Program News

Optima Database is Now Available for Volunteers!

On May 1st, all active volunteers were given access to begin using the Optima Database. Optima is a new web-based program that allows volunteers to manage their caseload, document volunteer hours and update their contact information and preferences. If you are currently an active volunteer and did not receive a notification email, please contact Casey at cdavis@cafb.org for assistance.

What is Optima?
Optima is a database for CASA programs. It contains confidential information about children, volunteer and cases.

How does Optima work?
Optima is web-based. You can access it via web browser and with a password.

Why use Optima?
Optima allows you and your Volunteer Supervisor to create and maintain a shared set of information about children and cases. Optima also allows us to track our service, coordinate our efforts and report on our actions to funders and other stakeholders. When you use Optima, we are better organized, more accountable and able to devote more time and resources to helping children.  It is important to remember that because our entire advocacy is documented in Optima, you must be mindful about what information goes into Optima, as all Optima records can potentially be subpoenaed.

Can I use Optima from my mobile phone or tablet?
Yes. Optima works with Explorer, Chrome, Firefox and Safari.

What training and support will be available?
Optima overview and advocate responsibilities training will be provided during the initial CASA Pre-Service training and several training dates throughout the year.  Our initial training dates will begin in May 2017.  During your initial case sign-up, you will meet with our CASA Program Staff to go over monthly mandatory inputting of information and other logistics in order to manage your case.  You will also use the how-to guide (can be found on the CASA website or request that your Volunteer Supervisor print it out for you during your initial visit) in order to familiarize yourself with Optima.  Our Program Staff will provide assistance with navigating through the database and entering any necessary information – please reach out to your supervisor if you have any questions.  If you or your supervisor feels you need more assistance, we will offer Optima office hours at the CASA office.

 

 

Volunteer Information Session

The next volunteer Information Session will be May 25th from 11:30am until 12:30pm. If you know someone who may be interested in volunteering, this is a great opportunity for them to learn more about the different volunteer opportunities! Please contact Lauren Jordin at ljordin@cafb.org for more information or to RSVP.

 

CASA Advisory Council is Helping Volunteers!

Did you know that Child Advocates of Fort Bend has a CASA Advisory Council? The CASA Advisory Council acts in an advisory role to the Board of Directors and assists the CASA Program Director in planning, evaluating and implementing the program. A key aspect of the program involves our volunteers. We have a Volunteer Relations Committee that will address any issues or concerns that our volunteers may have. Please contact your representative on the Advisory Council if you have any concerns, issues or suggestions that will help to improve our CASA program. Your representative is Karisue Nelson and she can be reached at 281-989-9977 or fknelson@cafb.org. We are here to help and support our volunteers! Thank you for all that you do!!

 

Growing Our Volunteer Community!

Please join us in welcoming our newest CASA / Children’s Advocacy Center Volunteers who were sworn in recently. They’ll be joined by a new group later this week!

 

Celebrating Volunteers Whose Cases Have Closed

A special thank you to Don Waddle and Chesmar Homes for hosting our CASA Case Closing Celebration on May 4th with a dinner reception at their model home at The Terrace at Pecan Grove! We honored 15 deserving CASA Volunteers for providing a voice for abused and neglected children. Thank you to all of our wonderful supporters who came out to celebrate our great Volunteers!

Volunteers honored included: Dawn Anderson, Ros Baldwin, Keith Bauman, Beth Camacho, Fran Clark, Gillian Cooke, Nancy Dale, Anne Divers, Tonye Edwards, Kathy Eyring, Carrie Fix, Mercedes Flores, May Kaye Frazier, Bernice Greer, Angie Guerra, Christy High, Sylviane Hoare, Brenda James, Marjena Kohnke, Margaret Morrison, Ron Morrison, Catherine Navarro, Sara Nesmith, Betsy Rohleder and Esperanza Velasquez.