Happy Valentine's Day!

February 2019 | In This Issue
Achieving & Maintaining Permanency

When children are placed in out-of-home care (also called foster care), it is imperative that child welfare agencies find safe, permanent homes for them as quickly as possible. In most circumstances, children can be reunited with their families, but in some cases children find homes with relatives or adoptive families. When helping children and families achieve permanency, child welfare professionals must balance an array of issues, including needs of the child and the family, as well as legal requirements. For instance, families may be experiencing issues such as substance abuse, mental illness, or domestic violence, which may increase the risk of child maltreatment. They may also be involved in multiple systems. In addition, there are many Federal and State laws that outline requirements for the permanency process. This section includes resources to help guide child welfare professionals, as well as families and youth, through the permanency process and help ensure safe, stable, and long-lasting outcomes for children.

Click here for the rest of the article.

Congratulations, Jennings Family!

Adoption days are our favorite days! These three amazing children were recently adopted into their forever home after spending 1,165 days in foster care! We'd like to send a huge thank you to their CASA, Cynthia Walls, and to Judge Jeff Cashe for officiating their adoption! 


Congratulations, Turner Family!

Zechariah was recently adopted into his forever home after 922 days in foster care! Many thanks to Judge Alvin Turner, Jr. for officiating his adoption, and to his CASA, Mr. Oliver Butler! 
Child Advocacy Services CASA volunteers
helped 12 children find safe, permanent homes in January through adoption or reunification.


CASA VOLUNTEER TRAINING

East and West Feliciana - April 4th
Livingston,Tangipahoa and St. Helena - April 4th
Ascension, Assumption and St. James - April 4th
St. John and St. Charles - May 21st 


Thank You For Your Dedication and Commitment. 
Happy CASA Anniversary!
Terry Compton - 7 years
Kevin Burke - 6 years Lesia Warren - 2 years
Samantha Stewart - 1 year
Timothy Davis - 1 year
Congratulations to our newest CASA Volunteers!


Congratulations to our newest CASA Volunteer in the 21st JDC! DeRanda Griffin was recently sworn in by Judge Blair Edwards. Thank you, DeRanda, for committing to serving children in your community!


Congratulations to our newest CASA Volunteer in the 20th JDC, Louise Mitchell! Louise was recently sworn in by Judge Jones. Thank you, Louise, for committing to serving children in your community! 


Karen Glaze
River Parishes CASA Volunteer



Karen Glaze moved to Ascension Parish from Jefferson Parish after Hurricane Katrina in 2005.  She is married to Johnny Glaze, III.  She has three children, Robert, Stephen, and Nicole and two step-daughters, Claire and Alysha.  Karen is a Paralegal for a sole practitioner, Jeffrey Heggelund, in Gonzales.  The area of law the firm focuses on is criminal defense, personal injury, successions, as well as various other types of legal matters.  During her off time, Karen enjoys spending time with her husband, children, and four grandchildren.

Karen learned about CASA through a television ad and had a desire to volunteer for many years before doing so.  After her youngest child graduated from high school, she felt an increased desire to give back to her community.  After discussing it with her husband and children, she completed her training in 2018 and was sworn in by Judge Lambert, who is now retired.  Karen says that being a CASA volunteer is a privilege and has been very rewarding for her on a personal level. She feels as though children are the future and it is imperative that we provide them with the tools to be successful in life.  She also feels there was no better way to serve her community than to be part of CASA and to play a part in touching the lives of children in need in our community.

Karen was sworn in on October 15, 2018 and is currently serving as a CASA volunteer for one child in Ascension Parish. Thank you, Karen!


Cynthia Walls
Florida Parishes CASA Volunteer



Cynthia Walls is a long-time resident of Hammond, LA.  She is an amazing mother and grandmother.  After working in the chemical industry for 30 years, Cynthia was introduced to the nonprofit world when she started working at Family Road of Greater Baton Rouge providing services for at-risk youth, mothers, and families.  Her compassion for helping others made this connection a perfect fit. This union lasted over 15 years. One of the most rewarding experiences came from working with those affected by Hurricane Katrina in 2005.  

 She began her work with CASA in 2016 and has served on three cases since being sworn in. Her patience, understanding, and soft nature help her work well with the children she serves. Ms. Walls is patient and understanding, this soft nature helps her in her work as an advocate. Since becoming a CASA, Ms. Walls has brought encouragement, love, attention, and support to the lives of the children she serves. She co ntinues to excel in advocating for the best interest of the children in her cases. Ms. Walls is a strong advocate and goes above and beyond her CASA duties. The CASA program is honored to work with such an amazing woman. Thank you, Cynthia!



Evaluating Permanency Goals
 
One of the most important roles of a CASA Volunteer is advocating for the children they are assigned to in court. The judges count on volunteers to provide them with information on what is in a child's best interest. Our children have attorneys that are bound to advocate for the child's wishes; and quite often those wishes are not always the same as best interest.

National CASA Standards define the "Best Interest" Principle as:
- A safe home
- A permanent home
- As quickly as possible

As advocates, all three of these categories should be evaluated each visit and addressed in every court report. All of us assess the child's placement at every visit and are quick to speak up for the child if there is a safety concern. It's easy to get caught up in that first component and not focus as much on the children having a permanent home in a timely manner. The Adoption and Safe Families Act (ASFA) dictates that permanency planning should begin as soon as the child enters foster care and that permanency for the child should be complete within 12 months of the child entering care unless there are compelling reasons to extend that time frame.

Read more on evaluating permanency goals here.



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, and assists CAS in continuing our services for children through our CASA and CAC Programs.

Adults can also register to attend one of the Stewards of Children trainings listed below:
 
Thursday, February 28th  4:00 - 6:00 PM 
Register here.
 
Friday, March 29th  9:00 - 11:00 AM
Register here.
 
Thursday, May 2nd  4:00 - 6:00 PM
Register here.

Each of the above trainings will be held at the 
Charles E. Cate Teacher Education Center, Room 1022.
1300 N General Pershing St.
Hammond, LA 70401



         TBRI: Trust-Based Relational Intervention  Overview               
Date: Saturday, February 23rd
9:00 AM to 3:00 PM
Tangipahoa Parish Sheriff's Office Substation

*CASA Volunteers: Please RSVP to your supervisor by February 20th*

Human Trafficking: It can happen to you.

Human trafficking is any commercial sex act or labor induced by force, fraud, or coercion. It is exploiting children by taking advantage of their vulnerabilities. Cases of child trafficking and exploitation are reported regularly by law enforcement and child protection agencies across the United States. Human Trafficking does not discriminate. It happens to children of EVERY age, gender, socio-economic status, and ethnicity. It can happen in rural, urban, and suburban locations (1).

Child Advocacy Services is working hard to protect children in our state from becoming human trafficking victims! Our agency offers the prevention curriculum, Not A #Number, created by Love146. Not a #Number teaches youth how to protect themselves from human trafficking by identifying their vulnerabilities. The curriculum offers safety skills youth can utilize when they find themselves in risky situations. It is important for children to learn early how to protect themselves. Begin conversations with your child now by discussing what they would do if they found themselves in an uncomfortable situation. 
Not sure how to do that? Click here to learn more.

CAS News
Child Advocacy Services Receives Livingston Parish Chamber of Commerce Community Impact Award


Child Advocacy Services was proud to receive the Livingston Parish Chamber of Commerce's Community Impact Award at their annual awards and installation banquet in January. This award is a
 result of so many amazing staff, advocates, Judges, Board Members, and community.  We would like to share this award in recognizing more than 400 children in foster care in Livingston Parish who need a voice and help to reach a safe, healthy, and permanent home.

Pictured left to right above: Jay Labarre of Labarre Associates and a current CASA Volunteer; Lauren Reynolds, Community Outreach Director at CAS; Connie Stein, CASA Recruiter at CAS; Honorable Jerry Denton,  City Court Ward II Judge; Rob Carlisle, CAS Chief Executive Officer; Christine Roy, Forensic Interviewer at CAS; Lauren Newman, Prevention Services Coordinator at CAS; and Jamie Seal of Quality Engineering and Surveying and a current CAS Board Member
2019 Children's Artwork Calendar Released

Each year, elementary students from a selected school within the Child Advocacy Services service area are educated about what child abuse and neglect is and asked to create an original work of art to represent their interpretation of what they have learned. A contest is held and the overall winning artwork is used on the cover of the annual CAS calendar. Twelve additional winners are selected and featured in the calendar as well. The overall winner becomes the showcase art to be used in a poster that is given as recognition to community members and donors for their continued support. We are proud to share the winning artwork from Juban Parc Elementary School in this year's calendar. Special thanks to Mrs. Paula Hoover, Guidance Counselor at JPE, Mrs. Lauren Kennedy, Principal at JPE, and the 4th grade students and teachers for working with us on this special project. 

Contact Lauren at lreynolds@childadv.net or 985-902-9583 to request a copy of our 2019 calendar.
Plant. Protect. Prevent! "Spinning Change for Children!"


J oin US! Sponsor your own Pinwheel Garden! Plant in front of your home, church, business, or organization. You will help spread the message that every child deserves the chance to be raised in a healthy, safe, and nurturing environment.
  • Personal Pinwheel Garden(s): Make a donation and receive a Personal Pinwheel Garden to plant at your residence or business! Kit includes 10 pinwheels, garden sign, collateral, and a BAG with a Purpose.
  • Public Pinwheel Garden: Offered to companies or groups interested in taking action to prevent child abuse. Plant a pinwheel garden at your business or public location. Kit includes 25 pinwheels (or additional as requested), signage, and collateral. Public Pinwheel Gardens are offered in recognition of a minimum donation of $150.
Click here to learn more and to request your pinwheel garden!


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. 

Rob and Sally Carlisle
Patricia Golembiewski
Celeste Layrisson
Rob and Tara Peltier
Shell Oil Company

Dear Community Supporter,
 
With your help, CAS served 550 children with 226 volunteers through our CASA program in 2018.  Of those children, 188 were placed in 
safe and permanent homes.  Additionally, we performed 738 forensic interviews and provided 490 hours of counseling to over 125 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 2019.  Please remember your contribution is tax-deductible.

  
Be the thread of hope for a child!

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