April 2020 | In This Issue

Helping Children Cope With Changes Resulting From COVID-19

Families across the country are adapting to the evolving changes in daily life caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. Most schools, places of public gathering, and nonessential businesses are closed, and parents and other caregivers are faced with helping their families adjust to the new normal. This includes trying to keep children occupied, feeling safe, and attempting to keep up with schoolwork as best as possible. None of this easy, but it helps to stay focused on what is possible in order to reinforce a sense of control and to reassure children that they are okay, and that the situation will get better.

It is very important to remember that children look to adults for guidance on how to react to stressful events. Acknowledging some level of concern, without panicking, is appropriate and can result in taking the necessary actions that reduce the risk of illness. Teaching children positive preventive measures, talking with them about their fears, and giving them a sense of some control over their risk of infection can help reduce anxiety. This is also a tremendous opportunity for adults to model for children problem-solving, flexibility, and compassion as we all work through adjusting daily schedules, balancing work and other activities, getting creative about how we spend time, processing new information from authorities, and connecting and supporting friends and family members in new ways. The following tips can help.

Angelette Update

Join us as we honor Child Abuse Prevention Month virtually!
We may not be able to host our usual pinwheel plantings and activities right now, but we can invite everyone to participate in Child Abuse Prevention Month virtually! Your support and your voice are more important now than ever before. There is a way for anyone and everyone to help raise awareness of child abuse prevention this month!

151 CASA volunteers served 315 children in March and helped find safe, permanent homes for 5 of those children. 182 children are still waiting for someone to be their voice.

Congratulations to Paisley and Gavon on their recent adoption! Thank you to Judge Cashe for officiating their adoption

Upcoming Training Dates:

Ascension, Assumption, & St. James - July 30th
Livingston & Tangipahoa - July 30th
St. Charles & St. John - September 14th
 Recruiters' Corner 

Did you know?

Offering your time to volunteer and help others in your community is helpful for handling anxiety and helplessness. When we reach out to others who may be even more isolated than we are, it is psychologically healing and calming.  

 Congratulations to one of our newest CASA Volunteers, Sommer Lyday! Sommer was recently sworn into the 21st JDC by Judge Blair Edwards and is ready to be a powerful voice for children in our community! 

Caysie Bergeron
Livingston Parish

This month, we recognize Caysie Bergeron for her outstanding advocacy and commitment to a positive future for her CASA children. Caysie has been a CASA Volunteer since July 2017 and is currently serving on two cases in Livingston Parish. Caysie always manages to visit with her CASA children and provide amazing advocacy while managing her busy schedule. Caysie makes it a priority to visit with her CASA children at least once per month and maintains consistent contact with the children's parents in order to encourage them and provide resources. Her advocacy for her CASA children and aspects within the family has been commendable. Caysie has built relationships with her CASA children and has done a great job at making them feel like they can open up to her. Caysie has made such a difference in the lives of the children she serves. We are so grateful for Caysie and so many CASA volunteers like her who see the positive futures that children can have when hope is given. Thank you, Caysie, for your continued efforts to advocate for children.

Brittany Williams
St. John Parish

Brittany Williams was sworn in as an advocate on 4/9/19. She immediately committed to her first case;
a 2 sibling group. Brittany has certainly formed a bond with the children and the adoptive family caregivers. She is advocating for adoption for the 2 children and to remain in their current placement. She is always present for court hearings and meetings. 

Brittany, her husband, and daughter reside in St. John Parish. A dedicated church member, she is very active with her church family. Brittany has expressed that she is committed to seeing her case throughout. Although she is a new advocate that is continuously learning, she enjoys every aspect of being a volunteer. She looks forward to more cases and years of being a CASA advocate.

Maintaining Your Connection

On behalf of Child Advocacy Services, we hope that you and your family are well and have
everything that you need to shelter at home. Who knew that when our state started social
distancing that we would be doing this through April? CASA staff and advocates across the
nation are struggling with the task of making sure that the children we serve are not only safe but that permanency is not delayed.

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.

Stewards of Children is a revolutionary sexual abuse prevention training program that educates adults to prevent, recognize, and react responsibly to child sexual abuse. The program believes and teaches that child safety is an adult's job. Stewards of Children is designed for organizations that serve children and youth. Child Advocacy Services has trained facilitators that can offer this course to your organization for only $10.00 per individual. This fee includes your materials, certificate for 2 hours of continuing education, and assists CAS in continuing our services for children through our CASA and CAC Programs.

Contact us at 800-798-1575 for information on scheduling a training.

Note to our CASA Volunteers: This training is offered to all CASAs free of charge. When registering online, please select "pay at door." You will receive your materials at the door.

To adhere to the current stay home mandate and social distancing orders, we are not currently hosting in-person trainings. 

Click here to see dates and locations for additional trainings offered through Child Advocacy Services.

Genecia Hill
Multi-Disciplinary Team Spotlight

Genecia Hill has been a member of our Ascension Parish MDT for the past 5 years as a Child Protection Investigator for the Department of Children and Family Services. Prior to joining DCFS, Genecia earned her Bachelor's Degree in Family and Consumer Sciences from Nicholls State University. She has always enjoyed keeping children safe both in her current role, and her past jobs where she worked with children in both a daycare and after school setting.

Genecia says her favorite part about being on our MDT is the way all the agencies come to together as a whole to help keep the families we are working with safe. She loves that everyone has an equal opportunity to speak and provide insight and/or share additional information that may be helpful to others. Genecia added that it's also awesome to slow down from time to time and chat about life with the people who are working on the front line with you.

Thank you, Genecia, for all the hard work you do to keep children safe!
In March, the Children's Advocacy Center provided advocacy and forensic interviews to 27 children. In the River Region, 27 children and families were provided 43 hours of counseling.

Prevention Patrol 
Digital Safety

With schools moving to digital learning, your kids may be spending more time online. Whether playing games, having class, or socializing with friends, they are in front of a screen more than normal.

For now, this is our new normal. So, how do you ensure they are staying safe online? Just like you would if your children were going to a friend's house, it's important to set some ground rules, be proactive, and keep the lines of communication open.

Thank you to everyone who has shared their pinwheel creations with us during Child Abuse Prevention Month! This is just a few of the pictures that have been shared with us. To learn more about how you can help us "plant our virtual pinwheel garden," click here .

We also want to share a sincere thank you to our friends at Valero Refinery St. Charles and Louisiana Federal Credit Union for their continued support of services for children! 


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 Buttons of Bravery Child Sponsors. 

Rob & Sally Carlisle *
CH Specialty *
Crossroads Behavioral Health, LLC *
Celeste Layrisson *
Rob & Tara Peltier *
Becky Powell *
Chris & Lauren Reynolds *

* denotes a recurring monthly donor
Dear Community Supporter,

CAS served 557 children with 212 volunteers through our CASA program in 2019. Of those children, 205 were placed in safe and permanent homes. Additionally, we performed 662 forensic interviews and provided 663 hours of counseling to 116 children and families 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 2020.  Please remember your contribution is tax-deductible .
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