Spring 2019
CASA on the Catwalk - Georgia CASA's Luncheon & Fashion Show was held on March 27th, attended by over 300 supporters, and raised awareness and over $75,000 in support of the CASA mission! The event honored Roya Irvani, a life board member of Georgia CASA. Roya is a generous, long-standing, and faithful supporter as well as a determined advocate for children, having begun her volunteer work with Georgia CASA shortly after its founding, 30 years ago. Read more about Roya here.

Jennifer King, new Executive Director of Georgia CASA, was the keynote speaker. She shared/interwove the organization's history with the people whose early vision and support created a state network of over 3,000 advocates who make individual connections and life-changing impact on children and families. This inspirational video was shown, highlighting the importance of adult supporters and family connections.

Volunteer models sported fashions from Tootsies, with Deidra Dukes of FOX5 Atlanta as emcee. A silent auction, with many wonderful donated items and packages, was also part of the event. The event is made possible because of the time, generosity, and talents of an all-volunteer event committee, led by the fabulous Sandy Day and Jennifer Dunaway. View photos from the event here.

Pictured above: Jennifer Dunaway (Event Co-Chair), Jennifer King (Executive Director, Roya Irvani (honoree), Kip Lynch (Board Chair), Deidra Dukes (emcee) & Sandy Day (Event Co-Chair)

CASA Day at the Capitol took place on February 14th with 300 CASA staff, board members, and volunteers across the state in attendance. Also joining the group were several child welfare community partners. The group gathered in Atlanta to thank legislators for their continued support of the CASA organization in Georgia and to champion additional support for CASA advocacy efforts and legislation in support of strong families. The day included remarks by Tom Rawlings, Director of the Georgia Division of Family and Children Services (DFCS), a surprise visit and remarks from Governor Kemp, and a thank you luncheon with legislators. View photos from the event here.
In September, Georgia CASA kicked off a celebration of 30 years of advocacy in Georgia with a 'Cheers to 30 Years' party, hosted by board member Marie Hannon. At the event, outgoing Executive Director Duaine Hathaway was recognized and thanked for his 18 years of service, and incoming Executive Director Jennifer King gave remarks about the next 30 years for Georgia CASA. Many CASA supporters attended, including those from the founding of Georgia CASA in 1988. View more photos from the party here.

Pictured above: Duaine Hathaway, Jennifer King, Kip Lynch (Board Chair) & Marie Hannon

In March, the Georgia House of Representatives recognized Georgia CASA for 30 years of advocacy and Duaine Hathaway for 18 years of service as Executive Director. Rep. Mandi Ballinger (Canton) made the presentation during the House session on March 22 and Duaine Hathaway gave brief remarks. Afterwards, a reception was held at the Capitol for CASA staff, board members, and supporters.

Pictured below: Representatives with board members and staff from Georgia CASA
Thank you to our donors who supported the work of Georgia CASA for Winter 2019. Because of you, more children were provided with a CASA volunteer to advocate for their best interests. We truly appreciate your investment in children!

Click here to view our donor listing for January 1 - March 31, 2019, including our Luncheon & Fashion Show sponsors and supporters.

If you are not yet part of our donor group, you can give online here!
Thank you to the Junior League of Atlanta for honoring our long-time board member, Bernadette Hartfield, with this year’s Inspired Leadership Award for 15+ years of service and leadership with Georgia CASA. She received the award, along with a monetary donation to Georgia CASA, at the Junior League's Fifth Annual Women's Leadership Forum on April 26.

A retired law professor with Georgia State University, Bernadette first served on the advisory board of Georgia CASA before becoming a board member. She served as board chair from 2013-2014 and has led and/or served on several board committees. Her expertise and interest in child advocacy, coupled with her board experience and leadership, have been instrumental in strengthening Georgia CASA. She has been a vocal and recognizable ambassador for CASA and continues to engage supporters with the same level of passion and urgency from her earliest days. With her unwavering commitment to children and families in Georgia, her support of CASA is a major part of her life’s commitment and she works to ensure opportunities are available to individuals otherwise underrepresented. 

Pictured: Bernadette Hartfield, Board Member (second from right), and Jennifer King, Executive Director (on right), with representatives from the Junior League of Atlanta  
At its recent board meeting, Georgia CASA Executive Director Jen King took the opportunity to recognize and spotlight Joy Bates, Recruitment & Training Coordinator with Children’s Voice: CASA in Douglasville, and Lori Pupp, Advocacy Director with CASA of Forsyth County in Cumming, for sharing their gifts and lending their skill and expertise on two special projects to strengthen advocacy at both the local and state levels. Their efforts this past year went above and beyond their respective positions within their local CASA affiliates.
After retirement and returning to her home community, Joy Bates started as a CASA volunteer in 2011 with Children’s Voice: CASA, and her training acumen and advocacy skills resulted in her quickly joining the staff as the recruiter/trainer. For more than the past year, she has represented CASA on the Georgia Victims Assistance Academy (GVAA), which is a coordinated statewide effort to increase the skills and longevity of direct-service victim advocates. Due to Joy’s work with GVAA, child abuse victim advocacy is now a permanent part of the offered training. As part of GVAA, Joy has had the opportunity to share CASA’s mission, inform others about the trauma child victims experience, and impart best practices for serving children at each training. Joy demonstrates that engaging and stimulating learning are best exhibited through a genuine investment in people, relationships, and inclusion, and as result, she is a sought-after trainer across many topics.

Lori Pupp, a 20-year veteran in the child welfare arena, has worked on a statewide project to increase the consistency and quality of child advocacy through CASA court reports. Across the state, an estimated 20,000+ CASA reports are submitted to juvenile court judges each year. Court reports continue to be the most tangible product of CASA volunteer advocacy and are the driving force in obtaining better outcomes for children in foster care. Working alongside Georgia CASA team member Angela Tyner, Lori re-envisioned a new court report template, giving CASA volunteers the opportunity to strengthen their advocacy for children in court. The template highlights the unique perspective CASA brings to a case and emphasizes the incorporation of factors that juvenile court judges must consider when making findings in the best interests of the child. The online template will remain part of the Court Process Reporting System (CPRS), which is the performance management database system used by CASA affiliates to track key data about volunteers and children served. The much-anticipated release of the court report template will be accessible and available to all 2,700 and counting CASA volunteers in Georgia later this fall.  This project wouldn’t have been possible without the leadership of Lori, who provides endless encouragement, tireless determination for stronger advocacy, and supports everyone she encounters.  

These women embody the spirit and values of the CASA network in a way that is a natural extension of the state office team. The work of these two key advocates has elevated and expanded Georgia CASA’s ability to move our mission forward. Their high standards and expectations are something to strive for, and their willingness to support, cheer, and educate others makes the CASA network stronger. 

Pictured above: Lori Pupp, Jen King & Joy Bates
Are you involved in the faith community? Would you like to encourage those in the faith community to get involved with helping children in foster care? Consider reading the book The Church & Foster Care by Dr. John DeGarmo. The book highlights simple ways churches can engage in life-giving ministry to support foster children and families willing to foster. The book also includes information about the circumstances faced by children in foster care as well as the needs of foster parents. As a bonus, a chapter is included about CASA volunteers and the work they do for children in foster care, including commentary from Olga Phillips, CASA volunteer with Cherokee CASA (Canton, GA)!

Southeast Georgia CASA (informally known as Action Pact CASA) is the 47th CASA affiliate in Georgia, serving Bacon, Brantley, Charlton, Coffee, Pierce, and Ware counties in Southeast Georgia. The CASA affiliate is operated under Action Pact, Inc. Carlos Nelson is the affiliate CASA director, continuing his staff service to the area that started with Atlantic Area CASA, which provided support and development to the Waycross Judicial Circuit for the past six years.
May 31-June 4: National CASA Conference (Atlanta)
June 25-27: Training of the Facilitator (Macon)
August 3: Georgia CASA Conference (Atlanta)
November 13-15: The Summit: Georgia's Child Welfare Conference (Alpharetta)

Interested in joining us to support CASA in Georgia?
Georgia CASA | 404-874-2888 | 800-251-4012 |

Member of The National CASA Association