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Learning Sessions

Learning Sessions

Learning sessions at this year’s conference will provide attendees with information as well as recommended actions to improve their work with children and families. Sessions will focus on the following themes. We are constantly updating with learning session descriptions– please see below. Instructions on how to register for specific sessions will be available in early-September.

Diversity, Equity and Inclusion          Session Added

Sessions on this theme will deepen attendees’ understanding and appreciation of the impact that personal and systemic bias can have on the CASA/GAL role as a best interest advocate. Presenters may share real-life examples of implemented practice changes and the impact they had on program outcomes.


Learning session: Four Ws & and H: Improving Child Advocacy Outcomes Using Data

Description: Effective advocacy requires an understanding of the circumstances surrounding how children enter the child dependency system. This learning session seeks to show how using data metrics and training focused on poverty; diversity/implicit bias; and LGBTQ+ advocacy can grow our “culture of learning” directly into the structure and mission of your program.

Presenter: Calvin Martin, MA (Florida Guardian ad Litem Program)

Target audience: All conference attendees

When: Wednesday, October 21, 2020;  12-1 PM ET/9-10 AM PT


 

Program Management and Administration          Session Added

These sessions will train on and introduce the standards for local programs.


Learning session: New Standards for Local CASA/GAL Programs

Description: National CASA/GAL now has an updated 2020 version of standards to guide the work of local CASA/GAL programs. Attend this session to learn about the 11 overarching standards that apply to both nonprofit and publicly administered programs with varying elements of practice for the two different structure types. Get a sense for standards that are new or have been updated since the last 2012 revision, as well as those that remain the same so you can relate them to your program. This is the start of a year of preparedness and readiness activities designed to provide education and support to local programs to continue, and improve upon, best interest advocacy for children who have experienced neglect and abuse.

Panelist: Denice Hairston (National CASA/GAL Association for Children)

Target audience: CASA/GAL Staff and Governing Board Members

When: Tuesday, October 20, 2020; Part 1 from 11:45 AM-12:45 PM PT | 2:45-3:45 PM ET and
Part 2 from 1:15-2:15 PM PT | 4:15-5:15 PM ET *
When: Wednesday, October 21, 2020; Part 1 from 11:15 AM-12:15 PM PT | 2:15-3:15 PM ET and
Part 2 from 12:45-1:45 PM PT | 3:45-4:45 PM ET *

*Note:
This is a two-part session offered each day. It is the same session offered twice.


 

Volunteer Recruitment and Retention          Sessions Added

These sessions will help attendees address the opportunities and challenges of recruiting, retaining and motivating a diverse, highly engaged volunteer base.


Learning session: Back2Basics: Volunteer Recruitment & Retention Made Simple

Description: Volunteer recruitment can be challenging. In this learning session, participants will learn the difference between awareness and recruitment; gain knowledge of the recruitment process and develop a common understanding to be used in multiple settings; and learn strategies to increase volunteer retention through intentional recruitment and supervision.

Presenter: Maranta Jenkins, MSW (Oklahoma CASA Association)

Target audience: CASA/GAL Staff

When: Tuesday, October 20, 2020; 2:45-3:45 PM ET/11:45 AM-12:45 PM PT


Learning session: Reimagining How to Onboard and Retain CASA Volunteers (or How to Become the Cool Nonprofit)

Description: Growing, diversifying, and retaining a robust volunteer base requires intentionality. CASA of Oklahoma County has found success through employing some crucial best practices, while also pushing the envelope of “outside the box” thinking. In this learning session, we will share what we’ve learned during our two-year exploration in thinking differently about volunteer recruitment, screening and retention.

Presenters: Kathy North and BC Phillips (Oklahoma County CASA)

Target audience: CASA/GAL Staff

When: Wednesday, October 21, 2020;  2:15-4:45 PM ET/11:15 AM-1:45 PM PT


 

Resource Development/Fundraising          Sessions Added

These sessions will provide attendees with foundational knowledge and innovative strategies related to building fundraising capacity and implementing successful fundraising strategies.


Learning session: Webster’s Defines Dysfunction as Your Board (Fundraising)

Description: Now that you have built the right board it’s time to raise fundraising outcomes. Stop the circular fundraising discussion filled with inaccurate perceptions and beliefs and educate the board today! During this session we will discuss: the philanthropic landscape before and during Covid, current giving trends, and how to show your board why it is imperative to engage in fundraising.

Panelist: David Sternberg (Loring Sternberg and Associates)

Target audience: CASA/GAL Staff and Governing Board Members

When: Tuesday, October 20, 2020; 11:45 AM-12:45 PM PT | 2:45-3:45 PM ET


 

Permanency and Child-level Outcomes          Sessions Added

Sessions will focus on innovative and impactful programming related to one of four focus areas – children with incarcerated parents, youth aging out of the system, the opioid epidemic, and human trafficking. Attendees may also engage in discussions about challenges CASA/GAL advocates face in providing best interest advocacy, and examples of successful strategies for helping children achieve permanency.


Learning session: Child Sex Trafficking: Dallas CASA’s Approach to Addressing the Issue

Description: Child sex trafficking is a systemic issue that many face in the foster care system. Dallas CASA spent three years developing a multilayered campaign and training for CASA organizations to educate and recruit volunteers to advocate for these youth. You will learn how this complex project came together and how your program might further the mission.

Panelists:
Chad Frymire and Ashley Pierce (Dallas CASA)

Target audience: CASA/GAL Staff

When: Wednesday, October 21, 2020; 9-10 AM PT/12-1 PM ET


Learning session: The Many Shapes of Biases – Why Can’t They Just Stop

Description: We have come to understand certain beliefs about addiction. With modern research, we now have concrete information to reshape our beliefs about addiction and recovery that can improve outcomes for everyone. In this learning series, learn how our society came to believe the stories around addiction that we currently tell. In this two part session, learn about the many shapes of biases and how those biases perpetuate stigma and prevent those who need help from seeking it. Learn about your biases and the consequences of stigma for those who suffer. Learn strategies for confronting drug-related stigma.
Panelist: Ginger Ross, CRSW, NCPRSS (Choices Recovery Trainings)

Target audience: All conference attendees

When: Wednesday, October 21, 2020; 11:15 AM-12:15 PM PT/2:15-3:15 PM ET (Part 1)
When: Wednesday, October 21, 2020;  12:45 PM-1:45 PM PT/3:45-4:45 PM ET (Part 2)


Learning session: Advocating for Commercially Sexually Exploited Children

Description: What is the difference between what society thinks the commercial sexual exploitation of children (CSEC) is and what it actually is? In this learning session you will become more familiar with human trafficking and CSEC, develop knowledge around what puts foster youth at higher risk for CSEC, and gain an understanding of how to be an effective CASA/GAL when working with CSEC victims.

Panelists: Rachael Ray, LMSW and Megan Valdez (Dallas CASA)

Target audience: All conference attendees

When: Wednesday, October 21, 2020; 11:15 AM-12:15 PM PT/2:15-3:15 PM ET


Learning session: Race Equity in Child Welfare: The Community Approach to Address Institutional Racism

Description: The data shows the disproportionate representation of children of color in the child welfare system. We will discuss how institutional inequities have caused trauma to the children and parents involved, and discuss how CASA/GALs and other professionals involved with the child welfare system can use this information to make decisions about how to best support equitable outcomes for the parents and children served in child protection services cases. The discussion will include understanding implicit bias as well as how to deepen cultural responsiveness and use this knowledge to be effective advocates in the courtroom.

Panelists:
Judge Aurora Martinez Jones (Travis County District Courts) and Tonya Rollins (Texas Department of Family and Protective Services)

Target audience: All conference attendees

When: Tuesday, October 20, 2020; 9:30-10:30 AM PT | 12:30-1:30 PM ET


Learning session: Advocating for Myself: Creating a Guide for Dependent Youth, Ages 12 to 21

Description: In this session, we will discuss creating a guide in an easy-to-understand format that includes children’s rights, the roles and responsibilities of child welfare and court professionals, and resources to better allow children 12-21 to advocate for their needs. This guide provides CASAs/GALs with a helpful resource for their advocacy toolbox.

Presenters: Amy Brandhuber, Jude Clark and Keith Hartsuck (Pima County CASA)

Target audience: All conference attendees

When: Tuesday, October 20, 2020; 4:15-5:15 PM ET/1:15-2:15 PM PT)


Learning session: Judges’ Panel (A View from the Bench)

Description: Experienced judges discuss the role of the judge in supporting and utilizing CASA/GAL programs, and how CASA/GAL volunteers can provide judges the necessary information to help them make the most well-informed decisions while providing high quality best-interest advocacy for children who have experienced abuse and neglect. This presentation includes time for participants to ask questions of the panel members.

Panelists: Judge Michelle M. Hurley, Judge Linda Bratton Haynes, and Judge William Owens

Target audience: All conference attendees

When: Tuesday, October 20, 2020; 12:30-1:30 PM ET / 9:30-10:30 AM PT


Learning session: Judges’ Panel (A View from the Bench)

Description: Experienced judges discuss the role of the judge in supporting and utilizing CASA/GAL programs, and how CASA/GAL volunteers can provide judges the necessary information to help them make the most well-informed decisions while providing high quality best-interest advocacy for children who have experienced abuse and neglect. This presentation includes time for participants to ask questions of the panel members.

Panelists: Judge Darlene Byrne, Judge Sheila Calloway, and Judge Ernestine Gray

Target audience: All conference attendees

When: Wednesday, October 21, 2020; 3:45-4:45 PM ET/12:45-1:45 PM PT


Learning session: Drug Endangered Children (DEC) Awareness: What do I need to know?

Description: This learning session will provide participants with information around the risks drug endangered children face, the long-term impact, and why a collaborative approach is so important. Speakers will provide brief information on the human trafficking and DEC nexus and provide real-life examples of risks and mistakes made in the field. Presenters will help participants with understanding how they can help and how they are needed in DEC efforts.

Panelists: Stacee Read and Eric Nation, National Alliance for Drug Endangered Children

Target audience: All conference attendees

When: Tuesday, October 20, 2020;  12:30-1:30 PM ET/9:30-10:30 AM PT


Learning session: Drug Endangered Children (DEC): Ask us a question, get an answer

Description: This session will be a question and answer time for participants to ask presenters questions related to drug endangered children issues, substance abuse, alliance building, etc. This could be as simple as “What are some of the risks to look for?” or “What can I do to help drug endangered children as a CASA or GAL?”… or as complex as “How do I start an alliance in my county or tribe?” Come ask what is on your mind and interact with knowledgeable and experienced presenters.

Panelists: Stacee Read and Eric Nation, National Alliance for Drug Endangered Children

Target audience: All conference attendees

When: Tuesday, October 20, 2020; 2:45-3:45 PM ET / 11:45 AM-12:45 PM PT


 

Professional Development          Sessions Added

These sessions will provide participants with opportunities to learn about professional growth as it relates to the CASA/GAL mission. Sessions may focus on, for example, networking in the digital age, change management, public speaking, storytelling, and managing and supporting staff across the demographic spectrum.


Learning session: Check Engine Light: Addressing Secondary Trauma in Child Advocacy

Description: What happens when you ignore the check engine light for your car? Nothing good. Self-care isn’t just bubble baths. It is taking time to intentionally recharge your batteries. This work is very rewarding, but we must be sure we also take care of ourselves along the way.

Presenter: Maranta Jenkins, MSW (Oklahoma CASA Association)

Target audience: All conference attendees

When: Wednesday, October 21, 2020;  12-1 PM ET/9-10 AM PT


Learning session: Navigating the Fog: Maintaining our Ability to Think Clearly During Crises

Description: High stakes, lots of pressure, intricate problems and few resources – the current pandemic challenges us to respond quickly, compassionately and creatively. But how do we retain the ability to think clearly when, the reality is that many of us were launched into this crisis already tired and depleted? In this session we will discuss the neurophysiology of crises and stress, and learn evidence-informed strategies to stay focused and clear-headed.

Presenter: Francoise Mathieu (TEND Academy)

Target audience: All conference attendees

When: Wednesday, October 21, 2020; 2:15-3:15 PM ET/11:15 AM-12:15 PM PT


 

Marketing and Communications

Sessions on this theme will provide participants with tools to help them market their programs to current and potential volunteers, funders, community partners, and others. Attendees will also gain a better understanding of how to leverage and extend the Change a Child’s Story campaign using various communications channels, including paid advertising, social media and traditional media.


 

Reputation Management and Crisis Communications          Session Added

Attendees will learn what constitutes a crisis, strategies for handling crises, and the impact a crisis can have on an organization’s reputation. Presenters may share the basic elements of a crisis communication plan and discuss ways to capitalize on community connections when implementing these plans.


Learning session: Reputation Management and Crisis Communications

Description: Internal and external, anticipated and unexpected…a crisis with the potential to harm an organization’s reputation and disrupt operations can emerge from anywhere and at any time. How can CASA/GAL members best identify and respond to a potential crisis scenario? Join experts from global PR and communications agency Porter Novelli for a crisis communications crash course, and map out your game plan to confidently and successfully navigate a range of threats.

Panelists: Jamie Cwalinski and Conroy Boxhill (Porter Novelli)

Target audience: CASA/GAL Staff and Board Members

When: Tuesday, October 20, 2020; 11:45 AM-12:45 PM PT/2:45-3:45 PM ET (Option 1)*
When: Wednesday, October 21, 2020; 11:15 AM-12:15 PM PT/2:15-3:15 PM ET (Option 2)*
* This is the same learning session offered twice


 

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