Recent blogs & posts
Check out “Blogs & posts” (The button right under “Optima Login”), for resources, videos, blogs, articles and tons of great information. Time spent on “Blogs & posts” will be recognized for your continuing education requirements. Enjoy!
P.S. Please share anything you think would be valuable to the Advocate community. Thank you!
Ongoing events & resources
- CASA College Calendar 2022-2023
- DCR Anti-Discrimination Trainings
Ongoing training sessions. Alternative dates for above training sessions.
- Addressing Economic Hardship Webinar
Overview of policy, programmatic, analytic, and engagement strategies for leveraging economic supports to promote child and family well-being and prevent maltreatment.
- 2021 Virtual Teen Conference (Planned Parenthood)
An interactive, virtual learning experience for parents and caregivers of teenagers.
- Through Our Eyes (Sesame Workshop)
Four part docuseries from the perspective of children. Parts 1 & 4 are most pertinent.
- CASA of NJ Online Training
Counts towards annual in-service training requirement
- September 26 at 3:00pm-Room 3D
- October 25 at 6:00pm
- November 29 at 10:30 am-Room 3C
- December 20 at 6:00 pm
ZOOM Office Hours
Every second Monday from 6:30pm to 7:30pm. Meeting ID 882 0486 7939
- August 14
- September 11
- October 9
- November 13
- December 11
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.