Advocate Corner

Supporting our intrepid volunteers.

Inservice training

Advocates are required to complete 12-hours of in service training every year. Below are events and ongoing trainings you can participate in to fulfill this requirement. In addition, check out the Blog where you’ll find articles, essays, videos and more, all can serve as part of your in service training.



Advocacy Tip #1

Enter  contact notes as soon as possible so they have immediacy!  They will be a more accurate record of what you heard than if you wait and let your mind ‘process’ the information.

Advocacy Tip #2

In your Contact Logs in Optima, always check the box next to the child the contact was about, even if the child was not present for the conversation!

Advocacy Tip #3

The primary source is always your best source of information! For example, if a resource parent mentions how a child is doing at daycare, reach out to the daycare and talk to the teacher or make an appointment to observe the child at daycare; if the resource parent discusses a trip to the pediatrician, contact the pediatrician to get the records; etc.

Advocacy Tip #4

Use the court report as a guide to your monthly contacts.  Think about the people in each section that could provide the best information about the child and communicate with them regularly.

Advocacy Tip #5

Ask questions – be aware of our human tendency to fill in gaps by making assumptions – keep asking questions and get your source to paint the entire picture for you.

Advocacy Tip #6

Remind parties that you are reporting to the court (particularly if folks are slow to get you information).  Sometimes that is a powerful reminder!

Advocacy Tip #7

Maximize your court efficacy by ensuring:  

  • you are clearly identified as a participant so the court staff cannot overlook you,
  • you join Zoom early and are prepared to wait (your time slot is just an estimate),
  • and you are prepared to speak-up succinctly and clearly when it is your turn!

Advocacy Tip #8

When communicating with teens you need to be TOTALLY authentic and TOTATLLY present. 

Advocacy Tip #9

The Bergen CASA office can receive and send faxes such as pediatrician or any doctor records. Use us as your FAX!

Advocacy Tip #10

We have lots of toys and games in the Bergen CASA office that can be loaned out and used during a visit, or on a rainy day, or just to have some fun. Stop by and see what’s avaible. 

Teen Advocacy Forum

Teen Advocates meet on the 4th Thursday of each month at 5:30pm to share experiences, resources, successes, and to problem solve.

Zoom Meeting:

  • March 24th
  • April 28th
  • May 26th
  • June 23rd
  • July 28th
  • August 25th
  • September 22nd
  • October 27th
  • November TBD
  • December TBD