Fall 2022
CASA Volunteer Instrumental in Young Guatemalan Child Being Reunited with Her Mother
Moving to the U.S. with her father, Maria was a three-year old from Guatemala who was taken into foster care due to allegations of neglect. CASA volunteer Mary was assigned to advocate for Maria’s best interests and worked alongside the Department of Family and Children Services (DFCS), attempting to reunite Maria with her mother, who resided in a remote village in Guatemala. Even though Mary was uncertain at times whether Maria should leave the U.S. for an uncertain future in her home country, Mary ultimately recommended the return home with Maria's mother. Once reunification was determined by the court and DFCS, Mary was instrumental in enlisting the aid of appropriate government officials to reunite Maria with her mother in Guatemala.
Stock Photo Credit: Google Images
Shauna McCullough-Hightower joined Georgia CASA in the position of Network Services Coordinator in July. In her role, Shauna coordinates logistical support for statewide meetings, trainings, and events, prepares and disseminates regular communications, maintains resources and tools, provides technology support for meetings and trainings, and supports special events and projects.

Shauna previously worked for a public accounting firm in Atlanta supporting multiple partners and service lines. She is attending Southern New Hampshire University and will receive her Bachelor of Business Administration with a concentration in Nonprofit Management this December.

Shauna and her husband live in the Atlanta area. They have two adult children and three adorable cats. She loves to read, paint, and has enjoyed watching decades of Doctor Who. For Doctor Who fans, Five is her Doctor. We are excited to have Shauna with us! 
The annual Georgia CASA Conference was held on August 13th at the Renaissance Atlanta Waverly. Five-hundred attendees enjoyed being fully back in-person this year, networking with CASA volunteers, board members, staff members, special guests, and experts in child welfare from across the state.

The Opening Session included keynote presenter and Mistress of Ceremonies Whitney Gilliard, Founder and CEO of Gilliard & Company in Savannah. Whitney grew up in foster care and has a passion for being a protagonist for women in business with a service mission to stop foster youth homelessness and fight for redefining outcomes for people impacted by their experience in foster care. During the Opening Session, the affiliate Awards of Excellence, Board Member Leadership Award, and CASA Champion Award were presented.

Nearly 20 workshops were offered, spread throughout three workshop blocks, and led by professionals in the fields of child abuse and neglect, child welfare, and volunteer and nonprofit management. The relevancy and timeliness of the content shared is always rated highest among all of the various trainings and conferences available for CASA advocates.

Debi Grebenik, Managing Director of Healing and Belonging with Alia, was the keynote speaker at the Volunteer Appreciation Luncheon. Her lively and fun presentation on "The Art of Appreciation" inspired and motivated all in attendance, ending with a dance party. At the luncheon, CASA volunteers were recognized, including the nominees and the recipient of the CASA Volunteer of the Year in Georgia award.

Pictured above: Debi Grebenik & Whitney Gilliard

Congratulations to the following 2022 award winners:

Atlantic Area CASA (Hinesville, GA)
Established Program Award of Excellence

Coastal Plain CASA (Tifton, GA)
Innovative Program Award of Excellence

Judge Amanda Heath (Augusta, GA)
CASA Champion Award

Jackie McLear
CASA of Houston County
Board Member Leadership Award

Becky Nunnally
CASA of the Appalachian Judicial Circuit
CASA Volunteer of the Year in Georgia Award
Thank you to our donors who supported the work of Georgia CASA for Fall 2022. Because of your investment, children in foster care in Georgia are assigned a CASA volunteer to provide best-interest advocacy. We truly appreciate your investment in children!

If you are not yet part of our donor group, you can give online here! Please consider becoming a Georgia CASA donor or give your next gift as a recurring donor. You can make a difference with a gift of any amount - and a recurring gift is an easy and convenient way to give! Your support is greatly appreciated! VIRTUAL RESOURCE CENTER FOR FAMILIES
Find Help Georgia (FHGA) is a free and easy-to-use virtual resource hub and mobile app that directly connects community members to free and reduced-cost programs and services. FHGA also provides listed, participating organizations the ability to respond to these community connections. Recognizing how vital social services are to the health of communities, affiliates are encouraged to join this online network. FHGA is 100% free to use. Help seekers can search by ZIP code or speak directly with a resource specialist by phone or online chat to locate resources near them. Visit for additional information and details.
October 12 - 14: Georgia Conference on Children & Families (Augusta)
October 25 - 26: Embark Georgia Leadership Conference (Athens)
November 16 - 18: Training of the Facilitator (Macon)
November 30 - December 2: The Summit, Georgia's Child Welfare Conference (Alpharetta)
February 2: Save the Date: CASA Day at the Capitol (Atlanta)
April 26: Save the Date: Georgia CASA Luncheon & Fashion Show (Atlanta)
June 10 - 13: Save the Date: National CASA/GAL Association for Children Conference - hybrid format (St. Louis, MO)
August 12: Save the Date: Georgia CASA Conference

Video About Becoming a CASA Volunteer in Georgia

Interested in joining us to support CASA in Georgia?

Check out these easy ways to support Georgia CASA. Our Kroger Community Rewards number is IY574 or search by our full name - Georgia Court Appointed Special Advocates.
Georgia CASA | 404-874-2888 | 800-251-4012 |

In partnership with local affiliates, our goal is that every child who must enter state custody will benefit from the best interest advocacy of a trusted, consistent CASA volunteer. We remain dedicated to supporting the CASA network in the provision of CASA volunteers for every child who comes to the attention of the juvenile court due to abuse or neglect.