Reminders and Deadlines for CASAs
February Volunteer Hours
Please use this form to submit your January volunteer hours. Remember to include time spent driving to and from visits, meetings, and other CASA-related destinations.
VFC Office Closures
VFC staff continue to primarily work remotely; however, limited access to the office is available to CASAs. Please reach out to your advocacy supervisor if you need to come into the office.
Chesapeake Office Drop-In Hours
Voices for Children’s Chesapeake office now has dedicated drop-in hours. If you need to access the office to pick up a gift card, a car seat, or any other prearranged item, please prepare to stop by Monday – Friday: 10 a.m. – noon or 1 p.m. – 3 p.m.
As a CASA, you know firsthand how important it is for children in foster care to have someone in their corner. We need your help to move 150 vulnerable youth off our waitlist from January 22 through National Foster Care Month in May. We invite you to recommend a caring friend, family member, or co-worker who you think would make a great CASA. Multiple recommendations are welcome, and it takes less than five minutes to complete the form! Visit the campaign website to submit recommendations and other simple ways you can help us reach our goal.
All scheduled Small Group and Continuing Education sessions will be conducted remotely unless noted otherwise. As a reminder, all active CASAs are required to complete at least 12 hours of continuing education each year in order to be in compliance with the National CASA Standards and California Rules of Court. In January 2023, Voices for Children began tracking CASA completion of continuing education hours on a fiscal year basis. Please contact your Advocacy Supervisor if you have any questions or concerns.
Unlocking Understanding: A Series Dedicated to Serving Youth in Foster Care
Understanding Neurodivergence & ADHD:
Wednesday, February 21,
12:00 p.m. – 1:00 p.m.
California CASA is launching a new series entitled “Unlocking Understanding: A Series Dedicated to Serving Youth in Foster Care,” presented by Lacy Alana, psychotherapist, trainer, and multi-disciplinary artist. This ongoing series has been designed to empower and quip you with the knowledge and tools needed to effectively support foster youth with some common challenges. During each one-hour session, you’ll learn some essentials on the topic, insights on how to help, and practical strategies for providing compassionate support. Webinars will be recorded an available on California CASA’s E-Learning Center. Register here.
San Diego Superior Court Virtual Town Hall on the Child and Family Well-Being Department
Thursday, February 22,
4:00 pm – 5:30 pm
The San Diego Superior Court presents a Virtual Town Hall to answer the question: “What if we did not have to use foster care as an intervention to keep children safe?” Executives from the Child and Family Well-Being [CFWB, formerly Child Welfare Services (CWS)] Department within the County of San Diego’s Health and Human Services Agency (HHSA) will discuss the new CFWB and resources, supports, and services offered to children and families. By focusing on equity, prevention, and supporting working families, CFWB seeks to provide families with the support they need before foster care become a necessary intervention. This session will be moderated by Juvenile Court Presiding Judge Ana Espana. Panelists from CFWB include: Kimberly Giardina, DSW, CFWB Director; Alfredo Guardado, CFWB Assistant Director; Alethea Arguilez, CFWB Assistant Director, Executive Director, First 5 San Diego; and Valesha Bullock, CFWB Assistant Director. For more information, click here. Zoom link here. To receive 1.5 hours of continuing education, please email your advocacy supervisor following your attendance.
The Fundamentals of Special Education
Tuesday, February 27,
5:30 pm – 7:30 pm
San Diego Regional Center (SDRC) presents The Fundamentals of Special Education. A variety of topics will be discussed including individualized education program (IEP) meetings, special education eligibility, assessments, placement, and how to be a better advocate. This virtual training will be presented by Dylan Quigley, staff attorney at San Diego Volunteer Lawyer Program (SDVLP). To register, click here.
In-Person Real Word Speakers Panel
Wednesday, March 6,
6:00 pm – 7:30 pm
Join us for an in-person Real Word Speakers Panel. The Real Word Speakers Panel is comprised of young adults who currently live or have lived in foster care after experiencing abuse, abandonment, or neglect by their parents or caregivers. Featured Real Word speakers are courageous individuals who speak locally and nationally about life in the dependency system. Real Word speakers are open and forthright about their experiences and share what it’s like to move from home to home, how it feels to be separated from siblings, and how they coped in the face of adversity. They will inspire, humble, uplift, and move you as they share their personal stories and describe how CASA program has impacted their lives as foster youth. To register, click here.
Impact of Marijuana Use on Adolescent and Emerging Adult Neurodevelopment
Wednesday, March 13
10:00 am – 11:30 am
Please join for a virtual training on the “Impact of Marijuana Use on Adolescent and Emerging Adult Neurodevelopment.” UCSD psychiatry professor Dr. Tasha Wade will share her findings in a long-term study concerning the influence of marijuana use on adolescent and emerging adult neurodevelopment. She will help us to understand the psychiatric and mental health impact, concerns for certain populations, legitimate uses for marijuana, and talking points to use with youth. Please RSVP to Advocacy Supervisor Tanya Ehlert at TanyaE@speakupnow.org by Monday, March 11.
Turning Dreams into Degrees: Support Foster Youth To and Through College
Wednesday, March 13,
12:00 p.m. – 1:30 p.m.
California CASA presents “Turning Dreams into Degrees: Support Foster Youth To and Through College.” This course will empower CASA volunteers to discuss the value of higher education with foster youth and provide ideas for how they can play an active role in supporting these youth to and through college. CASA volunteers will learn the significance of early college exploration, preparation, and key steps that they can take to help youth make a smooth transition from high school to college. Attendees will learn about the benefits of college and the different pathways available to better support youth in making a plan. Participants will also learn about the supports and resources that exist to help foster youth turn their dreams into degrees. The speaker for the webinar will be Debbie Raucher, Director of Education, John Burton Advocates for Youth (JBAY). Please register here.
Open Topic Small Group
Open Topic Small Group
Thursday, March 14,
10:00 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.
RSVP to Advocacy Supervisor Chelsea Shaw at ChelseaS@speakupnow.org to receive a Zoom link by Tuesday, March 12.
In-Person Drop-In Small Group:
Thursday, March 21,
5:30 p.m. – 7:00 p.m.
This small group will take place at the Voices for Children Chesapeake Office (9370 Chesapeake Drive, Suite 210, 92123). Please RSVP to Advocacy Supervisor II Alexia Martinez at AlexiaM@speakupnow.org by Friday, March 15.