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.

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.

Thirteen New Continuing Education Events Including Twelve 'Learning Optima' Sessions Plus Event, Page and eForm Updates

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.

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

In addition, the following event was also added to the calendar.

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

Event Update

The 2016 Guardian ad Litem Holiday Gift Drive event page was updated. The numbers of children in the Gift Recommendations section have been refreshed.

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.

Page Update

The Prospective Volunteers page was updated. A new "Ask Questions" section provides three methods — email, telephone and eForm — to get in touch with our volunteer recruiter.

This new section was added to emphasize the methods of direct, personal communication available to anyone considering volunteering for our program.

eForm Update

We have made a few minor updates to the Volunteer Transportation Request eForm. The help text for "Transport Rule 2" was expanded to include a sentence about car and booster seat purchasing assistance. The entire help text block for this rule was also added to the email template.

One of our most popular online features, eForm provides a streamlined way to submit forms and reports to our staff. Featuring dynamic fields and controls, eForm is easy to use on any device at home or out in the field.

Stay Informed

We offer several different ways for you to learn when announcements, news and events, articles, periodicals and other website updates are advertised here in our blog.

Thank you for your support!

Six New Continuing Education Events — Including Four 'Learning Optima' Sessions — Added To October's Calendar

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 four sessions of Learning Optima were added to our calendar.

In addition, the following events were also added to the calendar.

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

New Event, New Continuing Education Library Item, Training Page Update and eForm Update

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 event was added to our calendar.

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

Continuing Education

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

  • My Name is Leon
    A fiction novel by Kit de Waal presenting a heartbreaking story told from the perspective of a young child and featuring his experiences with social services and in foster care after his family falls apart.
    filed under Foster Care, Booklet and Website

Training

A link on the Training page's Phase 1: Independent Study section was updated. The "Video: Understanding Substance Abuse and the Impact on Children Website" link under "Part V" is now pointing to the video's new page.

eForm Updates

Our eForm platform uses no-reply@gal2.org to send email, so it is very important that messages sent from this address are never marked as spam or junk.

We have added a brief statement about this to the confirmation pages displayed by eForm. Confirmation pages are shown by each of our eight eForms following a successful submission. They now contain the following paragraph.

Important: Please add no-reply@gal2.org to your safe senders list. Services on gal2.org such as eForm use this address to send email. Please do not mark our messages as junk or spam.

We appreciate your assistance in this matter. Thank you.

Seven New Continuing Education Events Including Four 'Learning Optima' Sessions

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 four sessions of Learning Optima were added to our calendar.

In addition, the following events were also added to the calendar.

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

New Events Including Twelve 'Learning Optima' Sessions, Staff Directory and eForm Update, Plus A New Presentations Link

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.

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

In addition, the following event was also added to the calendar.

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

Staff Directory and eForm Update

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.

Please join us in welcoming Zach Lang to our team as a Child Advocate Manager. In addition, Child Advocate Manager Heather Adelstein and Child Advocate Manager Berline Belizaire have departed. We thank Heather and Berline for their service and wish them the best with their future endeavors.

New Presentations Link

On Sunday, July 17, 2016, we announced a new Presentations page and eForm. To draw more attention to this page and free service, a simple graphic for it has been added to the home page.

New Optima Event In Wakulla, New Presentations Page and eForm, Updated Training Links and Welcoming A New Staffer

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 event was added to our calendar.

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

New Presentations Page and eForm

Did you know that you can schedule a free presentation for your group to learn all about volunteering as a guardian ad litem? This free service for agencies, businesses and community organizations in Franklin, Gadsden, Jefferson, Leon, Liberty and Wakulla counties is now represented on a new page.

The Presentations page contains information about our free presentations, a request form for interested parties — the GAL Presentation Request eForm — and a calendar showing scheduled presentations and recruitment events.

Several other modifications were made as a result of these additions.

  • About page and section sidebar menu updated to include the Presentations page
  • Current Volunteers page updated to include the GAL Presentation Request eForm
  • Site Map at the bottom of every page updated to include the Presentations page

Effective Advocacy Training Links

The Phase 1: Independent Study section of our Training page was updated to correct two external links that went bad.

Links to the two-part "Effective Advocacy Training" videos were both updated to point to the videos' new location.

Staff Directory Update

Our staff directory on the Contact page has been updated to reflect a recent personnel addition.

Please join us in welcoming Ian Carnahan to our team as a Child's Best Interest Attorney.

New and Updated Events, Optima Links, Staff Directory and eForm 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

Online registration for the upcoming GAL Foundation Regional Volunteer Conference in Panama City, Florida is now open. The registration link has been added to the event page.

Optima Links

Optima is our web-based case management system, which provides volunteers with instant access to information on the cases that they are assigned. We created the gal2.org/optima shortlink to make it easy to access Optima. This link is available on the following pages.

Staff Directory and eForm Update

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 Janay Davis and Child's Best Interest Attorney Jason Miller have departed. We thank Janay and Jason for their service and wish them the best with their future endeavors.

Nine New Events Including July Series of 'Learning Optima'

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, including eight Learning Optima classes — one on every Tuesday and Thursday in July.

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