August 2020
With so much uncertainty surrounding the start of school and heading into the fall, we're confident of a few things: there are still ways to lend a helping hand and kids are still thinking about and watching out for their peers and friends. If you are looking for inspiration, just read about how siblings Sydney and Henry are helping out, and how former foster youth Chaya is giving back.

This week we feature lots of upcoming opportunities and resources for volunteers, youth and caregivers. We hope these opportunities offer connection and support during this time. Thank you for all the ways you make sure every child has someone in their corner.
Susan Conwell, JD
Executive Director
The Best Lemonade Stand
The hottest weekend of the summer was no match for 6-year-old Sydney and almost 4-year-old Henry. Sydney and Henry have been thinking about the upcoming school year and how many children are not returning to school this year in person. They decided to act--and give back by having a lemonade stand. They told every single person who stopped by that the proceeds go to "keep kids safe and happy, and help them feel loved." Thank you so much to these two rock stars for their generous contribution!
Back to School
Help foster and kinship youth go back to school with the tools they need to succeed!

We need your help. School will look different this year, with less sharing supplies, more learning online and wearing masks. For foster and kinship youth, the need for back to school supplies and essentials is more urgent than ever.
3 Ways You Can Help
Shop Our Wishlist for Supplies
We've created an
Amazon wishlist with much needed supplies for foster and kinship youth. Your donation will be mailed directly to Kids Matter.
Purchase Gift Cards for Supplies
Purchase gift cards to Walmart, Target, Amazon or other retailers for foster and kinship youth to shop and choose their own school supplies.
Create a (Virtual) Drive
Make your own list and share with family and friends to collect supplies. Drop off at our office or have donations mailed to Kids Matter.
Thank you!
Opportunities for Caregivers
Families Like Mine: Conference for Relative Caregivers of Children
Registration for the all-virtual second annual Families Like Mine Conference is now open! Register here.

This conference is a FREE opportunity for caregivers to learn from experts in various fields. This year, topics include Substance Abuse, Mental Health, Guardianship Law, Trauma Informed Parenting, and Raising Children of Color. Presentations will be pre-recorded and available for registered participants to view anytime the week of September 14 – 18, 2020.

Additionally, the week of September 21 – 25, caregivers will have the opportunity to participate in topic-specific discussions/networking. These sessions will be hosted in a live format on Zoom, and will be facilitated by a staff member from the Coalition for Children, Youth and Families and/or DCF.
Project Connect
Grandmothers, are you raising teenage grandchildren (ages 13-17)?

Join Project Connect, a nation-wide online educational program for grandmothers and the teenage grandchildren they are raising on a full-time basis. This program is funded by the National Institutes of Health and is provided online for free to eligible families. Learn more here.
Participants receive an Amazon Fire tablet, monetary payments for watching videos and taking surveys, and chances to win more prizes! Check out the brochure here.

Sign up by August 31, 2020. Email or call (855) 260-2433 with questions.
CASA Continuing Education Opportunities
National CASA/GAL Conference
Registration is now open for National CASA's virtual conference on October 20th-21st! The Conference is an opportunity to reconnect with peers and reignite passion for service. This year’s conference will feature prominent speakers, dynamic learning sessions, institutes and more, with the goal of helping attendees prepare for a new tomorrow. As an added bonus, CASA/GAL members are invited to attend the Awards of Excellence Celebration. If you are a CASA volunteer interested in attending, talk with your supervisor! Learn more.
Wisconsin Infant and Early Childhood Mental Health Conference
Come learn about how to ensure all Wisconsin infants and young children reach their fullest potential through nurturing and consistent relationships within the context of family, community, and culture. The Wisconsin Alliance for Infant Mental Health's efforts focus on weaving relationship-based infant mental health practices and principles into the everyday activities of all individuals who touch the lives of infants, young children, and their families.

The conference will be held virtually Monday, October 19th-Wednesday October 21st. If you aren’t able to attend the live sessions, you’ll be able to access recorded sessions anytime through mid December. This year's sessions feature issues related to racial justice and trauma. The conference is $19 and scholarships are available. Check out the schedule and speakers here.
Helping Children Thrive Through Connection to Family and Cultural Identity
Both inside and outside the child welfare system, the probability that African American children will live in grandfamilies is more than double that of the overall population, with one in five African American children living in grandfamilies at some point during their childhood.

This toolkit is designed to give resources and tips to service providers, so we can better serve all African American grandfamilies. It will explore some of the unique strengths and challenges of grandfamilies, so organizations can provide culturally appropriate supportive services. Explore Generation United's new toolkit, African American Grandfamilies: Helping Children Thrive Through Connection to Family and Cultural Identity.
$10 Gift Card for Youth Participants
Wisconsin's Office of Children's Mental Health is hosting a Youth Listening Session for teens and young adults ages 13 to 26. Register to join the Zoom meeting and share your story and voice on mental health in educational environments.
Automotive Class from Chaya--Scholarships for Foster Youth
The amazing automotive educator Chaya Milchtein is offering 2-3 scholarships for former and current foster youth to participate in her online course, Before Your First Car: A Virtual Car Ownership Class for Teens and Young Adults. If you are or know of a foster youth looking to buy their first car, email for more information on the scholarship. Chaya will also provide a donation toward the purchase of the car to one lucky current or former foster youth who completes the course.

You can also sign up your teen or young adult for this course--all of Chaya's classes are offered on a sliding fee scale!