CASA Connection

Education, information, and stories about the foster care world.

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Thursday May 16, 2024

Over the years, the CASA training model has evolved. This week, our Volunteer Trainer at CASA SHaW joined us to discuss our pre-service training program. What's the very first step folks need to take to become a CASA volunteer? What subject matters are focused on during the 30 hours of training? All of this and much more this week as we dove into one of the most rewarding volunteer opportunities in America.

Thursday May 02, 2024

As we recognize Foster Care Awareness Month, we dove into topical shifts in foster care. Programs like CASA have experienced changes within the foster care world since 2018 due to federal legislation and laws that were implemented. Has this benefitted children and families? What resources are available as we continue to witness the shifting landscape of foster care? Tracey and Jeff discussed it during this episode.

Friday Apr 19, 2024

We continued our discussion on this episode of what sexual assault look like for youth in our community as we recognize Sexual Assault Awareness Month here in April. Lauren Lia, Vice President of Clinical Services at Safe + Sound Somerset, joined us to talk about why is it important to talk about child sex abuse, even though it's so uncomfortable as well as red flags and resources that are available for children - and others - who have gone through sexual abuse trauma.

Wednesday Apr 03, 2024

April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month and a time for all of us to become more aware of this tragic phenomenon that permeates throughout our culture and society. We consistently see cases of sexual assault within the foster care world, and it's important to discuss why this happens, and how we can get better and curb this horrible action in our communities. This week, Joelle Piercy from Safe + Sound Somerset joined us for a discussion in this Part 1 podcast episode and provided great information for our community to digest.

Wednesday Mar 20, 2024

How can we better support LGBTQ+ youth in our homes and within our local communities? That's what we dove into on this episode. After the recent murder of a youth in Oklahoma and countless other less publicized incidents throughout our state and nation, it's important for our CASA program to continue letting our region know that we support inclusivity. Tracey and Jeff talked about how we can better understand LGBTQ+ youth, and how we can support this community.

Wednesday Mar 06, 2024

Here at CASA SHaW, Tracey and Jeff recognized Women's History Month and discussed pioneers who helped pave the way for a better world in terms of child advocacy. We also mentioned a couple of our amazing staff members who have been dedicated to helping foster youth for many years. Why are women predominantly drawn to child advocacy professions? It's a question we dove into on this episode as well.

Wednesday Feb 21, 2024

Our CASA volunteer, Laura P., has been very dedicated to her case and her CASA child - a teenager who is finding her way. After going through the CASA training and getting her first case, Laura dove into the world of resources for her foster youth. The foundation of Laura's story in this episode is: it never hurts to ask a question. You never know where it may lead.

041. Compassionate Advocacy

Wednesday Feb 07, 2024

Wednesday Feb 07, 2024

How can we continue to embark on compassionate advocacy within our CASA program and beyond? Tracey and Jeff talk about what compassionate advocacy means in this episode. They discuss how having the compassionate foundations within our staff and CASA volunteers have laid the foundation to truly help those who are vulnerable in our community. It's a core and common belief for our CASA program, and we dove into it during this discussion.

040. Human Trafficking Awareness

Wednesday Jan 24, 2024

Wednesday Jan 24, 2024

Every year, we recognize National Human Trafficking Awareness Month in January. On this episode, Gina Cavallo from the New Jersey Coalition Against Human Trafficking and also author of the book "A Survivor's Secrets" joined us for a dive into this issue. How do youth in our communities get involved in human trafficking? What are some signs for us to look for? How can we do better when it comes to human trafficking? All of this and much more within this discussion.

039. New Beginnings

Monday Jan 08, 2024

Monday Jan 08, 2024

As we embark on 2024, we discussed what new beginnings mean for children who enter foster care. New beginnings extend to just about every facet of what we do at CASA.  If a child is removed from their home, it's a new beginning. If a child is reunited with their family, it's a new beginning. If a child is adopted, it's a new beginning. How should we be looking at new beginnings, and what is that transition like for children?


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