Every child has rights - Help us defend them around Michigan 
Learn how to get involved and change the lives of vulnerable children in your area
July 2017
July 1st marks the official  start of  'National Make a Difference for Children Month'.
  See below what you can do!


Being in the foster care system often means a CASA child is starting the school year in a new school & new community-scary - right?! Our intention is to give these children something they can call their own to make their transition easier. Help them feel more secure and prepared with a new backpack and essential school supplies.

Please join us in helping CASA kids start school on the same footing as their peers to ensure they are prepared for a successful 2017/18 school year. Donate a new backpack, become a drop-off site, or donate money for a new backpack, which will be filled and distributed to school age children in the CASA program.

Collection Dates: July 1- August 11

New backpacks & brighter futures for Michigan Children !

Click here for more information  
New Michigan CASA Board Member
Judge Karen McDonald

Judge Karen McDonald has a vast background in child advocacy, beginning with her first job out of law school prosecuting criminal sexual conduct cases against children. Today, she presides as a family judge in Oakland County District Court, where she has experience with CASA through numerous neglect proceedings.

She has collaborated with CASA advocates to provide assistance to children on the neglect and delinquency docket. Throughout her time as a judge, she has come to greatly value the resources and assistance CASA gives to the children in Oakland and Metro Detroit areas. Judge McDonald has an impressive skill set, and has served as a Board Member with three other organizations. She has experience in recruiting, hiring, and evaluating personal, public relations, participation in inter-agency committees, special events planning, and journalism.  Welcome Judge McDonald! 

Michigan CASA Seeking Intern 
Michigan CASA is seeking a highly motivated and skilled Program Administrator intern. If interested, please email rachel@michigancasa.org with an updated resume. For more information on specific duties, click here for complete Indeed application. 

New Volunteer Training Curriculum Released 
National CASA released a new volunteer training curriculum on Friday, June 30th across the nation. The 2007 curriculum was updated with changes and and addresses important issues such as self-care, disproportionality, LGBTQ populations, and resiliency. Michigan CASA is working hard to roll out this curriculum to the local networks over the next few months. The new curriculum will better equip our volunteer advocates to serve our CASA children. Stay tuned for updates!

Congratulations on Retirement, 
Jim Ward!

For the past eight years, Jim Ward has been building the CASA program and CASA awareness throughout Cass County. Jim has been in invaluable resource to the CASA network, and has secured much needed funding and support for the program.

The biggest achievement Jim has made may be the increase of CASA volunteer advocates and children served. When he first started in 2008 there were only 9 active CASA volunteers. Today, there are 22 with 6 more in training. Jim personally hired and trained 36 advocates in those 8 years. In 2008 CASA served 20 foster children. In 2016, approximately 60 foster kids were lucky enough to have a CASA.  "Jim, and his wife Laurel, have been our best supporters and our best ambassadors throughout the county and the state of Michigan. We will miss his leadership," stated, Denise Wierman, President, Cass County CASA Board of Directors.

We will miss you, Jim! THANK YOU for your service and commitment to abused and neglected children. 
Welcome, Ella Ryder! 

Please join Michigan CASA in welcoming Ella Ryder as the new Program Director in Cass County.   Ella is taking over for Jim Ward, as he retired this month. Ella Ryder comes to Cass County CASA with a wide variety of experiences of working with children and families.  Most recently, her work as the Executive Director of Child Care Resources of Southwest Michigan provided her the opportunity to work with child care programs in nine counties in Southwest Michigan.  

Ella was the first volunteer CASA trained in the state of Michigan in 1983. She brings a strong commitment to the work and knowledge and expertise that will enhance the work of CASA in Cass County. 

We are excited to have you with us, Ella!
MCPAT Meeting

Thanks to all who attended our MCPAT meeting on May 9. We had an excellent presentation from Leslie O'Reilly, VOCA Program Specialist. If you were unable to attend, please see the recap circulating in the Google group. Email Rachel@michigancasa.org with questions. 

Next MCPAT Meeting will be September 18, 2017 at 10:00 am in Lansing.  Looking forward to all who can attend. 
Michigan CASA is here to help!

Last month, Michigan CASA was able to assist in the reunification of a 13 year old child and her mother. After working tirelessly to overcome her drug and alcohol habits, the mother, located in Manistee, had found steady work and an apartment to live. Purchasing furniture was the only barrier which stood in the way of reunification. The child's CASA Volunteer called Michigan CASA, from the state of Washington, and asked for help. With the right connections Michigan CASA was able to connect this mom with a Manistee County based organization, Love, Inc. who was able to out fit her home with the appropriate furniture.  The reunification was not delayed and was able to occur. The Michigan CASA network is alive, well and strong! 

CASA Opportunities & Events
Upcoming CASA Events: 

Montcalm Gazebo Fundraiser: 
Purchase your raffle tickets for a chance to win a beautiful new gazebo or some patio furniture! Tickets are available to be purchased now. Drawings will be on August 25th. More information here

July 19: Kent County Volunteer Training Session Begins:
Summer Session of 30-Hour CASA Volunteer Training Class begins. This class will be a combination of in-person and online components. Those invited to join the class must complete the volunteer application, initial interview and background checks to participate. More information here 

July 17 - August 16: Hillsdale County Volunteer Training Session Two
Sessions are Monday and Wednesday night from 5:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. More information here

November 10 & 11: CASA State Conference 
The 2017 CASA State Conference will take place at Grand Traverse Resort and Spa. Go to Michigancasa.org and register today!

Check out our Event Calendar for more!
Michigan CASA | (616) 259 7200 | Rachel@michigancasa.org | www.michigancasa.org