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.

Please report all of your Continuing Education.

AdobeStock_313197439

Now more than ever, kids like julie need you.

Close your eyes and try to imagine you are 7 years old. You’ve just been taken from the only home you’ve ever had, away from your family, away from your neighborhood, your room, your toys, food, clothes, friends, everything. Yes, it was stressful at home; and scary and crazy sometimes, but it was home. 

Now, you’re in a car with a total stranger, going somewhere, to stay with people you have never met. 

“Who are these people? How long will I be there?” you ask. But no one can give you the answer. 

Then, you hear you’re not allowed to see your parents for a while. You’re not allowed to go home. The uncertainty begins to make you feel sick. You find yourself living with a family. The house is nice; there’s no fighting, there’s food on the table. You’re expected to follow their ways and rules – rules you’ve  never heard of, food you have never tried, a bed you’ve never slept on, in a house of people you don’t know. There’s talk of court dates, supervised visits, changing schools. What is happening?

Then COVID hits. You’re frightened and confused. All you want to do is go home, where you know what to expect, as crazy as that can be. 

This exercise in imagination is the reality of hundreds of children in our county; the invisible children. They’re your neighbors, they’re our community. 

This was the way it was for Julie. She was removed from her home due to neglect, domestic violence, and her parents’ substance abuse. She was a victim, and now she’s part of a system that makes her feel like she did something wrong. One day, not long after Julie was removed from her home, a woman came to meet her. ‘Who is this?’, she thought. Another stranger to ask her yet more questions? ‘No!’ She’d had it with the questions.

But this woman was different. This woman’s name was Carol and she was a CASA volunteer. Carol had one job only: to be there for Julie! 

It took some time for Julie to trust her, but Carol was patient, kind and understanding. Carol understood that children in foster care have higher rates of PTSD than any population in the U.S. Carol’s job was to be the voice for Julie, to let the court know Julie’s wishes. To make sure Julie had what she needed. To be a friend, a consistent and reliable presence during a scary time in Julie’s life. 

Carol was instrumental in helping Julie by advocating that she stay in her school of origin, so she was able to stay connected to her friends and teachers. Carol also kept in close contact with her teachers to make sure Julie was on track at school. She also made sure that Julie was receiving appropriate counseling due to witnessing domestic violence in her home, and was key in helping her learn how to trust and have fun again.

All it took was one person; a CASA volunteer named Carol.

Ultimately, Julie’s father and mother separated and her father moved out of the home. Both of her parents received substance abuse treatment and domestic violence counseling. After one year, Julie finally returned home to live with her mother.

CASA of San Luis Obispo County needs your help… 

All too often, the CASA volunteer is the only constant adult in the child’s life during a frightening, uncertain time of seemingly endless changes. Few volunteer roles have such a critical and immediate impact on the life of a child, as that of a CASA volunteer. 

This holiday season, you or your business can make a meaningful and lasting impact with a gift to CASA of San Luis Obispo County. CASA of San Luis Obispo County has provided advocacy for local children since 1993. Please help us reach more children by making a tax-deductible gift today using the enclosed envelope or by going to our website at www.slocasa.org. Together, we can change a child’s story and make a difference in our own community.

This is an example of one of many stories we face here at CASA of San Luis Obispo County. You can help more kids like Julie by donating today. 

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. 

Read the Voice – May 2020 Issue
Read the Voice – June 2020 Issue
Read the Voice – July 2020 Issue
Read the Voice – August 2020 Issue
Read the Voice – September 2020 Issue
Read the Voice – October 2020 Issue

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 (scroll down).

team meetings

All supervisors will meet monthly with their CASA Volunteer team. The idea of these work/ social meetings are to build stronger connections, increase communication channels and discuss what is on your mind. CASA supervisors are holding monthly team gatherings to support their advocates and provide a space to share challenges, successes and to allow for updates and to allow for team building and to create a sense of belonging amongst the larger CASA advocate network.

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. No need to submit this on your tracking form–signing in with the group earns you minute-for-minute credit for being there.

This is a peer lead group and cases will not be discussed. This group meets every second Monday of the month held at the CASA Office in SLO, starting at 6pm.

your choices in continuing education

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 below or ask your CASA supervisor.

CASA’s in-office library abounds with current books which qualify for Continuing Education credit.  

Tracking Your Continuing Education credit for books and other reading material

Short Form Reading Resources

If you time and interest lean more toward articles, many reading resources exist to choose from. Scholarly journals, articles about child-related issues and other non-book reading materials–in print or on-line–all count for CASA Continuing Education. Please ask your supervisor about the suitability of any material that interests you.

Listen

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. And of course, reading is not the only way to enjoy a book! All qualified listening earns Continuing Education credit, minute-for-minute. Bonus: You can access free audio books from the public library, simply get a library card and log on.

Tracking Your Continuing Education Credit for Podcasts

Watch

Next time you’re relaxing on the couch or feel like having some screen time, you can earn CASA Continuing Education from the comfort of wherever you are, accessing movies and webinars.  Literally countless movies can contribute to your CE requirements. If you desire to watch a movie not listed on these resources, please ask your CASA Advocate Supervisor.

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.

Please click through this calendar to find a training that suits your needs and interests.  If you know of something which should be added, please let us know with an email to: staff@slocasa.org.

Continuing Education Calendar

We need your help.  
All too often, the CASA volunteer is the only constant adult in the child’s life during a frightening, uncertain time of seemingly endless changes. This holiday season, you or your business can make a meaningful and lasting impact with a gift.