November 2013 at CASA of the Continental Divide  
November 2013

New Volunteer Sworn In
Debra Michaud – CASA Volunteer – Summit County

In Lake County on October 2, Debra Michaud was sworn in as a CASA volunteer and friend of the court by Judge Thomas Moorehead. Debra went through CASA volunteer training last spring and has a diverse background including nursing, mediation and two adult children of her own. She has engaged in charitable and volunteer efforts over the years, and looks forward to making a difference in children's lives.

For more information on how to get involved with CASA of the Continental Divide, go to or call 970-513-9390. 

Welcome back, Hannah!

As you all probably know, Hannah has been on maternity leave since her son, Owen, was born at the end of July. She will be returning to work on Friday, November 1! We all are looking forward to her return!

And with her return, Carol, who has been filling in part time during Hannah's maternity leave, will return to her previous life as a CASA volunteer. Thank you, Carol, for all your help here in the office during the last few months!


Many cases still need CASAs!

In the CASA office, we still have cases that don't have CASAs, especially in Eagle County. Please review the list below and let us know if you want more information about a case or whether you are ready to stand up and advocate for these children.  

In Eagle:
  1. Existing case with one girl age 9 and one boy age 6
  2. New case with two boys age 5 years and 10 months
  3. New case with two girls age 3 1/2 years and 22 months

Optima update

As of September 23, Optima is up in running for the CASACD office and its volunteers! Here are some of the things volunteers can now do!
  • Log in to Optima over the Internet from their own computer, laptop, iPad or other mobile device. (If you need your login information, contact the office.)
  • Enter contact logs directly into Optima as they happen (or at least within 72 hours!).
  • Have access to current case data, such as CASA appointment papers, family service plans, CASA reports, and other case documents.
  • Upload case documents sent directly to the CASA if they are not already available on Optima.
  • Update ever-changing contact information for people associated with your case.
  • Enter hearing information.
  • See when the next hearing will be held.
However, as with any new technology, there are some things that we are still working out, so please be patient. For example, the court report process is still not where we would like it, so for the next month or so, please continue to write court reports the old-fashioned way in Word and email them to your advocate manager two weeks before your court date.

Technology mentors available

If you need more assistance with the switch to using Optima, we have technology mentors, people who are comfortable with technology and the Optima program and who would be willing to sit with others a few times to help them enter their data into Optima.

If you would like help from these technology mentors, contact the CASACD office.

Volunteer Training and Resources

  • Summit County Lunchtime Learning presents Deconstructing Stress  - Wednesday, Nov 20, 2013 from 12pm to 12:50pm. Free. Ten Mile Room, St. Anthony's Medical Office Building. Bring a brown-bag lunch. Call Mind Springs Health (formerly Colorado West) for more information.
  • Making Therapy Work: Helping Clients Understand How to Work with Trauma and Other Difficult Experiences - Friday, Nov. 8, 6:30 to 8pm. Free. Noeticus Office, 190 E. 9th Ave., Basement Conf. Room, Denver. Preregistration required. To register, call Laura Strube at (303) 399-9988 x176 or email
  • A Statewide Discussion on Prescription Drug Abuse Among Youth - Wednesday, Nov. 20, 7 to 9pm. Free. Univ. of Colorado, Skaggs School of Pharmacy, Aurora. For more information, click here

Volunteer Supervision

Dillon - Wednesday November 20 from 5pm-7pm or Thursday November 21 from 10am-12pm, both held at the CASA office, Room 101.
Avon Library - Meetings will be held at the Avon Library: Wednesday November 20 from 10am-12pm  

Leadville - By appointment.
Georgetown Clear Creek Courthouse - By appointment.

If you need access to commonly used CASA forms or templates, use our public file for CASA.  CASA's Dropbox

In This Issue

  • Cases that need CASAs
  • Optima update
  • Technology mentors available
  • Upcoming Gingerbread competition
  • Grants for women overcoming difficulties
  • Scholarships for 2014 National CASA Conference
  • Support for LGBTQ children in foster care
  • Trainings/Webinars
  • Court Report Corner
  • Supervision dates


Upcoming Gingerbread Competition

One of the largest CASA fundraisers of the year is the CASA Gingerbread Competition. Friday after Thanksgiving during the Beaver Creek Tree Lighting, local children, amateur and professional bakers display and compete with their gingerbread houses, which are later auctioned off. The event also includes a silent auction and cookies donated by local businesses. 

If you know of any 1) amateur or professional bakers who might be interested in making a gingerbread house, or 2) any other businesses that might want to participate with silent auction items, or 3) anyone willing to help the day of the competition, please let the CASA office know.

Grants for women in educational need

The Soroptimist Women's Opportunity Awards Program has grants available to help women, who are the primary financial support for their families, obtain vocational skills training or an undergraduate degree. If you know of a woman who has or is trying to overcome personal difficulties, and who is accepted into a training or education program, call the CASACD office for grant application information.

2014 National CASA Conference

There are scholarships available for CASA volunteers who are interested in attending the 2014 National CASA Conference in Grapevine, Texas, on June 7 to 10. 60 scholarships are available. To apply, submit an application by Dec. 6, 2013. For more information or for a scholarship application, click here.

Support for LGBTQ children

It is conservatively estimated that 5 to 10% of youth, including 5 to 10% of youth in foster care, are lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender or questioning their sexuality. For foster parents, this might be a difficult subject under already trying times. A training pamphlet is available to help foster parents support these children. For more information, contact the CASACD office.

Court Report Corner

Objective vs. subjective information

The majority of a CASA report should be written in an objective manner. This means that anyone in the same situation as the observer would describe what they observed the same way. For example, "the child was smiling and laughing while playing with the parent." 

A subjective observation about the same situation from one person's perspective might be that "the child seemed happy." However, another person might interpret it as "the child seemed to be pretending to be happy to please the parent." 

Therefore, just write objective data in the court report body. After presenting all the facts, you can give your opinion about your body of evidence in your CASA Overview.

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