Letter from the Executive Director  
2017 is off to a great start with the development of the CASA Advisory Board and Speaker's Bureau. Yesterday was the first meeting of the CASA Advisory Board, which consists of CASA volunteers from the city and county, who have been tasked with helping to inform our practices so that we may better support you in your advocacy. 

The newly formed Speakers Bureau is up and running, with several CASA volunteers ready to go out into the community to share the great work that you are doing to change the lives of our kiddos. Additionally, o ur Case Advocacy Supervisors held their first quarterly meetings of the year, giving their volunteers an opportunity to get together and discuss what is important to them as they advocate for their children.   
 
We are so excited about the positive changes taking place at Voices because of your passion for our kids and the incredible advocacy you provide every day. Thank you!
 
Steve Moergen
Executive Director  
 
Continuing Education
Opportunities to Earn Your Annual CE Credits
 
  Educational Advocacy 101
  • Increase your understanding of educational challenges faced by children in foster care
  • Learn how to develop an educational advocacy plan
  • Understand the process to have a child evaluated for special education services
Wednesday, February 22nd
5:00 - 7:00 pm
Union Avenue Church
733 Union Blvd., 63108

Register here or contact Rhonda Lingard at 314.615.2908 or rllingard@voices-stl.org.

Info for logging your credits in OPTIMA:
Training Topic  - Educational Advocacy
Format:  Training
Trainer  - Voices for Children: hosted/presented
2 CEs

Presented by the St. Louis Regional Health Commission:  
Academy on Violence and Abuse (AVA) Regional Summit
 
This summit serves as an opportunity to create dialogue, raise awareness, and   promote change in the way trauma and toxic stress are addressed by the St. Louis  health care community. The keynote speakers will be Dr. Vince Felitti, lead investigator for the seminal Adverse Childhood Experiences study, and Dr. Robert Block, past president of the American Academy of Pediatrics and a national speaker on the topic of toxic stress and the impact on health across generations.
 
This two-day event is free and open to the public. 
Friday, March 10th,  6:00 - 9:00 pm and Saturday, March 11th,  8:00 am - 12:00 pm
Saint Louis University Busch Student Center
20 N Grand Blvd, St. Louis, MO 63103

Info for logging your credits in OPTIMA:
Training Topic  - Toxic Stress
Format:  Training
Trainer  - Community hosted - Voices endorsed - CASA Chronicle
7 CEs
 
Contact Cheryl Latham, Director of Volunteer Programs at cdlatham@voices-stl.org or 314-615-4543 if you have questions.
County Office Open House
Tuesday, February 14th from 11 am - 2 pm
105 S. Central Ave. 5th Floor, 63105
 
Voices invites you to visit our new permanent location in the St. Louis County Court Building.  So stop by and say hello!  Refreshments will be provided.
Job Opportunity

We are seeking a dedicated, highly organized person who shares our mission to join our organization as a part-time administrative assistant in our St. Louis City office. 
 
This position is responsible for providing administrative and clerical support to the Program Team in order to further the mission of Voices for Children.

Click  here to learn more!
Advocacy Resources
Books, Websites and Relevant Info for Your CASA Work

Cardinal Glennon Fostering Healthy Children
 
Children placed in the foster care system are among the most vulnerable members of our society.  These children generally come from families with the few psycho-social and financial resources and experience higher rates of serious emotional and behavioral problems, chronic physical disabilities, developmental delays and poor school performance. 

Fostering Healthy Children seeks to improve the health and well-being outcomes of children (birth -12 years of age) in foster care.

Services provided:
  • entry to care health exam
  • comprehensive health assessment
  • standardized developmental screening
  • in clinic mental health evaluation
  • counseling recommendations, referral and treatment
  • Sub-specialty referrals
  • Ongoing primary care throughout placement, extending into reunification

Contact:

Donna Erickson, LCSW

Program Clinical Coordinator

314-678-5475

donna_erickson@ssmhc.com

 
STL Youth Jobs Summer 2017
Application Available

STL Youth Jobs provides meaningful paid employment, job readiness training and financial literacy training.  STL Youth Jobs is a cross-sector collaboration made up of a diverse group of civic, corporate and community stakeholders.  STL Youth Jobs strives to bridge the divide between the challenges facing our region's youth and the growing demands of our local workforce.
 
Details:
  • Accepting youth 16-24
  • St. Louis City and County residents
  • Must show birth certificate or Social Security Card and a picture ID and a piece of mail to verify address
  • Family income documentation
  • Accepted applicants are required to have a bank account or will be provided with assistance to open an account during the intake process.

Apply online at www.stlyouthjobs.org/apply.

For questions contact Jerica Robinson at jrobinson@mersgoodwill.org or 314-982-8883.

 


Program Dashboard
Statistics as of December 31, 2016

307

Voices CASA volunteers
347

kids served by Voices CASA volunteers and staff
425

kids served by Voices staff
772

total kids served by Voices


 
Maximizing Optima

New Optima Training Opportunity: Remote Training
 
Want to get up to speed on Optima but can't make it into office?  Training is now available remotely.  You need:  your computer, internet access, and a Google account.  Available for a refresher of system basics or for specific questions. 
 
Contact optima@voices-stl.org to schedule today.
 
NOTE: Training is only available for CASAs currently assigned to a case that is set up in Optima.  If you're not sure if this applies to you, please inquire!
 
Scholarship Opportunity
2017 Akerman Academic Excellence Scholarship

Akerman LLP and National CASA are excited to announce that the application for the second annual Akerman Academic Excellence Scholarship Award is now open. As part of Akerman's $1 million pledge to National CASA, an endowment fund was created to support the Akerman Academic Excellence Scholarship. This program is designed to help young adults who have spent time in foster care pursue a post-secondary education through an accredited institution of higher learning such as a university, career college, or technical school.

The following application materials are required for consideration:
  • Completed nomination form
  • A one-page (maximum) letter of recommendation from the nominator describing why the nominee should be considered for the scholarship
  • One additional letter of recommendation from a personal, educational, or professional contact
  • Completed education information form
  • Transcripts from the nominee's educational institution(s)
  • The nominee's responses to the narrative section
The deadline for submission is Friday, March 3, 2017, by 5 p.m. (PT). The scholarship recipient will be announced May 5, 2017.
 
If you know a young person who has spent time in foster care and meets the eligibility requirements for the scholarship, nominate him or her for the award. Please email scholarship@casaforchildren.org with questions.


Upcoming Events

The Kappa Alpha Thetas of Saint Louis University would like to hear what being a CASA is all about!  We are looking for CASA volunteers who are also Thetas to share their experience.  If you are interested, contact Kelly at kledwards@voices-stl.org or 314-615-4594.

This speaking engagement will take place Thursday, February 16th
at 5:00 pm at the Bush Center on SLU's Campus.
 
"Cakes for CASA", hosted by SLU fraternity, Kappa Alpha Theta, is an annual all-you-can-eat pancake breakfast benefiting Voices for Children. Mark your calendars and join us for this fun event!  We are also looking for volunteers to be available in 1 hour shifts to answer questions from the attendees.  If you are interested contact Kelly at kledwards@voices-stl.org or 314-615-4594.

Sunday, February 19
10 am - 1 pm
DeMattias Hall, Multipurpose Room, SLU campus
$5 per person- tickets can be purchased at the door
Metered parking is availble along Vandeventer and is free on Sundays

Save the Date for Voices for Children's Annual Gala:

Thursday, April 27
6-10 pm
The Ritz-Carlton, St. Louis

Featuring keynote speaker Ashley Rhodes-Courter; survivor, mom, child welfare activist, and author of Three Little Words.

Presentation of the 2017 Community Superhero Award to Sue Engelhardt, along with a cocktail reception, raffle items, dinner, program, and more!

2017 Gala Header Image - 4.27.17