April 2019

April is Child Abuse and Neglect Prevention Month. So great to see so many people in blue to raise awareness of child abuse and neglect and CASA's role in helping children on #CASAWearsBlueDayWI!

In honor of Crime Victims' Rights week, our community is coming together to raise awareness and build connections to improve services for crime victims. Thank you to Mayor Tom Barrett and our friends at the The Parenting Network for standing against child abuse and neglect. Together we can help Milwaukee children heal and thrive.  #pinwheelsforpreventionwi #learnlistenlove
We're grateful for the CASA volunteers and community members who are helping victims of child abuse and neglect every day, and even more so during National Volunteer Appreciation Week! Thank you for all that you do to help kids!

Hope to see you at our 10th Annual Fostering Hope event. Check out the great new logo designed by our own Kenlei Cowell. The design celebrates working together to create a state of well-being for Wisconsin kids.

Last but not least, make sure to scroll to the bottom for information on the Milwaukee Public Library Teen Job Fair.

Susan Conwell, JD
Executive Director
Join us to celebrate the bravery of children at the 10th Annual Fostering Hope !
Featuring 103.7 KISS-FM radio DJ JMatt, live music by Buckwild, raffles & prizes, a silent auction & games.

WHEN: Friday, May 10 from 6:00pm-10:00pm
WHERE: Rustic Manor, 3115 State Road 83, Hartland, WI 53029
HOW: Click here to purchase your ticket now! Purchase tickets, view auction items and bid before the event at the link above.
COST: Early Bird tickets are $35 by May 1.
Regular tickets are $40 after May 1 and at the door.

Your ticket includes dinner, dessert and a beverage. Dinner includes a variety of street-style tacos with toppings, salsas and delicious Mexican-inspired sides. Vegetarian and gluten-free options available.

We are so grateful for our committee of volunteers who organize Fostering Hope each year. This week we want to recognize and feature event committee members Caroline Spongberg and Sara Frenn ! Stay tuned for more event committee profiles...
Caroline has attended every Fostering Hope, going back to when it was held at The Nomad on Brady Street. She hopes that children in foster and kinship care can be provided the resources and opportunities to support and assist them in overcoming the challenges they face in childhood so that they may lead happy and productive adult lives. This year, Caroline is excited to be back at newly-expanded Rustic Manor and has her fingers crossed for beautiful weather!

Check out the picture of Caroline and her adorable dog, Harper! They joined Kids Matter at the Humane Society's Tails on the Trail run in 2018.
Sara brings great elements of surprise to the Fostering Hope event. Sara coordinated with Mayor Barrett to create Fostering Hope Day. Sara first got involved with Kids Matter years ago as a CASA volunteer, and about a year and a half ago ended up encountering her now-grown CASA youth in a job interview. She said it was the best gift to see her former CASA youth with job skills and experiences, and doing well! She hopes that children in foster and kinship care can grow up to become like Fostering Hope's founder, Brigette. Sara is excited to "party with a purpose" this Mother's Day Weekend! Sara requested a throwback to her favorite superhero theme!

Check out Sara with Bango and the throwback to superheroes below!
National Crime Victims' Rights Week
Did you know Kids Matter offers services and suppo rt to child crime victims? We advocate for survivors and help survivors and their relatives navigate complex legal systems. In special circumstances, we also help find creative solutions to bring healing and closure to child crime victims. We want to share with you a recent story:

Abby was sexually abused by her father in northern Wisconsin, but the system was slow to respond. She spoke up and worked with CPS, but wrote, “they put me back into the house after telling me that there was not enough evidence.” Kids Matter helped Abby find a safe, loving home. Later, her father was picked up by Florida authorities for an unsolved rape of a young teen. Abby helped the prosecution in Florida by sharing her own story. Kids Matter arranged for her to write a letter to the court in Florida to make sure her father could never hurt anyone again. Abby was no longer ignored and showed courage in advocating for herself and other children. 14-year-old Abby wrote, “I am happy that the girl my father hurt is getting her justice. But for the sake of any other people my dad could hurt, for this girl who is finally getting justice, and for my siblings and I, please give my dad the maximum sentence.” Through news reports and courtroom accounts, Abby heard the judge acknowledge the impact of her statement, gaining a sense of empowerment that helps her move forward and heal.

Your support helps brave children like Abby find their voice and be heard…kids making sure that every kid has someone in their corner.

Kids Matter was recently highlighted in Milwaukee Journal Sentinel article, "How to help families of homicide victims." Read to learn more and let's keep working together to help families and reduce violence.
Lost someone to homicide or want to help someone who...

Buy Photo Pastor Alexis Twito (right) talks with Chaplain Melvin Reese at the Sherman Perk Coffee Shop in July 2016. Twito is the head coordinator at the chaplaincy program at the Salvation Army. (Photo: Michael McLoone / for the Journal...

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Stress Reduction Workshop
Come learn stress reduction techniques for yourself and to share with your child!  Try out different stress reduction and wellness techniques to discover what feels good and assess your strengths and opportunities for growth. Led by Kids Matter staff Elena and Justine on April 25th from 6:00pm-7:30pm at the Kids Matter Office. 1.5 hour of CEUs for CASA volunteers, and caregivers are encouraged to join ! RSVP by calling us at 414-344-1220.
From the Wisconsin Counties Association
We have addressed challenges facing children relating to the opioid epidemic many times in past newsletters. This is a statewide challenge. The Wisconsin Counties Association has a new initiative to educate elected officials and the public on the impact of the opioid epidemic on the youngest victims. You can check out the initiative's website here or watch the panel discussion below.
Summer Camp Opportunities
We want to make sure all kids can go to camp!

Holiday Home Camp on the shores of Lake Geneva is for rising 2nd-8th graders and offers a variety of activities. Pick-up and drop-off from Mitchell Park Domes Parking Lot!
Dates : Stay overnight for 5 nights. June 14–19, June 22– 26, June 28–July 3, July 8–13, July 16-21, July 25–30, August 2–7.
Cost : Scholarship rates available to Kids Matter involved youth. Talk to the social worker, counselor or CASA volunteer coordinator working with your youth or family if you are interested in this option.

Royal Family Camp for Kids  specializes in children with a history of kinship or foster care, or abuse or neglect. Royal Family is for children 7-11 years old and is located in Cudahy, near Milwaukee. Applications are not out yet (due in May last year) but we'll provide updates future newsletters. If you have a kid who may need more attention and care during a summer camp experience, this may be a good option for them!  

Jewish Community Center  offers one-week day camps for K5-8th grade.  Check out the website for specific offerings  --JCC has camps for sports lovers, creative artists, and adventurers! Let your CASA volunteer supervisor know if you think one of these offerings might be right for your CASA youth!
Encourage a teen to get a summer job!

Do you remember learning about FICA? Or saving your pennies for a special purchase? Having jobs helps teens gain independence and learn economic skills. The City of Milwaukee has a few youth summer employment programs, which are paid and come with mentorship and support which may not be available at other jobs. Find more information about each program and apply through the links below!

Milwaukee Public Library is hosting a Teen Job Fair for Milwaukee youth ages 16-19 this coming April at the Center Street Library. The Teen Job Fair will feature 10-15 employer tables where teens (aged 16-19) can pick up applications and ask questions about the organizations/ companies and a resume workshop available for all teen participants.
Date: Wednesday, April 24 from 4:00-6:00 PM
Location: MPL Center Street Branch, 2727 W Fond du Lac Ave