You're Invited!
Building Block Spotlight:

Communicate with the Team

All of our volunteers have good intentions when it comes to communication and collaboration. But with many stakeholders and many twists and turns along the way, communication can get tricky. You need to listen to different perspectives. You need to juggle multiple modes of communication. You need to voice disagreements in a respectful, productive way. And all the while you need to be sensitive to confidentiality requirements.

Benefits of This Building Block
  • The child benefits from more coordinated care from a team that understands their life circumstances.
  • The advocate benefits from opportunities to enhance communication and conflict resolution skills and meet a broad range of community members.
  • SLO CASA benefits from a more complete picture of how the child is doing and how the organization can provide support.

Putting It in Practice
Read the following example and think about how you’d approach the situation.

You meet monthly for Child and Family Team (CFT) meetings that include you, the child you advocate for, the foster parents, the social worker, and the case manager from a support organization, Family Care Network. At the previous CFT, you agreed for the next meeting to be on the 15th of August. On the 14th of August, you text the foster mom asking if you can take the child to dinner after the CFT the next day. Her response: “CFT is now Aug 19. Social worker had to reschedule.”

Some questions to consider:
What’s your initial reaction?
What do you plan to communicate to the team about not being kept in the loop?

Look for upcoming Continuing Education opportunities regarding Building Blocks!
Maddie Raiche
Committed Mentor
Maddie has been with CASA of San Luis Obispo for over 4 years, first as an intern who assisted program staff for a year in 2016 and then as an advocate for the past 2+ years. Maddie graduated from Cal Poly and is now pursuing her JD in law school at the University of San Francisco. Maddie has been a CASA Mentor advocating for a youth for the past 2 1/2 years.

She immediately made a connection with this youth and has been a constant contact for her as she has at times been on the run or living in unapproved housing. Without judgment, Maddie has advocated for her to continue with the AB12 program, to pursue a college education and to find work in order to supplement her monthly income. This is not an easy case, but Maddie’s willingness to stay connected with her youth, listen to her youth, and try to mentor her to make good decisions has been invaluable. She has been an excellent role model. We wish Maddie well in her studies and know that she will continue to be a stable influence in her youth’s life. Maddie is a real delight to work with and I know she will make a fine, compassionate attorney one day.
Wally and Joe Raising Funds for CASA across the United States
Wow! Our advocate Joe O'Connor and his dog Wally are road warriors! They have raised $8K for CASA so far... We are so excited and grateful. Such incredible generosity across America, and such amazing awareness being spread across the United States to all the CASA organizations throughout the nation! Thank you Wally Travels for Kids! Follow them on social media.
An excellent opportunity to help those less fortunate is when a birthday, wedding, or other celebration is pending and your friends would be inclined to give you a gift you probably don't need. By using the right words, being respectful and polite, you can ask your friends to support a cause you care about. At CASA we have benefited from several of these “fundraisers” recently and every bit helps us increase the number of children we can provide with an advocate. It also shares our message. 
CASA Art Sale Fundraiser

We deeply appreciate the recent CASA Art Sale hosted by Kelly Devany and Sarah DeYoung, Advocate Supervisor raising over $3k CASA of SLO and Santa Barbara counties.

If you have an idea and need our support let's discuss about how we can help. Contact our Event Coordinator, Jenae Walters,
Online Tracking Form
Click on the link CASA Tracking Form to submit it.
It's Important!
Tracking Forms NEED to be turned in by the 5th of each month.
If you have any issues please ask your supervisor for help.
Continuing Education Opportunities
Click the link Continuing Education Calendar to find ALL CE opportunities!!

Effective Dialogue Workshop

September 2nd, 1-3PM

Please RSVP to 
to receive your Zoom link

Samantha Watkins has been a professional mediator since 2006 and has successfully mediated over 500 disputes. She is the Director of Creative Mediation at Wilshire Community Services, San Luis Obispo County’s local not-for-profit Community Mediation Center.

Effective Dialogue Workshop will include the basic 5-part communication process, the 3 main communication traps that can work against you, and how to listen with curiosity. It will also cover who we are as the local community mediation center, what services we provide – especially to youth and families
You will receive 2 hours continuing education

Understanding and Participating
in the IEP Process

September 29th 1-2:30pm

Please RSVP to to receive your Zoom link

Erin Brzykcy, M.A. has a specialty in Autism and credential in Early Childhood Special Education and has worked in many different roles in special education. She currently works as a Program Specialist for the San Luis Coastal Unified School District, where she provides training, coaching, and resources in evidence-based practices to educators, and families. Erin is also a member of our local Community Advisory Committee “CAC” and parent of 4 children, one with an IEP. Erin has a special interest in parent education in the areas of communication, understanding positive behavior support, and the special education process. 
Understanding and Participating in the IEP (individual education plan) Process will provide information and guidance for enhancing participation in IEP meetings including:
• Before the IEP Meeting • During the IEP Meeting • The IEP Document • The End of the IEP Meeting • After the IEP Meeting • Resources • Definitions of Special Education Terms

You will receive 1.5 hour continuing education.   
Book & Movie Group

Monday, September 14th at 6pm via Zoom

Return of Movie Night--But How in a Pandemic? 
September's content for the Book n Movie Group is the highly acclaimed film, Moonlight. We will be doing this in a new format cause, hey, it's a pandemic and everything is new! Instead of gathering to watch the movie together, each interested CASA volunteer will watch the film on their own. Then, we'll gather via Zoom to talk about the movie. If you don't watch the movie and still want to talk about the movie's themes--love, acceptance, the importance of supporting others--please do join us! 

While you don't have to watch the film, and you don't have to meet the challenge, there is a fun new one! Each participant on the call who shares two items--questions, observations, or parallels to being a CASA--earns cookie dough! 

WHEN: Monday, September 14th at 6 pm
WHERE: Zoom call
WHAT: Talk about a movie 
WHO: All CASA advocates, with or without a case
WHY: For fun, and to earn Continuing Education* 
CHALLENGE: Earn cookie dough!  

SUBJECT: Moonlight 
--the library has the DVD and available on Netflix
--watch the trailer Moonlight Official Trailer
--it earned 161 awards (388 nominations) (Wikipedia)
--summary: a young man growing up in difficult circumstances receives guidance, empathy, love and support from the most unexpected places 
--available on Netflix, Amazon 

Thanks everyone! If ever you have questions about the Book n Movie Group, please just ask! 
All of us can participate

2020 National CASA/GAL Virtual Conference

We hope that you will consider participating to expand your knowledge and gain new skills to continue to be an effective advocate.
October 20-21, 2020.

CASA/GAL Volunteer Advocates and Students = $80
CASA/GAL Volunteer Advocates and Students = $50

You will earn 1 hour of continuing education credit for every hour in the conference
CASA Volunteer Recruitment

Our Fall training classes are full!

Next available class starts in January 2021!

Zoom Information Session Schedule!

September 4 at 1 pm & 23 at 6 pm
Link for RSVP form or send an email to

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