Continuing Education

Many Choices to Suit Your Interests!

continuing education
Once sworn in as a CASA advocate, you need to complete 12 additional hours of Continuing Education every year*. This is much easier than it sounds! There are nearly limitless sources for your Continuing Education, and you can choose the time, place and method for your Continuing Education.

The materials listed and linked to on these pages are just a start! If you read something, attend an event, go to the Book n Movie Group, or listen to a podcast or lecture that you think applies to your experiences as a CASA, ask your Supervisor if the material qualifies for Continuing Education. Typically, if you found the information benefits you as a CASA, then the information will qualify.

The Voice

This is our main communication channel with volunteers. The Voice is a monthly email, usually sent in the first week of each month by staff@slocasa.org. In the Voice, you will find information on everything that is happening at CASA, including information on upcoming trainings for volunteers, fundraisers, volunteers’ stories, and links to tracking forms. If you want to be up to date with CASA events and issues, please be sure to read The Voice. 

In-SeRVICE Trainings

Monthly, and sometimes even more often, the CASA office hosts training sessions to help advocates better serve and relate to the children we help.  These last one to three hours. You’ll find the complete schedule on the continuing education calendar below.

Tracking Your Continuing Education Credit for Trainings/In-Services and other Helpful Events
  •        12 total hours required per year (any of the listed methods)
  •        Report Continuing Education on your monthly tracking form
  • Second-Wednesday Webinars—free live events, sign-up on-line.

    Men's Network Group

    To support and encourage men in the valuable experience of being a CASA, this all-male group meets monthly to talk about CASA.  Any male who is a CASA Advocate, or interested in becoming a CASA advocate, is welcome to attend! The next gathering is noted on the Continuing Education calendar, found below.

    Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) about the CASA Men’s Network Group (CMNG)

    Thank you for your interest in the Men’s Network Group. We hope you find this information useful. In addition, Advocate Supervisor Pete Skarda, would cheerfully help you with additional questions. He can be reached at the CASA office or by email, pskarda@slocasa.org.

    WHAT IS CASA MEN’S NETWORK GROUP?

    CASA Men’s Network Group is a SLO CASA approved and supported men’s peer support group.  

    WHAT IS THE PURPOSE OF CMNG?

    The purpose is to recruit, support and retain men to work with children and youth in the juvenile dependency system.  

    WHO CAN ATTEND?

    Any current or past male CASA, and any man interested in becoming a CASA.

    WHEN DOES CMNG MEET?

    We meet for 90 minutes approximately once a month, with a ½ social hour beforehand.

    WHERE DOES CMNG MEET?

    At a convenient SLO location.  Call the CASA office to learn of the current location: (805) 541-6542

    WHAT HAPPENS AT THE MEETINGS?

    So far, we have been planning the agenda at the beginning of each meeting, based upon what the men present would like to focus on. As the meetings continue, we look forward to more and more discussion between those present with a goal of continuing contact between meetings. In time, as areas of interest are defined, we plan to systematically address these needs in ways that are helpful and sustaining.

    WHO IS IN CHARGE?

    CMNG is a peer support group, so topics and format are discussed and decided collaboratively, within CASA guidelines.  Pete Skarka, CASA Supervisor, is the CASA liaison. Michael Arcuri is the current convener.

    DO I NEED AN INVITATION TO ATTEND?

    Not at all. Check with the CASA office to confirm dates and locations.

    CAN I INVITE OTHER MEN TO ATTEND?

    Yes.  All men who currently are a CASA or CASA Mentor, and those interested in possibly becoming one are welcome.

    WHAT EVENTS DOES CMN HAVE?

    Right now just monthly meetings where we discuss a range of issues relevant to male CASAs and CASA Mentors. We plan to possibly have speakers and/or dedicated case discussion in the future, among other activities.

    HOW MUCH CONTINUING EDUCATION DO I EARN?

    Attending a CMNG meeting earns you Continuing Education on a minute-for-minute basis (attend for an hour, earn an hour of CE.)  Please record all of your Continuing Education!

    WHEN WAS CMNG ESTABLISHED?

    In August of 2018 CASA Supervisor Pete Skarda and CASA Men mentor Michael Arcuri co-hosted a focus group to establish interest and needs among current male CASA’s. The 10 men attending enthusiastically supported the concept, adopted the name and the purpose statement and initial topics of interest.

    Case Discussion

    Advocates meet informally with a CASA supervisor, in a group, to talk about challenges with their case.  This is a free forum for expressing yourself and getting helpful ideas from others. Everyone present is a CASA, so you can say everything about your case! 

    CASA Advocates find this a good source of support and feedback for “best practices” when helping the children. These occur monthly, alternating between north and south county.  Check the Continuing Education calendar, found below, for the next discussion.

    Book n Movie Group

    Every month, a fun and social group of CASA Advocates gather for a couple hours on the second Monday of the month to earn Continuing Education credit.  Alternating months, they watch a movie and talk about it, or discuss a book selected by the group. Quite importantly, this is a NO SHAME BOOK GROUP! 

    All Advocates are welcome to attend, whether the book has been read or not.  And of course, on Movie Nights, there is no book to read! Attendees of the Group share a snack and chat about their cases in the context of the book or movie selection. No need to submit this on your tracking form–signing in with the group earns you minute-for-minute credit for being there.

    Second Mondays  * CASA Offices in SLO  * 6pm

    See the Group’s Past Selections

    Continuing Education Calendar

    your choices

    Read a Book & Other Materials

    Books take us into the lives of others. Memoirs, non-fiction works and novels portraying the issues CASA kids face, from abuse to xenophobia, can deepen the CASA Advocates understanding. As such, you can use books to satisfy your Continuing Education requirements.

    No complete list exists because the options increase daily. For guidance with your reading selection, refer to the lists included here or ask your CASA supervisor.

    Books take us into the lives of others. Memoirs, non-fiction works and novels portraying the issues CASA kids face, from abuse to xenophobia, can deepen the CASA Advocates understanding. As such, you can use books to satisfy your Continuing Education requirements.

    Tracking Your Continuing Education credit for books and other reading material

    •        100 pages = 1 hour
    •        Listening: minute-for-minute

    Endless choices—check with your supervisor about titles not listed here which interest you.

    CASA of SLO County Movie/TV Show List

    CASA of SLO County Book List

    National CASA Book List

    San Luis Obispo Public Library

    How to Borrow Ebooks, Audiobooks

    Short Form Reading Resources

    If your time and interest lean more toward an article, there are many reading resources for you to choose from! CASA Conversations helps you hold difficult conversations about topics like money, sex or grief. They help the average person start and conduct what could be awkward conversations.  Turn to Info About Kids when you need direction on how to promote healthy child and family development with science-based information.

    Listen to a Podcast

    Utilize time driving, flying, or just sitting on your patio to earn Continuing Education! Simply access a podcast from your smartphone or tablet and keep track of your time. (Listening to audio books. also qualifies.)

    Tracking Your Continuing Education Credit for Podcasts
  •        12 total hours required per year (any of the listed methods)
  •        Podcast Credit: minute-for-minute
  •        Report Continuing Education on your monthly tracking form
  •        Endless choices—check with your supervisor about titles not listed here which interest you
  • Watch

    There are many, many choices available to help you as a CASA Advocate. The opportunities here are in-seat events where you can meet other CASAs, listen to experts, and get information and ideas to assist you in helping your assigned child.

    There are many, many choices available to help you as a CASA Advocate. The opportunities here are in-seat events where you can meet other CASAs, listen to experts, and get information and ideas to assist you in helping your assigned child.

    Attend a Helpful Event

    There are many, many choices available to help you as a CASA Advocate. The opportunities here are in-seat events where you can meet other CASAs, listen to experts, and get information and ideas to assist you in helping your assigned child.