March 2018 | In This Issue
Children With Intellectual Disabilities in Foster Care 
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Successfully navigating the foster care system is difficult for biological and foster families, social workers, advocates, and especially the children. "One of the biggest challenges that children in foster care face is the lack of stability and continuity with regard to foster home placements, education, and medical care," explains Tiffany McDonald, LSW, social worker at the Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center CHECK Foster Care Clinic.

Click here to learn more.


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.
Child Advocacy Services CASA volunteers helped 12 children find safe, permanent homes in February.

CAS CASA Logo
(CASA) Court Appointed Special Advocates provides a voice for children as 
 they navigate through the court system to help them reach a safe and 
 permanent home. Be the 1. Be A CASA. Volunteer Today!

CASA VOLUNTEER TRAININGS 

St. John & St. Charles - April 9th.
Tangipahoa & St. Helena -  April 11th.
Livingston - May 21st.
Ascension, Assumption & St. James - May 24th.
East & West Feliciana - TBD
Click the button below. 
   
Happy Anniversary!
Thank You For Your Dedication and Commitment to CAS! 
Laura P. - 1 year

Robert P. - 2  years

Adrienne "Lynn" D. - 2 years
Heather J. - 2 years

Angeline D. - 2 year Ivy W. - 2 years
Krystal B. - 2 years Etta L. - 2 years Kay J. - 3 years
Samantha M. - 3 years Krista M. - 4 years April S. - 5 years
John R., Jr. - 5 years Sandi G. - 6 years Joe M. - 6 years
Tiffany M. - 7 years  Beth D. - 9 years

Congratulations and Welcome To Our Newest CASA Advocates! 
   
       Amber Y., Kristin S., and Janet S.            Lauren N., Samantha S., Alyssia S., and Timothy D. 
Tiffany M. 
River Parishes Volunteer Spotlight

 
Tiffany Murphy has been a volunteer since March 14, 2011 and has advocated for 5 children during her time as a CASA. When assigned to a new case, Tiffany will assure that she gathers all the information needed and meet with all parties to best advocate for her child, in and out of the courtroom. Tiffany advocates for all the services needed for her children that will assist them through their time in foster care and beyond.
 
Tiffany has a very busy schedule as she is the Assistant Vice President of an insurance company, but she always finds time to visit with her child. Tiffany is very active in our fundraisers and actually sold the 2 winning tickets for our 2017 Cottages for CASA!!!!!! THANK YOU, TIFFANY!!!!!!  

Tiffany says that what she likes most about being a CASA is the reward of being the voice for a child that can't speak for themselves. We are very proud to have Tiffany as a volunteer.



Mark Delesdernier II
Florida Parishes Volunteer Spotlight


 
 
Mark Delesdernier II is from Metairie, LA. He moved to Amite, LA shortly after Hurricane Katrina. Mark and his wife Melanie have two sons and one grandson. Mark is a Riverboat Pilot in New Orleans and has recently been elected as Commissioner. Even with his busy schedule, Mark refuses to stop advocating for his CASA child. He is determined to remain on this case until it closes.

Mark has been an advocate with CAS since May 2016. He has advocated on the same case since he began as a CASA. One of his CASA children has turned 18, but Mark still keeps in contact with him. The other CASA child will be going to the Youth Challenge Program and Mark has agreed to be his mentor during that program.
 
Mark has advocated for these boys actively in and out of court. He works closely with DCFS and the counselor to make sure these boys have everything they need. He worked with the school system and, at one point, spent many days at the school trying to advocate for his CASA child. He has been a very committed volunteer; he actively advocates for CASA on a state and local level. He truly believes in what he does as an advocate and hopes all new advocates feel as passionately about this work as he does.





Optima Notes and Communication with Your Supervisor
Why Is This Important?

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It seems that one of the most frustrating things for CASA Volunteers and Advocate Supervisors is the paperwork.   Most of our CASA Volunteers go above and beyond the call of duty in visiting your assigned children, getting case updates from DCFS, observing parent visits, talking to parents about their progress, getting school reports, getting provider reports, and all of the many job duties of monitoring your CASA case. You also do a great job in keeping us (the advocate supervisors) informed and discussing what action steps are needed to further advocate for the children you are assigned to. We are, however, having some breakdowns in getting the necessary documentation back to us in your monthly Contact Logs and getting those logs timely. The following information will provide you with insight regarding exactly what we need to capture, why we need the information, and some tips to keep you on track with keeping the notes necessary to complete your final report.


Upcoming Darkness to Light Trainings 
 
Friday, March 16th - 9:00 - 11:00 AM
 
Thursday, April 12th - 5:00 - 7:00 PM

 
Is Human Trafficking in Your Backyard?

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There is this common myth and misconception when many hear the term "Human Trafficking." Many seem to believe it can only happen overseas, like in the movie Taken, or can only happen to girls of ethnic backgrounds. However, this is not true! It can happen in your own backyard, at your child's school, the local hangout, online, or any other place children frequent. Human trafficking is modern day slavery. It is making a child have sex with someone to pay the bills. It is forcing a child to miss school so they can work at the family business. It is coercing a child to perform a service so they can have their basic needs met, such as food and shelter. It is using a false relationship to exploit a child's vulnerability. It happens to EVERY age, socio-economic class, and ethnicity. Human trafficking does not discriminate! We do not share this to insight fear. We share this to empower youth and their caregivers to take the necessary steps and open the lines of communication so we can all make safe choices in our lives.
  
  
 

Have a suggestion? Please contact either Angela Golden agolden@childadv.net , Ashleigh Fuller afuller@childadv.net , or Marcy Willett mwillett@childadv.net to let them know.
Vote for CAS! 


Vote for Child Advocacy Services in Gulf Coast Bank's Community Rewards Program! The top ten nonprofit organizations will receive be awarded a portion of the $75,000 total.  

Visit https://gulfbank.com/about-us/community/community-rewards/vote/ between now and March 29th to vote for CAS! You can vote daily! We ask you to share with your friends and encourage them to vote too!



Plant. Prevent. Protect.


"Plant. Prevent. Protect." Spinning change for children during Child Abuse Prevention Month in April! 
Child Advocacy Services will be offering Public and Personal Pinwheel Gardens in recognition for sponsorships  and donations made for services provided by Child Advocacy Services. Contact Community Outreach Director, Lauren Williams, at lwilliams@childadv.net or 985-902-9583 to learn more about how you can get involved and be a powerful voice 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 Button of Bravery Child Sponsors. 


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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