disorder, separation anxiety, OCD, PTSD, social anxiety, and general anxiety. It also provides information about psychotherapy and drug treatment. (0.5 hours)

Attention Deficit-Hyperactivity Disorder

The most commonly diagnosed behavioral disorder of childhood is broken down, and the following are explored: causes, symptoms, disorders, barriers, and pharmacological and psychosocial treatments. (1 hour)


This course reviews potential causes of autism, as well as the diagnosis, treatment, and coping that can go along with the developmental disorder. (0.5 hours)

Childhood Depression

As many as one in 33 children and one in eight adolescents may have depression. This training module identifies misconceptions, risk factors, early signs, diagnosis, treatment, and family advice. (0.5 hours)

Childhood Neglect

This training module introduces the concept of childhood neglect. It further provides an explanation about the types of neglect, as well as causes, consequences, intervention, and prevention. (1 hour)

Domestic Violence

This training explains how domestic violence fits into a cycle of violence, addresses both myths and facts, provides suggestions for addressing parents, and delves into a child’s symptoms, needs, and behavior. (1 hour) 

Fetal Alcohol Syndrome

In this module, the criteria, effects, treatment, traits, and statistics of fetal alcohol syndrome are explained in detail. (0.5 hours) 

Neonatal and Newborn Substance Exposure

This module addresses the possible effects of neonatal and newborn exposure to cocaine, opiates, smoking, and alcohol. It also talks about the procedure for the child’s removal from the parent, as well as the pros and cons of the removal. (0.5 hours)