Sullivan smiling
New Year, New Judges

As we start off the New Year, it is with great pleasure that I’m able to announce that we now have seven (7) Judges presiding over Juvenile Dependency proceedings. Five (5) judges (Teuton, Giuliani, Pickard, Charter and Sullivan) exclusively preside over child welfare cases, while two (2) judges (Gibson and Voy) hear calendars split between Juvenile Dependency and Juvenile Justice cases. As you may be aware, one of the recommendations of the Blue Ribbon for Kids Commission (BRK) was to have Juvenile Dependency proceedings heard exclusively by District Court Judges, with the need for six (6) full-time Dependency Judges. I’m happy to say that we have successfully implemented the BRK recommendation. At this time, it is my honor and privilege to welcome Judges William Voy and Stephanie Charter to the Juvenile Dependency Bench, as well as congratulate Judge Pickard (f.k.a. Hearing Master Pickard) on her recent election. Read more.
The staff of the Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) Program of the Eighth Judicial District Court would like to extend special thanks to every CASA volunteer and others who have served as a mentor in a child’s life. Who was that one trusted and committed adult who empowered you to reach your goals? It may have been a teacher, a family member, neighbor, coach and/or a CASA volunteer.

Everyone can make a difference in the lives of young people by helping to recruit new mentors, partnering with organizations that promote mentorship opportunities, and most importantly thanking the people you know who have positively impacted a young person’s life. Join us in celebrating mentoring and help us change a child’s story!     

A big thank you to all our volunteers and donors that made 2020 a success. Although we saw the world shut down, our hearts did not. The continued support of our amazing community to our mission to support the CASA Program and all the children in foster care in Southern Nevada was tremendous. While we could not host our regular events, we were still able to provide and distribute items to our children in care. 

For the graduating class of 2020, we funded, prepared, and distributed nearly 80 graduation bags to foster youth who miraculously made it to high school graduation despite all the obstacles in their path. Each bag contained $300 in gift cards plus a few other fun items. For our Back To School event, we were able to pass out over 800+ backpacks, filled with school supplies, toiletries and brand new sneakers. And, finally, Angel Tree! With the amazing committee, sponsors, and volunteers, despite the hurdles and government restrictions due to COVID-19, it was our most successful distribution to date, providing gifts to approximately 2,930 children in foster care! 

Supporting our foster youth by providing tutoring was of utmost importance this year. We funded $127,578 in tutoring for 35 kids in care, per month, for almost 4,000 hours and funded various other needs including, camps, medical needs, and driving lessons for teens among the many requests. 
Again, a big thank you and air hug to this tremendous community.
Are you interested in becoming a Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) volunteer assigned to advocate for the best interest of a child in foster care? We need your help!

Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) volunteers provide advocacy for children who have been abused and neglected so that the children can thrive in safe and permanent homes.