AUGUST 2018 | In This Issue
  5 Back to School Preparedness Tips

It's that time of year again! If your kids haven't already gone back to school, then they won't be far behind. Making the transition from summer to fall isn't always easy. There are a lot of changes that must be managed. For many children in foster care, some of these transitions may be bigger milestones for them because of the change in living they have already endured. It's important to be sensitive to their adjustment time and to give a little room for emotional responses to so much change in their lives. Click here for five back-to-school tips to help you and your kids 
make the shift as easy as possible.

Congratulations On Your New Forever Home! 

Congratulations on the new addition to the Lowe family! Thank you, Judge Madeline Jasmine, for officiating the adoption.

Congratulations, Emma Mae Stafford! Thank you, Judge Jessie Leblanc, for helping this little princess find her forever home.

The Poseys have officially expanded their family. Congratulations to you all and especially to the newest member of the family. A huge thanks to CASA volunteer, Kylee Brown.
Child Advocacy Services CASA volunteers
helped 17 children find safe,  permanent homes in July through adoption or reunification. 

"She always talks to me when I need her there, even though I don't want to talk about it. My CASA is great and is loyal. She understands me and gets the way I talk about current events."

 From 2018 CASA children's survey

 St. John & St. Charles - October 2nd
Livingston,Tangipahoa & St. Helena - August 27th
 Ascension, Assumption & St. James - August 30th
East & West Feliciana - TBD

Thank You For Your Dedication and Commitment. 
Happy CASA Anniversary!
         Linda L. - 13 years
Elizabeth "Liz" D. - 6 years Darrelyn M. - 2 years
         Patricia "Pat" G. - 11 years Suzanne B. - 6 years
Victoria S. - 2 years
         Elma S. - 9 years 
Ricky "RJ" G. - 5 years
Stephen G. - 1 year
         Jan P. - 8 years Janet L. - 5 years Lisa M. - 1 year
         Robert T. - 7 years Ivy M. - 3 years Janice W. - 1 year
           Susan "Suzie" P. - 6 years 
Lara A. - 2 years Jennifer B. - 1 year
Congratulations and Welcome To Our Newest CASA Advocates! 

Holly Savoie (left photo), Beth Mayo and Sarah Ferrara (right photo) were recently sworn in by Judge Blair Edwards in the 21st JDC.

Mercedes Bernard (left photo),  Tricia Guitreau and Obie Aguillera Stephen (right photo)  were recently sworn into the 23rd JDC. Special thanks to Judge Jessie LeBlanc and Judge Alvin Turner, Jr. 

Stephen Gilmore
Florida Parishes Volunteer Spotlight


Stephen Gilmore first learned about CASA through the CASA Recruiter, Connie Stein, when she came to speak to one of his social work classes at Southeastern Louisiana University. Stephen began his internship with CASA in August of 2017. When he found out that CASA gave a voice to children in hard places, he knew for sure that this is where he wanted to volunteer his time. He accepted his first case in September of 2017.

Stephen states that being a part of CASA has been the most inspiring and enlightening experience. The best part of being a CASA is seeing the child pull themself up out of tough situations and continue to thrive. CASA afforded Stephen the opportunity to be the person who stands up and allows the child's voice to be heard and make a difference in their life.

Stephen has been an awesome CASA thus far. He has gone above and beyond for his CASA child by advocating for services needed and just by always being by his side during the tough times.

Thank you, Stephen, for all of your hard work and dedication to making the life of a child one that is forever changed because of your presence and advocacy.

Melissa Hall
River Parishes Volunteer Spotlight

Melissa Hall has been a CASA volunteer advocate since 2015. Melissa's service area is located in the Feliciana Parishes, but she is currently serving as a courtesy volunteer for a child in St. John Parish. Melissa has served on two cases since joining the CASA team. Melissa is a fantastic court report writer and information gatherer. She genuinely cares about her CASA child's safety, wellbeing, and future.
Melissa lives in St. Francisville and is the Director of Audiology at Baton Rouge Ear, Nose, and Throat Associates where she has worked for 26 years. Melissa is married to Shannon Hall and they have two children. Melissa hopes that her work as an advocate provides a voice for children in foster care and lets them know someone is in their corner. CASA is honored to have such a committed and passionate person advocating for children.

It Really Is More than "Just Your Monthly Visit!"


Visiting with your CASA child at least once per month is a National CASA Standard and Child Advocacy Services CASA maintains compliance with that standard. Most of the time our advocates have no difficulty complying with that standard as it applies to their specific case. Sometimes our advocates struggle a little with this and wonder why we have to visit every single month. Advocate Supervisors hear statements such as "Everything was fine when I saw them last month and I've got a lot going on this month, I really need to skip my visit this month" quite frequently. We have even been asked why advocates need to visit "every single month." The answer to both of those questions directly relates to our role as CASA Volunteers in working to have every child we serve have a safe and permanent home as quickly as possible. We have to remember that if DCFS, CASA, and the court are involved in a family's life, there was an issue and our kids don't have permanency until the court deems it is in their best interest to close the case. Additionally, our "visits" are really more than "just a visit." Click here for  some things to remember when you are struggling to find the time and/or motivation to spend time with your CASA child.

Remember to keep your CASA Volunteer file up-to-date with your current
auto insurance card, driver's license, and contact information
And remember to visit your CASA child face-to-face at least   once a month.
What is an Adverse Childhood Experience?


According to Prevent Child Abuse Louisiana, "Nearly 54% of Louisiana's children have experienced an adverse event, compared to 46% nationwide, and 28.2% of those experienced at least two adverse events, up from the national rate of 21.7%."

Adverse Childhood Experiences, or ACEs, is the term given to describe types of abuse, neglect, and other traumatic childhood experiences. This concept was discovered in a landmark study by the CDC and Kaiser Permanente. They found that "the experience of adversity in childhood has a profound effect on health across the lifespan". ACEs are 10 categories that include: Physical, Sexual and Emotional (Abuse), Physical and Emotional (Neglect), Parental Divorce/Separation, Mental Illness, Substance Abuse, and Incarceration (Household Dysfunction). In the study, 17,000 participants were surveyed and over 64% had one or more ACEs. Researchers also realized that 87% of those with one ACE were more likely to have additional ACEs. This led to the realization that ACEs were common and tended to cluster with participants.

Click here to learn more about ACEs.
Have a suggestion? Please contact Angela Golden, Ashleigh Fuller, or Marcy Willett

Our Children's Advocacy Center Program (CAC) provides a safe child friendly environment for children who may have experienced abuse or witnessed a crime. A multidisciplinary team of professionals works together to reduce trauma and ensure the safety of children and families throughout the investigative process. CAS maintains four sites including Hammond, Denham Springs, Gonzales, and St. Francisville.

Click here to support services to children by bidding on some exciting items generously donated on our behalf! Items include a beautiful  Kendra Scott  bracelet set,  Paris Parker Salon & Spa  Aveda gift basket,  Spoga Fitness Center  gift basket, art from  J & D Artistic Metal Designs , a beautiful wooden bowl by  My Colorful Soul , goodies from  Gnarly Barley Brewing  and  Blackened Brew,  and a signed Southeastern Football helmet from Coach Frank Scelfo and  Southeastern Louisiana University Athletics

Special thanks to everyone who donated to support CAS!

Click the link above and search for Child Advocacy Services to place your winning bid! Bidding ends August 31st! You can bid online, in person (our items are at the Hammond branch), or by calling (985) 249-7272.

Child Advocacy Services & Southeastern Louisiana University Football Join Forces!
Child Advocacy Services is thrilled to partner with Southeastern Louisiana University Football Program and Coach Frank Scelfo. His leadership demonstrates "Our Town Our Team!" to the fullest. Children are the heart of our town and community. This partnership will lead to more adults being trained as CASAs to speak up and speak out for children. CASAs are more than mentors, they have real power to change futures for children. Coach Scelfo understands teams give back and help support others. He is creating BIG experiences for his players, those children we serve, and our entire community. Children served by Child Advocacy Services CASA will feel included and supported, even when those adults they trusted have failed. That is the "extra" points being left as a legacy through this partnership. We will not be remembered for how many touchdowns we scored or how many yards we gained, but more for the changes we had in improving lives. 

Get your  #GIVEAVOICE  shirt in navy blue crew neck or v-neck, white crew neck or v-neck, or green! In celebration of our new partnership with SLU Football, our white and green #GIVEAVOICE shirts have the Southeastern logo on the sleeve! Shirts are offered in recognition of donations of $25 or more. 

Click here to support services to children and get your shirt! 

Brave children tell their stories.  Courageous adults help these children through their trauma and assist them in finding a safe future.  Buttons of Bravery represent the journey of one child for a year under the care of Child Advocacy Services. 

Help hold them together through their experience by participating in the Buttons of Bravery Child Sponsorship Program. 

Thank you to our new and/or continuing Button of Bravery Child Sponsors. 

St. Paul Lutheran Church

Dear Community Supporter,
With your help, CAS served 523 children with 212 volunteers through our CASA program in 2017.  Of those children, 172 were placed in safe and permanent homes.  Additionally, we performed 618 forensic interviews and provided 413 hours of counseling to over 95 children through our CAC program.
Child Advocacy Services, Inc. is a 501(c) (3) nonprofit organization. We appreciate your consideration to start or renew your child sponsorship for 2018.  Please remember your contribution is tax-deductible.

Be the thread of hope for a child!

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