August 2013 Special Edition Newsletter

Note From the Director


CASA volunteers,

Thank you so much for all you do!

I know that all of you give so much of your time and energy to the abused and neglected children of our counties. I want you to know that we in the office know that we are asking you to attend this training and taking away two more precious hours of your weekend and family time during this beautiful season. We do this because we believe you will get this time back!

This new program we are asking you to learn will let you spend more time with the children and on the case, and less time doing the paperwork, reports, and other time-consuming aspects of the position, while keeping everyone up-to-date and in the loop.

We in the office are excited to use a new program that will relieve a lot of the redundancy in what we do and allow us to spend more time providing help, support, and learning opportunities for the CASAs in our community. It will also allow us to have statistics at our fingertips for grants and reports on the excellent work you do without having to bother you for additional reporting information.

But we all have to make the change together. And we want you to know that we will continue to seek out supports for those who are less computer-savvy, while making case documentation easier for everyone.

So please, juggle your schedule and give up just a few hours on Sept. 7 to help us help you make this transition smooth and successful!

Kathy Reed
Executive Director
CASA of the Continental Divide

What is Optima?

And why is it mandatory that I be trained on it?

Optima is a web-based software suite created specifically for CASA that will make all your CASA documentation easier! It will go live for CASA of the Continental Divide starting Monday, September 23, 2013. All active and inactive (not currently appointed to cases) CASAs must attend this Optima training. Here are some highlights of how this will make your life easier:

  • It is easy to use!
  • It will be available on any computer you already use, e.g., your desktop, laptop, iPad or smart phone.
  • Monthly reports go away! You will enter all case contacts you make as you perform them into any computer, iPad, smart phone, etc., with Internet access. Time and mileage is automatically reported.
  • Court reports get easier, with some parts being automatically generated and other parts just waiting for your new information. Formatting is automatic!
  • Contact information for all case participants is up to date and available from any computer with Internet access.
  • There is common database access for all needed information for volunteers (case specific, of course) and supervisors.

To give you an idea of what this program looks like, one-hour webinars will be scheduled before the training. See the schedule at the right.

The training is approximately two hours, and will be held three times on Saturday, September 7, 9-11am, 1-3pm and 5-7pm. Both the webinars and the initial training will be led by Robert Hahn, one of the software company founders, Optima specialist, and a former CASA director.

We need EVERYONE to attend training. If you absolutely cannot make training that day, you must participate in the Optima portion of the new volunteer training that will be held Saturday, October 12 (time to be determined), taught by CASACD staff.
To make this transition work, EVERYONE has to be trained on how to use the software, so please do your best to attend this initial training.

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