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Dear Friend,

We have been blessed to be able to connect and have more conversations with new and long-term partners and supporters this year. We hope to be able to connect and reconnect with even more people as we get out into the community as the weather warms this spring.

As we increase our engagement in the community, you will see increased efforts to recruit not only more CASA Volunteers, but other skilled volunteers as well. We are taking our 31 years of experience in supporting CASA Volunteers and applying that to other ways for volunteers to support our mission. Please watch for more information about new volunteer opportunities (recruiting, grant writing, and office assistance) and be ready to apply or share with others!

While our amazing CASA Volunteers continue to advocate for the best interest of their assigned children, the number of children on our waiting list unfortunately continues to grow. We are also seeing children and parents struggling with increased levels of anxiety and depression. Moreover, we are confronted with the entire child welfare system's struggles with limited resources and capacity; high staff turnover and difficulty recruiting staff stand out as the biggest challenges.

This has highlighted for everyone at CASA how vital our child advocacy work is, and that we must all continue to work together to help each other and our community.

Thank you for all you do to support CASA and the vulnerable children and families we serve.


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Child Advocacy Updates

New CASA Volunteer Sees Her Child Through a Placement Transition; Reports Hopeful Prospects for the Future

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A young, married, working mom became a certified CASA Volunteer last summer. She began working with a school-aged child who, along with their siblings, has been in the child welfare system for several years. CASA estimates that this child has lived in at least 12 different placements while they've been under court protection; they have had 6 different social workers assigned to them over the years, and have few memories of the time before they came into care.

Our CASA Volunteer has gotten to know this child, overseeing a major transition in their life this past fall when the child and, later, one of their siblings, moved in with a new foster family in a different town with a different school. Our CASA Volunteer made sure that the child’s therapy services and special accommodations at their new school were in place and has worked to build her relationship with the child despite the various COVID-related restrictions that made it difficult for the two of them to spend time together in person over the winter.

Recently, our CASA Volunteer received a joyful message from the child that the entire foster family would be moving into a new house and that they would have their own bedroom. A week later, our CASA Volunteer was able to see the child in person after several weeks of being limited to messaging, phone and video calls. She shared the following message with her CASA supervisor afterward:

"I went and saw [the child] this evening. Oh my gosh it’s like a whole new light in [their] eyes. [They call] the family mom and dad, which I was shocked to hear as [they] used to be so closed off and guarded. [They] messaged me as soon as I left to tell me bye and thank you … [They were] telling me all about how [they are] going to decorate [their] new room. I can tell [they] truly feel at home. I never thought [they] would trust me or form a connection and so much has changed!!! I’m honestly shocked."

The foster parents have expressed official intentions to adopt this child and their sibling, a complicated process that involves different stages and paperwork. They are now in the middle of that process and, as the biological parents’ custody rights have been rescinded, we are all hopeful that this adoption will reach a successful conclusion for all involved.

This child is finally expressing some hope for their future after many years of uncertainty. Until they achieve permanency, our CASA volunteer will continue to stay by their side, listening to them, reminding them that they have someone looking out for them, keeping all other adults and professionals involved in their life on the same page, and advocating for their best interest.

Former CASA youth recently graduated from Infantry Basic and AIT training

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CASA is proud to report that Gavin (left), the young man/former CASA youth featured in our mission video, has recently graduated from Infantry Basic and AIT training and has arrived at his new duty location.

When Gavin entered the child welfare system as a teenager, he was struggling with homelessness and substance abuse. Chris Chartand (right), the newest member of CASA's Board of Directors, was Gavin's CASA volunteer and supported his hard work getting clean, graduating high school, and making plans for a stable, productive & happy life after aging out of the child welfare system.

Chris has remained close to Gavin. He continues to support and encourage him as he works toward the goals he set for himself and is proud to be present to celebrate his accomplishments. Chris also shared that Gavin proposed to his girlfriend while he was home on leave over the holidays and is planning a summer wedding here in Kansas.

Do you know anyone who might be willing to take the time and be that safe, caring adult who can stand by one of these kids in the child welfare system, speak up on their behalf & give them some hope?

CASA is actively recruiting 25 new volunteers to join us immediately and help us reach more kids on our waiting list. Please send people our way.

E-mail: KWinfrey-Gorzek@dccasaks.org, call 785.832.5172 or Click here for more details


Upcoming CASA Events

Winds Across the Prairie: KU Wind Ensemble benefit concert for Douglas County CASA - Sept 9th

KU Wind Ensemble benefit concert for CASA will be held on Friday, September 9th

**click on the video link above with sound on**

CASA is honored to partner with the University of Kansas Wind Ensemble and Presenting Sponsor Edmonds Duncan Registered Investment Advisors for our 2nd annual Winds Across the Prairie benefit concert on Friday, September 9th, 2022.

This year's evening of gorgeous music, gourmet food & natural beauty will be held on a private property in rural Douglas County and will include exclusive farm to table picnic baskets created by Evan Williams Catering. The 60-member Wind Ensemble, conducted by director of bands Paul W. Popiel, will perform a selection of American orchestral favorites.

Guests can support CASA’s child advocacy work while they relax, listen & enjoy the golden hour overlooking Clinton Lake on a beautiful fall evening.

Tickets will be released for sale to the general public on June 10, 2022. Contact CASA or follow us on social media - @dccasaks - for more information.

2022 Steering Committee: David and Julie Dunlap, Jason and Machaela Edmonds, Steve and Chris Edmonds, Mark and Jill LaPoint, Scott and Nancy Thellman & Chuck and Karen Warner

Many thanks to our generous event sponsors:

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Sponsorship opportunities available for Bo's Hog Wild on August 27th

The Bo's Hog Wild Children's Fund is committed to improving the lives of children in Douglas and Franklin Counties. They host a family friendly festival out on the farm each year that includes games and activities for kids followed by dinner, live music and dancing in the evening for the whole family.

CASA is fortunate to be one of the four local charity recipients of the funds raised through Bo's Hog Wild. For the past 32 years, nearly 700 guests have gathered together at summer's end to have fun and support kids. Please contact CASA about sponsoring, mark your calendars & plan to join us!

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The CASA Collective

It costs $2,500 to recruit, screen, train & supervise a volunteer to serve one child or sibling group in the foster care system for a year.

The CASA Collective, our society of recurring donors, was established in January 2021 by 6 caring friends who answered the call to make speaking up for CASA kids a top priority. By the end of the year, having grown to 25 members, the society came together to provide CASA volunteers to 4 children in the foster care system. With 92 children on our waiting list, your support can help us reach more.

Join now
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Please consider joining this inspiring group and providing ongoing support for kids who have experienced abuse & neglect and wait an average of 3 years for a safe & permanent home. Together we can give these kids some stability and make sure their voices are heard & their needs are met while they wait.

A BIG thank you to our anonymous CASA Collective members as well as:

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CASA is honored to be the Truity Credit Union Community Cares charity partner for 2022. 20 Truity employees have joined the CASA Collective for 2022 by making monthly contributions to CASA via this program. Huge thanks to the anonymous caring donors from Truity as well as the following supporters:

Emily Blevins, Ellivia Cameron, Colleen Cooper, Jordan Griffin, Gabe Gutierrez, Ariel Kerns, Chance Jolley, Tianne McCoy, Amy Newell, Weston Pringle, Pavel Selin, Kaylee Sell, Geoff Strole, Chad Wagner & Veronika Waugh

Community Partnerships

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The Lawrence Public Library Kids' Action Club has made local foster kids a priority this year, assembling a variety of art kits for CASA Volunteers to share with their CASA kids. KAC President Reese Spencer (2nd from left) and LPL Children's Librarian Jenny Cook (3rd from left) recently visited CASA to drop off a new set of kits.

CASA is also honored to partner with athletes from the KU volleyball team to increase awareness of child abuse & neglect in our community and support kids in the child welfare system. The team will host a private evening for Douglas County foster children this spring.

CASA is so grateful to partner with these Agency Sponsors.

Please support the following businesses and thank them for supporting CASA.

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Advocate Sponsors


Mentor Sponsors

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Friend of CASA Sponsors

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Business Donors

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Thank YOU for supporting kids in the child welfare system.


Help us spread the word

Follow CASA on social media (using the links below) and please share & comment. Or simply have a conversation with your family, friends, or neighbors about what CASA is doing for kids who have experienced abuse and neglect. We'd love to help more people get involved.

Thank you for helping us increase awareness and connect with prospective volunteers!

Lean more about volunteering

DID YOU KNOW that you can link your Dillon's Plus and Amazon Smile accounts to CASA?

You can unlock automatic donations every time you make a purchase. 


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