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Podcasts

The purpose of our Podcasts is to enhance the knowledge base of our CASA/GAL volunteers so that they can better advocate for their child. This is done through conducting interviews with experts in the fields of child development and juvenile justice who share information on a range of relevant topics.

Additional qualities are:

  • All topics are suggested by our CASA/GAL volunteers, so they are of current interest
  • The Podcasts are short (20-25 minutes)
  • Podcasts can be listened to at any time
  • You can receive 1 inservice credit for each Podcasts you listen to
  • They are free!

CASA Kane County Podcast Disclaimer

The thoughts and opinions expressed in the CASA Kane County Podcasts do not necessarily represent or reflect the opinions and/or policies of LearnSure, Inc., CASA Kane County, its state organization (Illinois CASA), its national organization (The National CASA Association) or its members. The thoughts and opinions in each Podcast are the sole personal expression of the interviewee.

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CASA Podcast No. 1--Premier Podcast:

General Information for Prospective CASAs

(Recorded: August 28, 2008, Length: 17 minutes)
This Podcast is an interview with Deb McQuaid, Director of Advocate Education for CASA Kane County It is aimed at individuals who are interested in becoming CASA volunteers.

In this Podcast, Deb discusses the role of the CASA/GAL and outlines the skills and competencies necessary to become one. Other topics covered are the history of CASA, the content of the training program, and how a CASA/GAL interacts with the child and the court. Finally, both Deb and a group of working advocates reflect on the impact that the CASA program has in the life of a child.

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CASA Podcast No. 2:

The Administrative Case Review, Part I

(Recorded: October 30, 2008, Length: 21 minutes)
The guest in this two-part Podcast series is Lea Pinshower, the Administrative Case Review (ACR) Program Manager for the DCFS Northern Region-including Kane County

In this Podcast, Lea describes a typical ACR, who attends it, their individual responsibilities, and the support documentation that all attendees should be familiar with. Special attention is paid to the CASA's role in the ACR. Lea also clarifies a new policy which allows the CASA to attend the entire ACR due to their special GAL status.

This Podcast will be of interest to CASAs who want a refresher for an upcoming ACR and who also want to learn about the new GAL policy. It would also be of interest to new CASAs who will be experiencing their first ACR.
Additional Resources: ACR FAQ

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CASA Podcast No. 3:

The Administrative Case Review, Part II

(Recorded: October 30, 2008, Length: 13 minutes)
The guest in this two-part Podcast series is Lea Pinshower, the Administrative Case Review (ACR) Program Manager for the DCFS Northern Region-including Kane County. In this Podcast, Lea discusses what happens after the ACR. She describes the content of the Feedback Summary - an internal report filed by the ACR case reviewer - and its potential impact on the case.

She also gives examples of "critical issues" noted in the Feedback Summary that can trigger an important action meeting called the Interim Review. She also describes the CASA's role in this meeting.

This Podcast will be of interest to experienced CASAs who would like additional information on the ACR process, or who are about to experience an Interim Review.
Additional Resources: ACR FAQ

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CASA Podcast No. 4:

An Interview with Judge Susan Clancy Boles

(Recorded: December 4, 2008, Length: 20 minutes)
This Podcast is an interview with Judge Susan Clancy Boles, of the Illinois Sixteenth Judicial Circuit, Juvenile Division's Abuse and Neglect court. In this Podcast, Judge Boles discusses her judicial philosophy as it relates to the abuse and neglect court, her views on the key parties that appear before her, and how she views CASA's role-along with the impact that the CASA's report has on the court.

She also discusses features that she would like to see in all CASA reports, along with how the report is integrated into her work process prior to a hearing. The interview ends with a personal reflection by Judge Boles on the value of the CASA to her courtroom.

This Podcast will be of high interest to all Kane County CASAs as Judge Boles represents the primary audience of their report to the court.
Additional Resources: Illinois 16th Judicial Circuit

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CASA Podcast No. 5:

An Interview with Judge Mary Karen Simpson

(Recorded: December 9, 2008, Length: 17 minutes)
This Podcast is an interview with Judge Mary Karen Simpson, of the Illinois Sixteenth Judicial Circuit, Juvenile Division's Juvenile Delinquency Court.

In this Podcast, Judge Simpson discusses the function and goals of the Juvenile Delinquency Court, describes the court's process, gives procedural suggestions for the CASA, and her views on the CASA's role in her court as-well as the potential role they can play in other courts. Judge Simpson also gives examples of how CASAs have supported their minors in other courts. She then encourages the CASAs continued loyal and committed advocacy for their minor in other courts-even when they are not supported by a general order.

This Podcast will be of high interest to all Kane County CASAs, as many have minors who not only have the potential to appear in Judge Simpson's court, but other courts as well.

Additional Resources: Illinois 16th Judicial Circuit

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CASA Podcast No. 6:

The Individual Educational Program (IEP) Document and Process, Part I

(Recorded: December 15, 2008, Length: 21 minutes)
The guest in this two-part Podcast is Dr. Laura Hedin, an assistant professor of Special Education at Northern Illinois University, where she teaches the Foundations of Special Education courses to graduate students, covering the legal and historical aspects of special education.

Within this foundations curriculum, she also teaches students how to write an IEP. In this Podcasts, Dr. Hedin gives us the historical and legal background for the IEP, describes the criteria for determining if a child has special needs, and provides a working definition of the IEP along with procedures for securing special educational services for children who may not initially meet special needs criteria.

This Podcast will be of interest to all CASAs who have children with IEPs.

Additional Resources: www.wrightslaw.comwww.isbe.net/spec-ed/10 Questions for ParentsIEP TipsIEP Guide (Note: The IEP Guide is very comprehensive and is over 46 pages.)

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CASA Podcast No. 7:

The Individual Educational Program (IEP) Document and Process, Part II

(Recorded: December 15, 2008, Length: 21 minutes)
The guest in this two-part Podcast is Dr. Laura Hedin, an assistant professor of Special Education at Northern Illinois University, where she teaches the Foundations of Special Education courses to graduate students, covering the legal and historical aspects of special education. Within this foundations curriculum, she also teaches students how to write an IEP.

In this Podcast, Dr. Hedin tells us how to prepare for an IEP meeting. She goes on to describe a typical meeting and the roles of all participants. Finally, she provides a set of suggestions that will help CASAs balance their advocacy role with the team-based process that is used in this key meeting.

This Podcast will be of interest to all CASAs who have children with IEPs and have an upcoming IEP meeting.

Additional Resources: www.wrightslaw.comwww.isbe.net/spec-ed/10 Questions for ParentsIEP TipsIEP Guide (Note: The IEP Guide is very comprehensive and is over 46 pages.)

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CASA Podcast No. 8:

The CASA/GAL Report to the Court

(Recorded: January 13, 2009, Length: 22 minutes)
Our guest for this Podcast is Kathy Furgason, the Director of Advocate Supervision for CASA Kane County. In this Podcast, Kathy comments on the desired content for each section of the CASA/GAL Report to the Court and ends with the "Top 10" suggestions from the CASA Advocate Supervisors-providing all CASAs with a set of experienced-based recommendations that will help them in developing an effective report.

Kathy also discusses the various audiences for this report, with special emphasis on the needs of the Juvenile Court Judge. The organizational structure for this Podcast is the report format itself. Consequently, it is suggested that listeners either have a copy of one of their existing reports in front of them or use the sample provided. As listeners follow the structure of the report, they are encouraged to take notes.

This Podcast will be of interest to CASAs who are working on their first Report to the Court and for those who would like to improve their report writing skills.

Additional Resources: CASA Report Format.

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CASA Podcast No. 9:

The CAYIT Meeting

(Recorded: May 18, 2009, Length: 27 minutes)
The guest for this Podcast is Teddy Savas, the Illinois Department for Children and Family Services Co-Statewide Coordinator for the CAYIT Program. In this Podcast, Teddy talks about the unique history of this child-centered and strength-focused meeting within DCFS. She then goes on to describe a CAYIT, the opportunities presented in the meeting, and the roles of the various participants, including the CASA.

Teddy then describes a critical role that the CASA can play prior to the CAYIT. She ends by describing a special type of CAYIT for youth who are in transition and aging out of the system. This Podcasts will be of interest to CASAs who are attending their first CAYIT and for experienced CASAs who want a refresher on the process.

The final segment of this Podcast will be of special interest to all CASAs whose minors are within 60 days of aging out of the system.

Additional Resources: Sample CAYIT Action Plan.

SPECIAL NOTE: This podcast has been retired as the CAYIT Meeting has been replaced by the CIPP Meeting. It will be retained for historical purposes. To find out more about the CIPP Meeting listen to Podcast No. 32.

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CASA Podcast No. 10:

The CASA's Role in Probate Court

(Recorded: June 19 and 29, 2009, Length: 24 minutes)
The guests for this Podcast are Cathy McCoy, the coordinator of the CASA Probate Program, and Michael Yanatov, one of the CASA volunteers who participates in Probate Court. This Podcast starts out with Cathy answering the following questions: What is the history of CASA's involvement in probate? How many cases are there in a given year, and how are CASAs assigned to them? How does a probate case differ from an abuse and neglect case? What are the steps in the probate process?

Michael talks about what it is like to be a probate CASA/GAL. Using actual case examples (that have been disguised to preserve confidentiality), Michael discusses the interview process, and how it is guided by specific questions provided by the court. He then compares and contrasts the probate report from the report that the CASAs submit to the abuse and neglect court.

Next he gives us a start-to-finish description of a probate court hearing. Finally, he gives CASAs a thoughtful observation regarding the potential relationship between Probate Court and Abuse and Neglect Court.

This Podcast will be of interest to all CASA/GALs.

Additional Resources: Sample Probate Report.

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CASA Podcast No. 11:

Growing Up in a Biracial Home

(Recorded: June 29, 2009, Length: 21 minutes)
Our guest is Jean Woodhouse, who will be sharing her personal story about what it is like to grow up as a child in a biracial home. Jean ends her story by sharing what she has learned as both a biracial person and a child welfare specialist - blending the two experiences and giving CASAs a set of insights and strategies on how to interact with these special children.

Jean is a retired Child Welfare Specialist with the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services and has been in this position since 1994. Prior to that, she has worked in Head Start, DCFS Group Homes, and the Illinois Department of Corrections as a Youth Supervisor.

This Podcast will be of specific interest to CASA/GALs who have biracial children and of general interest to all of our advocates.

Additional Resources: Web Links to Biracial Sites.

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CASA Podcast No. 12:

In Their Own Words: Growing Up in Foster Care

(Recorded: October 10, 2009, Length: 17 minutes)
This is the first of a 4 part series featuring speakers from the 2009 Illinois State CASA Conference, held on October 9th and 10th in Oak Brook, Illinois.

Our guests for this Podcast are Derrick, Mica, and Monique-three young college students who started their journey in the foster care system. These 3 young adults offer a unique set of insights into the trauma of being separated from their home and families, the importance of maintaining family contacts, and how encouragement by trusted adults was critical to the formation of their life and career goals. It is also a story of a unique Youth Guidance program that played a key role in making a collage education a reality.

During their high school years, these young adults joined a Youth Guidance program called Project Strive-where they were not only influenced by key adults but exposed to the possibility of college. Eugene Robinson, the Post-Secondary Program Manager for Project Strive, describes the program...with Derrick, Mica, and Monique sharing how they were motivated and personally challenged by the program's staff.

This Podcast will be of specific interest to all CASA/GALs.

Additional Resources: Youth Guidance Fact SheetYouth Guidance Website.

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CASA Podcast No. 13:

The Spectrum Wilderness Program

(Recorded: October 9, 2009, Length: 24 minutes)
This is the second of a 4 part series featuring speakers from the 2009 Illinois State CASA Conference, held on October 9th and 10th in Oak Brook, Illinois.

The guest for this Podcast is Geoff Schropp, the Coordinator for the Spectrum Wilderness Program located at Southern Illinois University at Carbondale. In this Podcast Geoff describes the program and tells us about the philosophy and activities that form its heart.

Much of the Spectrum program is about the individual confronting and overcoming physical challenges in a wilderness environment. A key element in creating these challenges is the program's ropes course. Our guest describes the course and gives us some examples of the challenges presented by this unique learning environment.

It's not enough for the youth in the program to face and overcome its challenges-learning and insights must be extracted. After they have extracted personal insights from the activity, participants are asked to consider how what they have learned can be incorporated into their own lives. The Podcasts ends with a Geoff telling the story of one young man's success.

This Podcast will be of specific interest to all CASA/GALs-especially those with teenagers.

Additional Resources: Program InformationPhoto Release FormAgency Referral FormAssumption of RiskClothing Information SheetGoal WorksheetMedical Exam FormMedical HistorySpectrum Wilderness Website.

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CASA Podcast No. 14:

Adoptions Unlimited

(Recorded: October 10, 2009, Length: 19 minutes)
This is the third of a 4 part series featuring speakers from the 2009 Illinois State CASA Conference, held on October 9th and 10th in Oak Brook, Illinois.

Our guests are DeAudrey Davis and Penelope Ford. DeAudry is the Director of the Adoption Information Center of Illinois where she has served for over 10 years. Penelope is the Permanency Specialist with over 10 years of experience in this role prior to joining AICI. Both have extensive academic credentials and experience in child welfare.

The Adoption Information Center of Illinois or AICI is a program under the umbrella organization of Adoptions Unlimited. DeAudrey describes the function of AICI along with additional programs that are concerned with: listening children up for adoption, listing potential families seeking to adopt a child, adoption counseling, and other support and training services.

Adoptions Unlimted uses a process called the "3-5-7 Model", developed by D.L. Henry of Temple University. Using this author's model staff, case works and CASAs can assist the child in grieving losses, formulating self-identity, establishing trust and security, and building relationships necessary to join a family. DeAudrey gives us an abbreviated description of Henry's model and how it is used to facilitate the adoption process from the child's point of view.

DeAudrey and Penelope end this Podcast with some very specific suggestions as to how the CASA can assist in the adoption process.

This Podcast will be of interest to all CASAs that have children that are either in or soon to be in the adoption process.

Additional Resources: Adoption Listening ServiceGAL Information Meeting,AICI Caseworker BrochureThe 3-5-7 Model, Adoptions Unlimited Website.

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CASA Podcast No. 15:

Risk Factors

(Recorded: October 9, 2009, Length: 20 minutes)
This is the last of a 4 part series featuring speakers from the 2009 Illinois State CASA Conference, held on October 9th and 10th in Oak Brook, Illinois.

Our guest is Steven Kossman, the Director of Probation and Court Services for Peoria County, Illinois. In his 38 years in the juvenile detention system, he has served in a variety of executive and leadership roles. He has also taught college-level courses on juvenile and criminal justice in both Texas and Illinois.

Against the backdrop of the factors of the "safety net" that is found in a nurturing family environment, Stephen defines the term "risk factor" - the absence or distortion of the safety net or those factors that are the opposite of the factors in a safety net. He then compares and contrasts these risk factors with the "safety net" and discusses how gender generates a unique set of risk factors.

Our guest descries the concept of "Risk Factor Mapping" and how it can be used to allocate services to areas where they are most needed. He goes on to address an apparent dilemma that a CASA may have if their child is assigned to a foster home or residential care facility within a high risk area.

Finally, Stephen ends with some personal advice to the CASA regarding the power of small efforts on their part that, over time, may have a very powerful and long-term impact on their child.

This Podcast will be of interest to all CASAs who have a child that may have one or more of the risk factors described by our guest.

Additional Resources: Risk Factors for Delinquency, Drug Use and Other Risk FactorsRhode Island Training School Analysis, Legislative Analysis's Office Website.

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CASA Podcast No. 16:

A Conversation with Judge David Soukup, Part I

(Recorded: October 26, 2009, Length: 15 minutes)
This is the first in a two part conversation with Judge David Soukup, the founder of CASA. This conversation was held in October of 2009 at the offices of Soukup Arbitration located in downtown Seattle.

The judge starts out the conversation by sharing some personal background information on his family connection with the western suburbs of Chicago and his current life in Seattle. Along with this personal information, there are three main topics that came out of the conversation: CASA's history, its current challenges, and its future.

This first Podcast is about CASA's history and Judge Soukup's role in its formation - how an organization of 68,000 advocates in over 1,000 state and local programs, that has serviced over 2 million children, started as a simple idea to give the children in King County Washington a voice in Juvenile Court.

This Podcast will be of interest to all CASAs interested in the history and future of their organization.

Additional Resources: Judge Soukup's ProfileJudge Soukup from HistoryLink.orgCASA Story Website.

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CASA Podcast No. 17:

A Conversation with Judge David Soukup, Part II

(Recorded: October 26, 2009, Length: 21 minutes)
This is the last of a two part conversation with Judge David Soukup, the founder of CASA. This conversation was held in October of 2009 at the offices of Soukup Arbitration located in downtown Seattle.

Three topics emerged out of the conversation with Judge Soukup: CASA's history, its current challenges, and its future. In this last Podcasts the focus of the discussion is on CASA's current challenges, and future.

With his focus on the present Judge Soukup discusses the extension of CASA's presence in other courts, the current issue of funding, efforts needed to strengthen the CASA's overall role, and the critical need to have the advocate population better reflect the ethnic makeup of the community they serve.

Moving from the challenges of the present, the conversation shifts to a discussion of how to meet these challenges so that they can have a positive impact on CASA's future. Our conversation ends with an agenda that Judge Soukup invites interested CASAs to participate in at a local, state, and national level to help shape CASA's future.

This Podcast will be of interest to all CASAs interested in having a broader involvement with CASA at a local, state, and national level, by becoming involved with some of the initiatives outlined by Judge Soukup.

Additional Resources: National CASA Annual Report, 2008CASA State/Local Programs Website.

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CASA Podcast No. 18:

A Conversation with Michael Piraino, Part I

(Recorded: February 4, 2010, Length: 16 minutes)
Our guest for this 3 part Podcast series is Michael Piraino, the Chief Operating Officer of the National CASA Association. Michael joined the National CASA Association in 1994, and has helped the organization grow to serve nearly a quarter million abused and neglected children a year.

In this first Podcast, Michael discusses the resources and initiatives at the National CASA level that have immediate tactical value to the CASA volunteer.

This Podcast will be of interest to all CASAs who are seeking informational resources to help them better assist their child.

Additional Resources: National CASA AssociationConnections Newsletter,
CASA YouTube site.

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CASA Podcast No. 19:

A Conversation with Michael Piraino, Part II

(Recorded: February 4, 2010, Length: 24 minutes)
In this second Podcast, Michael discusses the longer-term efforts of the National CASA Association. Topics include: A branding campaign to create national "name" recognition, the development of new and creative sources of funding that are passed on to the local CASA organizations, shaping public policy at the national and state level, and the development of a model that demonstrates the positive economic impact of the CASA program.

After listening to this Podcast, the CASA volunteer should have a clearer understanding of how these initiatives can impact the local organization, especially fund raising, and the critical role that each CASA can play in these efforts.

This Podcast will be of interest to all CASAs, CASA staff, and CASA Board Members.

Additional Resources: Information on PL 110-351Quick View of PL 110-351,National CASA Mission Statement within the 2009-2013 Strategic Plan.

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CASA Podcast No. 20:

A Conversation with Michael Piraino, Part III

(Recorded: February 4, 2010, Length: 17 minutes)
In this final Podcast, Michael discusses the changing landscape of child advocacy and how CASA's future success will be measured in terms of how it responds to these changes, how it meets the related goals and challenges, the execution of its strategic plan, and the sharing of best practices, especially in the area of fund raising, with its local organizations. From his unique point-of-view as CEO, Michael ends by sharing his personal agenda for the organization. He also shares his opinions about what the individual CASA volunteer can do to advocate for change in any aspect of the system that is counter-productive in meeting the needs of children.

This Podcast will be of interest to all CASAs, CASA staff, and CASA Board Members.

Additional Resources: Richland County CASA "Quarterbacks" training program.

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CASA Podcast No. 21: 

The Emotional Impact of Foster Care on Children, Part I 

(Recorded: June 9, 2011, Length: 16 minutes)
This podcast is part of a series featuring speakers from the 2011 Illinois State CASA Conference, held on June 10th on the campus of the University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana.

Our guest for this 2 part podcast series is Adam Robe. Adam has a unique background. He is a successful author, child care worker, and key note speaker on the topic of foster placement. He has also served as a CASA. But what is really unique about Adam is that he is also a former foster child. In the first part of our series, Adam talks about how he came into the foster care system and the impact that has had on him and his siblings.

This podcast will be of interest to all CASAs and CASA staff.

Additional Resources: Robbie the Rabbit.

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CASA Podcast No. 22:

The Emotional Impact of Foster Care on Children, Part II 

(Recorded: June 9, 2011, Length: 16 minutes)
This podcast is part of a series featuring speakers from the 2011 Illinois State CASA Conference, held on June 10th on the campus of the University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana.

Along with his unique background as a foster child and CASA, Adam Robe is the author of the Robbie Rabbit series and a contributing author of Flux, a book aimed at older youth in foster care. In the last part of our series, Adam shares the relationship between his books and his personal experiences, along with his motivation for writing them. He ends the discussion with a number of insights and resources that all CASAs will find useful.

This podcast will be of interest to all CASAs and CASA staff.

Additional Resources: Robbie the RabbitFoster Care of Alumni of America,Flux.

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CASA Podcast No. 23:

From the Circuit Bench: A Judicial Conversation

(Recorded: June 10, 2011, Length: 25 minutes)
This podcast is part of a series featuring speakers from the 2011 Illinois State CASA Conference, held on June 10th on the campus of the University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana.

Our guests for this podcast are Illinois circuit judges Kimberly Koester and David Overstreet. Presiding over different courts circuit judges have a unique perspective - often times seeing the same litigants across different courts - including Abuse and Neglect cases. Adding to this perspective our guests discuss the fact that some of the counties within their circuits have CASAs and others do not - a situation that gives rise to some interesting discussions about the roles CASAs play in their courts - and potential roles in other courts. 

This podcast will be of interest to all CASAs and CASA staff.

Additional Resources: To learn more about the role of our Illinois circuit court judges, be sure to click here.

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CASA Podcast No. 24:

Testifying: Beyond the Basics

(Recorded: June 10, 2011, Length: 15 minutes)
This podcast is part of a series featuring speakers from the 2011 Illinois State CASA Conference, held on June 10th on the campus of the University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana.

Our guest is Jill Olson, a practicing Illinois attorney and the Executive Director of CASA DeKalb County.

There are special circumstances where the CASA may be called upon to testify in the Abuse and Neglect Court. Drawing on her experiences as a CASA pro bono attorney, Jill discusses what the CASA needs to know about testifying in order to become a competent witness.

Jill outlines how a CASA can prepare for testimony, discusses the importance of the CASA's report, gives working definitions for direct and cross examination, explores the types of questions that may be asked by the various parties to the case, and describes how to deal with potential objections.

Additional Resources: To learn more about testifying in the Abuse and Neglect Court - download slides for Testifying: Beyond the Basicshandouts for Testing: Beyond the Basics, and link to Testifying in Court: CASA Lorain County OH.

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CASA Podcast No. 25:

The Adoption Process: From Termination of Parental Rights to Post Adoption and Preservation Services, Part I

(Recorded: June 18, 2012, Length: 14 minutes)

Our guest is Jodi Perko, the Downstate Adoption/Guardianship Supervisor for the Illinois Department of Children and Family Service (DCFS). Jodi has been with DCFS for over 19 years--and is responsible for an office that reviews and approves all documents related to the adoption process for the DCFS Northern, Central, and Southern Regions of Illinois.

There are 5 steps in the adoption process: 1. Termination of Parental Rights, 2. Adoption Set as the Goal, 3. The Subsidy Approval Process, 4. The Finalization of the Adoption, 5. Post Adoptive and Preservation Services.

In this interview, Jodi discusses the differences between adoption and guardianship and then outlines the steps in the adoption process—starting with the Termination of Parental Rights. At each step of the process Jodi, indicates the potential role that the CASA can play.

This Podcast will be of interest to all CASAs who have children in the adoption process, as well as the CASA staff.

Additional Resources: Post Adoption and Guardianship ServicesDCFS Adoption InformationAdoption Learning Partners

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CASA Podcast No. 26:

The Adoption Process: From Termination of Parental Rights to Post Adoption and Preservation Services, Part II

(Recorded: June 18, 2012, Length: 22 minutes)

Our guest is Jodi Perko, the Downstate Adoption/Guardianship Supervisor for the Illinois Department of Children and Family Service (DCFS). Jodi has been with DCFS for over 19 years--and is responsible for an office that reviews and approves all documents related to the adoption process for the DCFS Northern, Central, and Southern Regions of Illinois.

There are 5 steps in the adoption process: 1. Termination of Parental Rights, 2. Adoption Set as the Goal, 3. The Subsidy Approval Process, 4. The Finalization of the Adoption, 5. Post Adoptive and Preservation Services.

In this portion of our conversation, Jodi continues her discussion of the steps in the adoption process—from Adoption Set as the Goal to Post Adoptive and Preservation Services. At each step of the process, Jodi indicates the potential role that the CASA can play.

This Podcast will be of interest to all CASAs who have children in the adoption process, as well as the CASA staff.

Additional Resources: Post Adoption and Guardianship ServicesDCFS Adoption InformationAdoption Learning Partners

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CASA Podcast No. 27:

Robin and Jo: A CASA Story, Part I

(Recorded: August 28, 2012, Length: 24 minutes)

This is the first of a two-part series on the unique relationship between one of our Kane County CASAs and her young adult. Our guests are Robin Beck and her CASA/GAL Jo Rydland.

Jo was assigned to Robin's case when Robin was 14 years old. Jo's role as a CASA/GAL will end when Robin turns 21 in November this year.

Robin and Jo were invited speakers at the 2012 National CASA Conference in Washington, DC. As part of their presentation, CASA Kane County commissioned a video in which Robin talked about a set of circumstances from her past that were too painful to relate in person. After the video, both talked about their relationship and answered many questions from the audience. Their presentation ended with a standing ovation.

In this first part of our series, Robin and Jo look back on their relationship of almost 8 years - answering questions and offering insights to all CASAs seeking to understand the unique point-of-view of their child.

This podcast will be of interest to all CASAs, especially those working with teenagers and older youth who elect to stay in the system until they age out at age of 21.

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CASA Podcast No. 28:

Robin and Jo: A CASA Story, Part II

(Recorded: August 28, 2012, Length: 15 minutes)

This is the second of a two-part series on the unique relationship between one of our Kane County CASAs and her young adult. Our guests are Robin Beck and her CASA/GAL Jo Rydland.

In this last part of our series, Robin and Jo quickly move from responding to specific question to a candid and spirited interchange with each other. The result provides the listener a personal look at the emotional dynamics between these equally unique individuals - as the court phase of their relationship comes to a close and they consider how their future relationship may change.

This podcast will be of interest to all CASAs, especially those working with teenagers and older youth who elect to stay in the system until they age out at age of 21.

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CASA Podcast No. 29:

Response to Intervention: Educational Options for Children with Learning and Behavioral Issues

(Recorded: November 28, 2012, Length: 28 minutes)

As an important part of their advocacy, the CASA normally becomes directly involved in the child’s education—reviewing educational records, meeting with teachers, case workers…and, if special needs exist, going to IEP meetings.

In this role the CASA seeks to become fully aware of the child’s educational progress, along with discovering any difficulty that their child may be having in school…and what kind of interventions are in place to address them.

Response to Intervention or RTI is designed to meet these kinds of educational needs by providing additional services.

Our guest is Christine Malecki, a Professor of School Psychology and Director of the School Psychology Program at Northern Illinois University. Her research interests include curriculum-based measurement in reading and writing, and innovative school psychology delivery services such as Response to Intervention.

This Podcast will be of interest to all CASAs with school-age children who may be exhibiting learning and behavioral issues.

Additional Resources: Response to Intervention NOTE: If you can't play this resource, you will have to install the latest version of Adobe Flash. Please see link at top of page.

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CASA Podcast No. 30:

Complex Trauma in Children, Part I

(Recorded: February 1, 2013, Length: 16 minutes)

Many CASAs have children who have grown up in unusually stressful environments. Within these environments physical, emotional, and/or sexual abuse may have persisted over a long period of time--leading potentially to complex trauma.

The first part of our program starts out with a simple definition of trauma. It then moves to a definition of complex trauma and explores its impact across various developmental stages in children. Finally, CASAs will learn how to identify the “red flag” behaviors that are strong indicators of complex trauma.

Our guest for this two-part program is Jennifer Marett. Jennifer is employed by Northwestern University and is currently providing consultation and assistance in building trauma-informed care to the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services and other child welfare providers.

This Podcast will be of interest to all CASAs who have children who may have experienced extreme physical, emotional, and sexual abuse—especially over a long periods of time.

Additional Resources: The following are links to resources on complex trauma: www.nctsn.org and www.childtraumaacademy.org

The following are suggested books on child trauma: The Boy Who Was Raised as a Dog by Bruce PerryGhosts from the Nursery by Robert Karr-Morse and Meredith WileyBuilding Bonds of Attachment by Daniel Hughes

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CASA Podcast No. 31:

Complex Trauma in Children, Part II

(Recorded: February 1, 2013, Length: 15 minutes)

Many CASAs have children who have grown up in unusually stressful environments. Within these environments physical, emotional, and/or sexual abuse may have persisted over a long period of time--leading potentially to complex trauma.

In the second part of our program, CASAs will learn how complex trauma can impact a child's performance in school and how to apply a "trauma lens" when interacting with children who may have this experienced complex trauma. Strategies are explored that encourage children to develop resilience to help overcome their history of trauma. Finally, CASAs will learn strategies on how to bring potential "red flag" behaviors to the attention of the caseworker or a clinician who may be working with the child.

Our guest for this two-part program is Jennifer Marett. Jennifer is employed by Northwestern University and is currently providing consultation and assistance in building trauma-informed care to the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services and other child welfare providers.

This Podcast will be of interest to all CASAs who have children who may have experienced extreme physical, emotional, and sexual abuse—especially over a long periods of time.

Additional Resources: The following are links to resources on complex trauma: www.nctsn.org and www.childtraumaacademy.org

The following are suggested books on child trauma: The Boy Who Was Raised as a Dog by Bruce PerryGhosts from the Nursery by Robert Karr-Morse and Meredith WileyBuilding Bonds of Attachment by Daniel Hughes

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CASA Podcast No. 32:

The CIPP Meeting

(Recorded: June 19, 2013, Length: 26 minutes)

Change in placement is almost always disruptive to the child. With this reality in mind, it is both logical and humane to attempt to fix the current placement first, before any effort is made to change it.

The Clinical Intervention for Placement Preservation (CIPP) meeting provides a forum for all stakeholders—including the child—to explore ways in which the current placement can be strengthened and preserved or to determine if a change in placement is warranted.

The CIPP Meeting is a replacement for the former CAYIT meeting. This interview also replaces the podcast on the CAYIT Meeting (Podcast No. 9).

Our guest is Lee Annes, the CIPP Statewide Coordinator for the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services.

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CASA Podcast No. 33:

Domestic Violence, Part I

(Recorded: July 18, 2013, Length: 18 minutes)

The impact of domestic violence is both short and longterm. Not only are victims and family members in immediate danger of physical and psychological injury, they are also involved in a dynamic that, over time, validates a set of dangerous stereotypes centered on power and control--stereotypes that are passed on to a potential new generation of victims and perpetrators.

In this podcast we will look at the foundational elements of domestic violence and how they exist within what is called "The Cycle of Violence." At the start of this podcast listeners will be given a short true/false quiz about their knowledge of domestic violence. At the end of the program our guest will share and explain the correct answers.

Our guest is Robin Greer-Jogun. Robin has nearly 24 years of experience working in social services, and over 6 years working with victims of domestic violence. She is currently the Clinical Domestic Violence Specialist for the Northern Region of the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services.

This Podcast will be of interest to all CASAs who have children who may have come from domestically violent homes.

Additional Resources: Two Cycles of ViolenceIllinois Coalition Against Domestic ViolenceNational Coalition Against Domestic Violence

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CASA Podcast No. 34:

Domestic Violence and Children, Part II

(Recorded: July 18, 2013, Length: 15 minutes)

In the first podcast of this series, we examined the foundational elements of domestic violence and how they exist within a model called "The Cycle of Violence."

In this podcast, our focus is on how domestic violence impacts children...and how CASAs and caseworkers should work with these silent victims.

Our guest is Robin Greer-Jogun. Robin is the Clinical Domestic Violence Specialist for the Northern Region of the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services.

This Podcast will be of interest to all CASAs who have children who may have come from domestically violent homes.

Additional Resources: Two Cycles of ViolenceIllinois Coalition Against Domestic ViolenceNational Coalition Against Domestic Violence

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CASA Podcast No. 35:

Strong in the Broken Places

(Recorded: February 13, 2014, Length: 20 minutes)

Many of the children that we work with have been sexually abused. For the most part these children have no voice--no way of putting into words what they have gone through. Our guest, a survivor of sexual abuse as a young child, gives them a voice.

Along with being a survivor, Kimberly Steward has served children in many roles that have allowed her to draw on her past experience. She has been a trainer and training coordinator for DCFS, and currently works for an organization called "Darkness to Light" as a workshop facilitator for a child sexual abuse prevention program called "Stewards of Children." Kimberly is also a popular speaker on child sexual abuse, and the author of a book called "Doghouse Angel"--an account of her life as an abused child.

Additional Resources: Kimberly StewardDarkness to Light

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CASA Podcast No. 36:

Understanding and Responding to Child Sexual Abuse

(Recorded: April 17, 2014, Length: 18 minutes)

What is child sexual abuse? How pervasive is it? What are its signs and how should a CASA respond if they suspect this type of abuse? Our guest, Kimberly Steward, addresses these questions head on--giving CASAs important strategies as to how to proceed when sexual abuse is suspected.

Many of these strategies come from "Stewards of Children" a prevention and response program created by a non-profit organization called "Darkness to Light", where Kim is employed as a facilitator.

In addressing this important topic Kim not only draws upon this programs' concepts and strategies but also provides a unique point of view as a survivor of child sexual abuse.

This podcast will be of interest to all CASA/GALs.

Additional Resources: Kimberly StewardDarkness to Light

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CASA Podcast No. 37:

The Power of the Gang

(Recorded: May 7, 2014, Length: 25 minutes)

Gangs arise from the bedrock of poverty and damaged families. For adolescent males from this environment gangs offer instant respect, protection, and money.

Under their colorful exteriors of dress, gangster rap, gang signs and symbols is a world of organized crime in which the younger members--called shorties--play the role of pawns in a high-risk low-reward game that can lead to jail or death.

Our guest is Brian Olsen, a lieutenant in the Aurora Police Department. A law enforcement officer for over 25 years, he has spent 17 of those years assigned to street-level enforcement of gang and drug-related crimes.

Drawing upon his experience and specialized training in criminal gang activities, Brian will not only provide us a look into this dangerous world--but will offer CASAs some practical advice on how to deal with male adolescents already in a gang or prone to being recruited by one.

This podcast will be of special interest to CASA/GALs who are working with male juveniles who are affiliated with a gang or who may be induced to join one.

An important side-note: Brian is also a Kane County CASA/GAL.

Additional Resources: Gang Brochures: APD Gang Awareness, APD Informacion Sobre Las Pandillas, OJJDP Parents Guide to Gangs, OJJDP Guía sobre las pandillas para los padres. Websites: The National Gang Center

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