December 2019 | In This Issue
Helping children in foster care to manage holiday stress and emotions



The holidays can be a stressful and busy time for everyone. For children in foster care, this time of the year can be especially difficult. Many children experience feelings of guilt, shame and sadness during the holidays. And their feelings might be really mixed. One young adult remembers how hard the holidays were for her and her conflicting feelings: she was sad because she was constantly reminded of how she was not with her biological family but she also felt guilty because she looked forward to presents and time with her foster family.
Understanding how difficult this time may be for foster children can help us support them and let them know we care. Here are some ways to help these children cope during the holiday season. Click on  the link below for tips and strategies to help children cope during the holidays.


Change for Children!

The Louisiana Alliance of Children's Advocacy Centers proudly accepted Joelle Henderson, Child Advocacy Services' CAC Program Director, as President of their Board of Directors. Joelle has over thirteen years experience as a Forensic Interviewer and Program Director. She is a Louisiana licensed clinician and has served children for over twenty years. CAS is so proud of her work and leadership.
     
Louisiana Alliance of Children's Advocacy Centers welcomed First Lady Donna Edwards to their Board of Directors Meeting on December 12, 2019. "We are so deeply honored and proud of her continued support to our local programs," stated Rob Carlisle, CAS CEO. "She has raised the priority and platform for children in Louisiana. We are very excited for our future and working with our Louisiana Governor's Office on some new announcements in 2020."
In Memory of Mr. Jim Sutterfiled
06/1947 -10/2019

A Champion for Children
Faithfully served as a CASA Volunteer
06/2009- 03/2019


Jim Sutterfield was trained and sworn in as a Court Appointed Special Advocate on June 19, 2009. Mr. Jim hit the ground running and was an outstanding advocate for over 23 children since his swearing-in. He often served on more than one case at a time and faithfully visited all of the children that he was assigned to. Distance was never a barrier for him in making sure that his kids were okay. At one time, he traveled to Mississippi to see a young man that was placed out of state.
Mr. Jim's work for children went above and beyond his monthly visits and attending court. He volunteered for agency outreach events. He saw a need for more volunteers, particularly males, and worked with the CASA Recruiter to recruit volunteers. Mr. Jim was the first in line to speak to new advocates during training sessions.
Court personnel in the 21st JDC often requested that Mr. Jim be assigned to cases. He was well respected by the judges, attorneys, and DCFS staff. Mr. Jim always knew every detail about the children that he was assigned to and his recommendations always represented the best interest of "his kids".
In February 2019, everyone in the courtroom gave Mr. Jim a standing ovation when the children that he appeared in court for finally had permanency after being in foster care since 2012. Mr. Jim was assigned to their case at the beginning and never missed a month of advocating for those children.  Mr. Jim retired as a CASA volunteer in March of 2019 due to health reasons after a decade of service. 
In October of this year, Mr. Jim passed away after a long battle with illness. Among the friends and family that attended his funeral were attorneys, a juvenile judge, foster parents, and some of the children that he advocated for as a CASA. Mr. Jim wanted the message of being a lifelong hero to children in the court system by becoming a CASA to be shared with all those who knew and loved him. No truer example of an humble hero could be displayed than by looking at the life of Jim Sutterfield. He will forever be in our thoughts and in our hearts as one of the greatest advocates for children we have ever known.
 

157 CASA volunteers served 329 children in November and helped find safe, permanent homes for 26 of those children. 139 children are still waiting for someone to be their voice.


Upcoming Training Dates will be available in 2020.

 Recruiters' Corner 

The New Year is around the corner and our CASA Recruiters want to share some ideas to support our advocacy work for children and grow our volunteer family in 2020.





A Special Message to our Volunteers

The Holiday season is a perfect time to reflect on all of our blessings and seek out ways to make life better for those around us. At CAS, one of our biggest blessings, and things we are most thankful for, are our awesome CASA volunteers, the heart of our program. 
We would like to shine a light on all of our CASA volunteers who devote their time to helping change the lives of the children we serve. Our volunteers are the most compassionate, heartfelt, and dedicated individuals on earth. We could not do this work without your help, and we are forever grateful for your love and devotion. 

May your home be filled with lots of love, laughter, and peace. We pray that you all are blessed throughout the year. Warm wishes to you for a joyous and blessed holiday season! 

  

Meaningful Resolutions for 2020

This is the time of year that most people start thinking about their resolutions for the upcoming year. Most people resolve to lose weight, exercise more, save money, etc. When you are making your list of resolutions, please consider making one or all of the following resolutions that can make a huge difference for the child you are advocating for.

 


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 or click on the link below to register for the upcoming 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.


 

Not a #Number is an interactive, five-module prevention curriculum designed to teach youth how to protect themselves from human trafficking and exploitation through information, critical thinking, and skill development. Not a #Number uses a holistic approach focusing on respect, empathy, individual strengths, and the relationship between personal and societal pressures that create or increase vulnerabilities. Appropriate for ages 12-18.
 
Not a #Number Caregiver's Guide: This resource guide includes information to help you understand the reality of human trafficking, and most importantly, what you can do to safeguard your youth and others in your community. This resource guide can be given to caregivers or can be presented in a one hour presentation.

For more information on Not a #Number, contact Jordyn G'sell, Prevention Services Coordinator, at  (985) 785-5226 or jgsell@childadv.net

In November, the Children's Advocacy Center provided advocacy and forensic interviews to 43 children. In the River Region, 18 children and families were provided 39 hours of counseling.


Child Advocacy Services Children's Advocacy Center Program 
is very proud to announce:
 
Ashleigh Fuller, Forensic Interviewer, received the Community Partnership Award at the Sexual Trauma Awareness and Response (STAR) Evening of Appreciation. Child Advocacy Services Children's Advocacy Center partners with STAR to provide additional support services to children and families. 
Prevention Patrol 
Holiday Tips

Holiday Stress

We hope you find joy and happiness during this holiday season. However, we acknowledge this time of year can be difficult for many. Whether you are reminded of the loss of a loved one, endure financial stress, or cannot find the time to relax, remember Child Advocacy Services is here to support you and your family. If you or someone you know could use help, please call one of our local regional offices to receive a list of community resources. But in the meantime, you could also try some of these helpful tips to relax and enjoy the true meaning of Christmas!


Interested in a prevention training? Contact Jordyn G'sell by email jgsell@childadv.net  for requests and scheduling!

During 2019 National Adoption Week, one of our adoptive families, Josh, Kristy, Madison, Mandalyn, and Naomi Jennings, shared a photo with our First Lady Donna Edwards.  We are so proud and thankful to be a part of this great adoption.
 
Cynthia Walls was the CASA volunteer for these three girls who were in foster care for over three years.  The Jennings were a blessing to these girls and allowed them  to remain together as siblings. 

CASA Volunteers from Ascension, Assumption, and St. James Parishes enjoy food and fellowship.
THANK YOU!!
On behalf of all of the children served within Child Advocacy Services CASA, thank you so much to our generous donors for making this year an unforgettable Christmas for a child in need.

St. James Parish Hospital                                         Tangipahoa Parish Assessor Junior Mathieu
Worley Disaster Claims Management                  Anntoine Marketing
Atmos Energy                                                              Books-A-Million
Cherie Sahr                                                                   Dolls For All
East Ascension Rotary Club                                    First Presbyterian Church in Hammond
First United Methodist Church in Hammond       Garrett Sanders
Grace Episcopal Church in St. Francisville          Holy Ghost Catholic Church
Our Lady of Pompeii Catholic Church                    River Parish Community College Social Problems Class
St. James 4-H Club Junior Leaders                        Bill Hood
St. Paul Lutheran Church                                          Southern Samplers Quilting
Cypress Pointe Hospital                                            St. Helena Catholic Church-Amite
Penny Durvenay                                                          Mike & Renee Countryman
Wayne and Pam Perrin                                              New Life Community Church-Luling
Melissa Laird                                                                Eddie Fischer
Harvest Church-Susie Plaisance                            Jada Danos
Wende Powell                                                               Pevey Family
Nicki Givens                                                                  Leann Sibley
Debbie Lavigne                                                            Crystal Foster
Associated Terminals                                                Debbie Perry
Danny Hayden                                                              Regina Shoriak
Dr. Tim & Ann Mooney                                               D'Ann Breeden
Lanette Buie                                                                 JoAn Cook
Lindsey Domiano                                                        Tangipahoa Parish Sheriff's Office Accounting Division
Lorrinda Mannino                                                        Patricia Davis
Christine Speeden                                                      Megan Graham
Lanette Buie


























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. 

In Memory of Jim Sutterfield
Chad and Kristen Beard
Beau Cortez
Epic
Shell  Oil - Norco Manufacturing Complex
Burns Estate Planning
Louisiana's 1st Choice Auto Auction
Terracon
Hancock Whitney Bank
EFCU Financial Federal Credit Union
Rob & Sally Carlisle *
CH Specialty *
Crossroads Behavioral Health, LLC *
David & Judith Landry *
Celeste Layrisson *
Chris & Lauren Reynolds *
Robert & Tara Peltier *
Becky Powell *
* denotes a recurring monthly donor

Dear Community Supporter,

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 .
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