We're having a virtual fundraiser and you're invited!
Optima Training Dates
Last Spring we transitioned to a new database to house case information called Optima. Unlike our old database, Optima gives us the ability to have volunteers enter and view information about their case and their volunteer activities directly. So far over 60 SLO CASA volunteers are using Optima!

  • You’re in control, so you can add information into your case in real time.
  • Add contact logs, training activities and other updates immediately, no waiting.
  • Eliminate paper notes for improved organization and less clutter.
  • Quickly and securely access hearing details and documents.

Optima training is being rolled out in phases to all existing CASA advocates during Fall/Winter 2020. In October there are opportunities to attend both large group (15 trainees) and small group (3-5 trainees) sessions. If you have not yet been trained but would like to learn more, please contact your Advocate Supervisor.
Monthly Online Tracking Form/ Optima Input
If you are an Optima user, don’t forget to record your monthly activities and continuing education. You do not need to also fill out a tracking form. 

All other volunteers should continue to use the CASA Tracking Form until they have access to Optima.

It's Important!
Please enter monthly activities or submit a Tracking Form by the 5th of each month for the prior month. If you have any issues please ask your Advocate Supervisor for help.
Continuing Education Opportunities
Click the link Continuing Education Calendar to find ALL CE opportunities!!

Building Blocks in Action

How to Take Your Advocacy to the Next Level 

Presented by: CASA Supervisors

Tuesday, October 13th 6-7:30 pm via Zoom!

Please email Melanie at mbarket@slocasa.org for the Zoom link

Whether you’re just starting your first case or wrapping up your 10th, every one of us has room to grow and learn. Strengthen what you do well and see how to build on areas you could improve with this training session focused on our 8 CASA Building Blocks.

If you only attend one CASA in-service the rest of this year, this should be it! The whole team of CASA supervisors will be participating to facilitate hands-on breakout sessions with real-world scenarios and a self-assessment activity that’s all about learn by doing.

At the end of this training, you will see new ways of approaching common challenges CASAs face, gain a better sense of where your personality and skills have helped your assigned child the most, and see some ways to take your advocacy to the next level! We look forward to seeing you all on Zoom!
You will receive 1.5 hour continuing education.

Issues of Poverty

Presenter: Dr. Jean Williams

October 20th 1-2:30 pm via Zoom!

Please RSVP to mbarket@slocasa.org to receive your Zoom link

This in-service will define and explore the reasons for poverty in the United States. We will seek to understand the lived experiences of those who are low income, including challenges related to health, stress, and social exclusion, among other things. A particular focus will be on the stereotypes and stigmas that people with low incomes face, and how to contend with those stereotypes in the work that CASA does. 
Jean Williams is a Professor in the Political Science department at Cal Poly. Her research focuses on social welfare and social movement politics, particularly those associated with class, gender, race, and sexuality. Jean is the author of "A Roof Over My Head": Homeless Women and The Shelter Industry (University of Colorado Press, 2016), and numerous articles on poverty and homelessness. Jean teaches courses on homelessness, poverty, and social movements in the Political Science and Women's and Gender Studies Departments and she is a CASA Advocate on her second case!
You will receive 1.5 hour continuing education.   
Book & Movie Group

Monday, October 12th at 6pm via Zoom

For October's book discussion the group has selected
Author: Susan Edwards McKee

The group selected this title to help us in our endeavors to appreciate cultural diversity.
Availability: The library has a copy. Sue has also generously offered to share some of her copies. Check with Patty, slocasapat@gmail.com, for availability and pickup arrangements.

If you'd like to catch up on some of the titles the Book N Movie Group has enjoyed, a summary can be found here

When reading a book, remember you get an hour of Continuing Education credit for every 100 pages! Be sure to log these for yourself. 
Davis Foley:
Kind and Collaborative 
Davis has been the CASA for two brothers, now ages 13 and 7, since March of 2019. Davis shares this case with another Advocate, Natalie Harnett, who is assigned to the boys’ two sisters. 

For the first seven months, the siblings were placed with different relatives, and Davis and Natalie coordinated their schedules to include some group outings.  

But at one point in the case, the plan was to place the oldest boy with a relative outside of the county. When Davis learned of this plan, he said “I can't get my head or heart behind splitting the brothers into two homes. Their relationship and their bond are bedrock.”

Davis is the Director of Technology for the People’s Self-Help Housing Corporation, and the need for employees to work from home during the COVID-19 pandemic has brought additional challenges to his job. Davis is married to SLO CASA Program Associate Aileen Foley, who many CASA Advocates have probably met in the office or at CASA functions. Aileen is currently on maternity leave, and she and Davis are expecting their first child in early October. 

About being a CASA, Davis says: “I chose to become a CASA because, by doing so, I can directly help children in our community who are in need. I enjoy being a CASA because of the bond that the kids and I have developed and the visible impact this bond has, even in something as simple as brightening their day.”
CASA Volunteer Recruitment

Invite friends and family to become a CASA

Next available class starts in January 2021!
Zoom Information Sessions are required!

Thank you for your continued help with recruitment on behalf of CASA.
We appreciate you spreading the mission of CASA to your friends and family.
CASA of SLO County is grateful for our Corporate sponsors
Bank of the Sierra
Community West Bank
Med Stop
San Luis Sports Therapy
Sentinel Peak Resources LLC
Susan Polk Insurance