This page contains all published Continuing Education blog posts — containing information and updates regarding volunteer continuing education opportunities and recertification — sorted chronologically with the newest at the top.

New Continuing Education Event, BBQ Fundraiser, Volunteer Appreciation Dinner and May Training Update

New Events

We regularly host, sponsor and support a variety of events that provide community outreach, increase awareness of our program, help recruit new volunteers, raise funds and furnish training to our volunteer guardians ad litem. The following events were added to our calendar.

You can also browse and access events on our calendar grid.

Event Update

The sixth day of our Volunteer Training: May 2017 pre-service class has been rescheduled. It will now take place on Wednesday, May 17, 2017, one day earlier than originally scheduled. The event page, calendar and print flyer have been updated accordingly.

Five New Continuing Education Events

We regularly host, sponsor and support a variety of events that provide community outreach, increase awareness of our program, help recruit new volunteers, raise funds and furnish training to our volunteer guardians ad litem. The following events were added to our calendar.

You can also browse and access events on our calendar grid.

Two New Events, Cupcakes and Cookies Fundraiser Update and One New Continuing Education Library Item

New Events

We regularly host, sponsor and support a variety of events that provide community outreach, increase awareness of our program, help recruit new volunteers, raise funds and furnish training to our volunteer guardians ad litem. The following events were added to our calendar.

You can also browse and access events on our calendar grid.

Event Update

Several new sponsors have been confirmed for CAII Cupcakes and Cookies for Kids, taking place on Saturday, March 25, 2017 in downtown Tallahassee.

Thank you to Keith Baxter, Joey Gans, Tallahassee State Bank and Holy Mother of God Greek Orthodox Church for their contributions. The Event Sponsors section of the event page was updated to reflect their sponsorships.

CAII Cupcakes and Cookies for Kids is a friendly annual competition for amateur and professional bakers, as well as an opportunity for the public to raise money for our program by sampling the various goods.

Registration for contestants is open through Friday, March 10, 2017, so you still have time to enter the baking competition. You can also help us promote the event by sharing gal2.org/cupcake with your friends, colleagues and social media.

Continuing Education

One new library item was added to our Continuing Education resource center.

  • Students in the Juvenile Justice System
    A packet of four articles discussing the topic of students who are in the juvenile justice system.
    filed under Educational Advocacy, Older Youth and Article

CAII Cupcakes and Cookies for Kids Update Plus One New Continuing Education Library Item

Event Update

Another new sponsor has been confirmed for CAII Cupcakes and Cookies for Kids, taking place on Saturday, March 25, 2017 in downtown Tallahassee.

Thank you to Prime Meridian Bank for their contribution. The Event Sponsors section of the event page was updated to reflect their sponsorship.

CAII Cupcakes and Cookies for Kids is a friendly annual competition for amateur and professional bakers, as well as an opportunity for the public to raise money for our program by sampling the various goods.

Registration for contestants is open through Friday, March 10, 2017, so you still have time to enter the baking competition. You can also help us promote the event by sharing gal2.org/cupcake with your friends, colleagues and social media.

Continuing Education

One new library item was added to our Continuing Education resource center.

Winter Update Including eForm, Pages, Staff Directory, Training, Fundraising, GAL Community and Instagram

The beginning of a new year is frequently a time of reflection and change. As such, this article is a wintertime compilation of recent website updates covering seven topics.

  1. eForm Replacements
  2. Page Updates
  3. Staff Directory and eForm Update
  4. Training Event Update
  5. Fundraising Event Update
  6. GAL Community Update
  7. Join Us On Instagram

eForm Replacements

We have retired three of our eForms in favor of replacements within Optima, our web-based case management system.

The Child Visitation Report eForm (CVR), Continuing Education eForm (CEF) and Volunteer Application eForm (VAP) are discontinued and no longer available for use. Shortlinks previously in place for the CVR and CEF eForms now redirect to Optima for backward compatibility. The VAP shortlink now redirects to the Optima-based online volunteer application.

The discontinued eForms were extremely valuable to our program. While they were in service, the Child Visitation Report eForm processed 1,729 submissions, the Continuing Education eForm processed 699 submissions and the Volunteer Application eForm processed ninety-one submissions.

Page Updates

As a result of the aforementioned eForm discontinuations, the following updates were made to the Form and Document Library on the Current Volunteers page.

  • Removed links from the "eForm" section

  • Removed links and downloads from the "Forms and Documents" section

In addition, a new resource was also added to the "Forms and Documents" section of the Form and Document Library. "Dependency Acronyms" is a three-page list featuring common abbreviations and their meanings. It is available in the "Essentials" sub-section for download in PDF and Word format.

Finally, several further updates were made to other pages.

  • Continuing Education

  • Replaced links in "Annual Requirements" and "Complete Your Hours Now" sections

  • Updated "Report Your Hours" sidebar button link

  • Updated dates in "Annual Requirements" section for 2017

Staff Directory and eForm Update

Our staff directory on the Contact page and our Report to the Court eForm have been updated to reflect a recent personnel change.

Please join us in welcoming Child Advocate Manager Carmen Edge to our team!

Training Event Update

One of our upcoming training classes for new volunteers has been rescheduled.

Volunteer Training: April 2017 takes place over six evenings. The second session in the series was moved up one day to Wednesday, April 5, 2017. The event page, event calendar and print flyer have been updated accordingly.

Fundraising Event Update

Seven sponsors have been confirmed for CAII Cupcakes and Cookies for Kids, which is taking place this year on Saturday, March 25, 2017 in downtown Tallahassee.

CAII Cupcakes and Cookies for Kids is a friendly annual competition for amateur and professional bakers, as well as an opportunity for the public to raise money for our program by sampling the various goods.

The Event Sponsors section of the event page is updated to reflect the new sponsorships. Thank you to the Lamont Family, Capital City Bank, Florida Department of Transportation, Alsco, Inc., Hopkins' Eatery, Newk's Eatery and WTXL Sunrise on ABC 27 for their various contributions.

Registration for contestants is open through Friday, March 10, 2017, so you still have time to enter the baking competition. You can also help us promote the event by sharing gal2.org/cupcake with your friends, colleagues and social media.

GAL Community Update

Modifications have been made to the GAL Community, a private and moderated discussion forum for volunteers and staff.

Several of the main topic boards have been renamed or had their descriptions updated. Numerous other updates were also applied behind-the-scenes. This restructuring was done in response to feedback and enhancement requests from our volunteers.

Join Us On Instagram

As part of an upcoming social media outreach campaign, the Second Judicial Circuit Guardian ad Litem Program is now on mobile photo-sharing site Instagram.

We have not yet made our first post on the social media site, but you can follow us at instagram.com/flguardian2 to discover when we do.

Additional related updates include adding an entry in the Social Media section of the Community page; adding a social icon to the website sidebar; and updating the Connect with Us and Website Shortlinks sections of the Links page.

Icon: Instagram

Three New Events, Three New Continuing Education Library Items and Two Volunteer Document Updates

New Event

We regularly host, sponsor and support a variety of events that provide community outreach, increase awareness of our program, help recruit new volunteers, raise funds and furnish training to our volunteer guardians ad litem. The following events were added to our calendar.

You can also browse and access events on our calendar grid.

Continuing Education

Three new library items were added to our Continuing Education resource center.

  • Understanding Child Welfare and the Courts
    A fact sheet by Children's Bureau designed to answer parent and caregiver concerns about the court process and provide resources regarding legal action and parental rights.
    filed under Dependency and Booklet

  • Birth Parents with Trauma Histories in the Child Welfare System
    A guide for court-based child advocates by The National Child Traumatic Stress Network addressing several common questions about trauma in parents and children.
    filed under Article and Families

  • Module 7: Becoming An Advocate
    A training slide deck by The National Child Traumatic Stress Network on how to be an advocate and support trauma-focused assessment and treatment for a child.
    filed under Slides and Families

Form and Document Library

Two updated documents are now available to download in the Form and Document Library on the Current Volunteers page.

  • Optima Volunteer Guidelines
    filed under Optima

  • Normalcy Checklist
    filed under Forms and Documents: Normalcy

Eighteen New Events Plus 1st Beginnings Project Page Update

New Events

We regularly host, sponsor and support a variety of events that provide community outreach, increase awareness of our program, help recruit new volunteers, raise funds and furnish training to our volunteer guardians ad litem. The following events were added to our calendar.

You can also browse and access events on our calendar grid.

Project Page Update

The 1st Beginnings project page has been updated. The Household Items List section and download are both updated to reflect recent changes.

Three New 'Learning Optima' Continuing Education Events Plus Staff Directory and eForm Updates

We regularly host, sponsor and support a variety of events that provide community outreach, increase awareness of our program, help recruit new volunteers, raise funds and furnish training to our volunteer guardians ad litem.

It is vital that all of our volunteers learn the new Optima case management system. The following three sessions of Learning Optima were added to our calendar.

You can also browse and access events on our calendar grid.

Staff Directory and eForm Updates

Our staff directory on the Contact page plus our Child Visitation Report and Report to the Court eForms have been updated to reflect recent personnel changes.

Child Advocate Manager Camber Page has departed. We thank Camber for her service and wish her the best with her future endeavors.

Rescheduled and New Events, Holiday Gift Drive Update, Optima Volunteer Guidelines, New Brochures and Clock Reminder

Rescheduled Event

The Educational Surrogate Training continuing education event originally set for Monday, November 28, 2016 has been rescheduled to Monday, December 5, 2016. The event page, calendar and print flyer have been updated accordingly.

New Events

We regularly host, sponsor and support a variety of events that provide community outreach, increase awareness of our program, help recruit new volunteers, raise funds and furnish training to our volunteer guardians ad litem. The following events were added to our calendar.

You can also browse and access events on our calendar grid.

Holiday Gift Drive Update

The 2016 Guardian ad Litem Holiday Gift Drive event page and our calendar were updated to include event times. A new Supporting Events section was also added to display events that benefit the drive, such as the aforementioned bowling tournament and alternative market.

Our holiday gift drive is simple. Child Advocates II, Inc. (CAII), our nonprofit support organization, collects donated items from the community and then hosts a "gift store" where our volunteer guardians ad litem can "shop" for gifts for the children that they represent.

Providing an important sense of normalcy, this annual drive allows us to ensure that every child represented by our program receives gifts for the holiday season.

Visit gal2.org/gift to learn all about our gift drive and how you or your business can participate.

Optima Volunteer Guidelines

A copy of the Optima Volunteer Guidelines is now available to download from the "Optima" section of the Form and Document Library on the Current Volunteers page. This document contains instructions for our volunteers on how to use our web-based case management system.

New Brochures

An updated version of the CAII brochure has been published. It is available to download from the Child Advocates II page.

In addition, a copy of the Florida Guardian ad Litem Program brochure is now available to download from the Frequently Asked Questions section on the Prospective Volunteers page.

Reminder: End of Daylight Saving Time

Daylight Saving Time ends on Sunday, November 6, 2016 at 2:00 AM local time. Our clocks will revert to Eastern Standard Time and fall back to 1:00 AM. While phones and computers usually update themselves automatically, be sure to set your classic clocks backward one hour tonight.