Click to view this email in a browser

New Casa Logo 2
CASA of Philadelphia
June 2016 News


impact - Copy

We are delighted to announce that CASA Philadelphia has been selected as a finalist for Impact 100’s 2016 grant awards. 

Impact100 Philadelphia’s mission is to engage women in philanthropy and collectively fund grants to charitable initiatives in the Philadelphia region. The goal is to provide high-impact $100,000 grants that reach under-served populations, raise the profile of deserving but lesser known organizations, and highlight unmet needs in the region. 

At the final Impact100 presentation on June 6th, three organizations will be awarded project-related grants of $100,000 each. Impact100 will also award two non-profits unrestricted operating grants of $30,000 each. The remaining $20,000 will be awarded to project grant winners as additional unrestricted operating funds.

The complete list of finalists chosen for 2016 is:

Arts & Culture: Art-Reach
Education: Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) Philadelphia Environment: Delaware Valley Green Building Council
Family: CASA Youth Advocates, Inc.
Health & Wellness: Supportive Older Women's Network (SOWN)


CASA Philadelphia’s Associate Director, Allison Modica, is moving on to pursue an exciting opportunity at Edcamp Foundation.  As Director of Operations Allison will work collaboratively to create an international network of educators dedicated to participant-driven professional learning for themselves and others that accelerates student growth.

Allison has been with CASA since 2007, first as a board member and then as a part-time program supervisor.  In 2010, Allison joined CASA full time to lead the organization’s development efforts.  She was instrumental in increasing CASA’s program budget, which helped the organization grow to serve almost 300 children annually.  As a court-appointed educational surrogate to a child in foster care, Allison was instrumental in developing CASA’s Educational Decision Maker (EDM) Program in 2011, which serves 50 children in need of an adult to make decisions about their educational placement and services.  Every April during “Child Abuse Prevention Month” Allison collaborated with the Mayor’s office and the Philadelphia Department of Human Services to create community awareness about child abuse and neglect in our community.  She designed and facilitated CASA’s annual Superhero 5K at the Philadelphia Zoo to raise funds to support programming, which built a strong base of support from local corporate sponsors, supporters, and runners. Leaving CASA is bittersweet for Allison as CASA’s mission is near and dear to her heart.  For those she is leaving behind, she sends best wishes for the tireless advocacy they do on behalf of our city’s most vulnerable children.


Beginning June 13th, current Program Supervisor Cynthia Mason will begin serving as Interim Executive Director at CASA Philadelphia until a permanent Executive Director is selected. 


Marie adoption 2Congratulations to CASA volunteer Shana Weiner for helping the child in her case achieve permanency when she was adopted on May 11, 2016.


On Sunday, May 15th, I had the pleasure of presenting the work of CASA to a group of socially-minded members of the First United Methodist Church of Germantown. Thanks to an introduction from our CASA volunteer, Jen Bellot, to the coordinator of the church’s Adult Academy series, the attendees were informed about CASA with a PowerPoint presentation, pamphlets, and a powerful YouTube viewing of “Removed.”  Both Jen and I were able to speak of our personal experiences with CASA, entertain discussion, and answer questions. Many thanks to Jen for making this happen.


I am very willing to do the same for any group you might suggest where I can share our meaningful work to find supporters and potential volunteers. Help us spread the word! Contact me at if you have a suggestion for a parlor meeting of any kind. Many thanks! 


Special thanks to our partner agency Tickets for Kids for their generous donation of Phillies tickets. If you think you might be interested in accompanying your youth to an upcoming Phillies game, please contact Cindy Blum at: as soon as possible.  Tickets are going fast!  The following date is still available:  9/4/16.  Kids cannot be transported by volunteers, but must be chaperoned by their CASA volunteer, so you will meet at the stadium. There is a limit of 1 extra ticket for a child/friend/sibling in the child's life to take as a guest.


Happy birthday from everyone at CASA Philadelphia to our volunteers who are celebrating birthdays this month:

Erik Adkins

Katie Haymaker

Monica Jones

Raymond Keenan

Rebecca Leinberger

Hao-Li Loh

Donna ODay-Dunbar

Shelly Salamon

Anne Umbrecht


We are looking forward to our Summer 2016 Pre-service Training, which begins on Monday, July 11th and will run for two weeks, from July 11th to July 14th the first week of training and July 18th through July 21st for the final week of training.  If you are an active volunteer who would like to brush up on your CASA skills and knowledge, please join us either as a co-facilitator or member of the training night.  Contact Cindy at to find out how to get involved.


Thank you so much for sending us jpeg photos for your CASA ID badges and for your patience as we distribute them.  We have decided to work with a new company to create the badges, so please bear with us if you have not yet received yours, as we are still in the process of setting up our account with them.


Please continue to e-mail your jpeg headshot photos to Cindy Blum at:  and we will be in touch with you when the badges are available.  


JUNE 2, 2016 CONFERENCE-- Financing College for Foster Youth:  Preparation, Engagement, and Retention Strategies

foster care to college

Date: June 2, 2016

Time: 8:30 am - 12:30 pm / Registration and breakfast begin at 8:00 am

Location: University of Pennsylvania Law School, Levy Conference Center, 3501 Sansom Street, Philadelphia, PA

Presentations include:
Foster Youth as an Invisible Constituency: Why Should We Care?

The Challenges Faced by Foster Youth: Student Voices

Panel Presentation: Foster Youth Preparation for College
Understanding Foster Care and other Child Welfare Programs

Preparing Foster Youth to Apply to and Attend College

Unique Costs of Attendance for Foster Youth

Funding Available for Foster Youth in Higher Education

Challenges with Retention and Completion

Strategies for Institutional and Student Success

Click HERE to Register Today!  Seats are limited.

June 8, 2016 CASA In-service Training: Best Practices with Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgendered and Questioning Youth in Care

Developed to improve the services and outcomes for LGBTQ youth in the foster care system, this training by the Support Center for Child Advocates will empower service providers to fulfill their responsibilities to provide safe and non-discriminatory care to this population of youth. Several topics are covered, including: adolescent development; language and service sensitivity; policies that affect well-being.


This training will take place in the Lucretia Mott room at the Friends Center, 1501 Cherry Street, Philadelphia, PA on Wednesday, June 8, 2016 from 5:30 pm to 7:00 pm. 

Please RSVP to Cindy Blum at  You will receive in-service training hours when you attend this training.

June 15, 2016-- Swearing-in Ceremony and Oath Renewal

Join us on Wednesday, June 15, 2016 at 5:30 pm for our annual Swearing-in and Oath Renewal Ceremony at Family Court.  Administrative Judge Margaret Murphy will preside over the ceremony as new volunteers take their CASA oath for the first time and our long-term volunteers join us in celebration for an oath renewal.  Light refreshments will follow the ceremony.


Please RSVP to Cindy Blum:

June 17, 2016 Philadelphia Childrens Alliance Conference


pca conference

Philadelphia Children’s Alliance (PCA) presents “A Team Approach to Child Abuse Intervention” at their June 17th conference.


At the completion of this program, the participant will have a greater understanding of the dynamics and impact of child abuse and ways to recognize, investigate, treat, and prevent violence against children. The participant will also have increased knowledge regarding the benefits of a team approach to investigating and treating victims of child abuse.

For more information and to register:!2016-conference-registration/u7hqg


During the registration process, each attendee will need to select the workshops they would like to attend throughout the conference. These workshops can be viewed in the conference program.

For any questions regarding registration or the event, please call the PCA at (215) 387-9500. 



Attention all active volunteers! Your Child Line child abuse clearance must now be renewed every 5 years. If your clearance is about to expire, you will soon be receiving a packet in the mail, including step by step instructions.

You are now able to complete the Child Line child abuse clearance online:

If you have any questions about the clearance process, please contact Cindy Blum:


Interested in doing a new online training for in-service credit? Log in at: .

If you do not have a National CASA password, please contact Volunteer Coordinator Cindy Blum at: and she will set one up for you.


For those of you working with older youth who are getting closer to the date when they could potentially age out of the dependency system, there are many issues to discuss, like exploring the ways youth can remain in care. The following brief video (5 minutes) from the Juvenile Law Center (JLC) explains Pennsylvania’s Act 91 with clear details about extending and re-entering foster care. Please view it yourself and then show it to your older youth so they can start thinking about their options:


Need in-service training hours?  Click here for an informative two-hour online training on trauma-informed care:


This is a free online training! When you have completed the training in its entirety, you will receive a certificate of completion.  Please print out or email the certificate to Volunteer Coordinator Cindy Blum for in-service training credit:

The mission of Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) of Philadelphia is to train and support community volunteers to advocate for the health, safety, stability and well-being of abused and neglected children.

Upcoming Events:

June 2, 2016

Conference: Financing College for Foster Youth

June 8, 2016
LGBTQ Training

June 15, 2016
Swearing-in & Oath Renewal Ceremony

June 17, 2016
PCA Conference

For more information about any of our events or to RSVP, please  contact Volunteer Coordinator Cindy Blum.




CASA of Philadelphia

Board of Directors

Maura McInerney, Esq.
 Education Law Center
Board President

Maureen Smith Lawrence, Esq.
Hangley, Aronchick, Segal, Pudlin & Schiller


Vice President


José N. Reyes III, Au.D.

Children's Hospital of Philadelphia

Board Secretary

Caroline Rosch
Reinvestment Fund
Board Treasurer

Tom Bonner


Camille Fundora, Esq.
Berger & Montague, P.C.

Amit Goel, CPA

Ernst & Young, LLP

Philip Hawkins

Kurchner-Hawkins Associates

Robert S. Hawkins, Esq.

Buchanan, Ingersoll & Rooney, PC

Eileen Horgan, Esq.

Women Against Abuse

Sharon R. Jindal

Exelon Business Services, Labor Relations Services

Shamyune Jones,   Esq.

   Pennsylvania Convention Center

Denis J. Lawler, Esq.

Blank Rome, LLP

Danielle Petaja, Esq.

Saul Ewing, LLP


Lynanne M. Schaeffer

Gaudenzia, Inc.


  Alan Sharavsky




Judith Silver, PhD

Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia


Allison Modica, MLSP
Interim Executive Director

Cynthia Mason, Esq.
Program Supervisor

Cindy Blum, EdM
Volunteer Coordinator

Carletta Chandler, BSW
CASA Supervisor

Trish Kinkle, MSW
CASA Supervisor

Carole Cornelius, MSW
CASA Supervisor

Terrill Carney, MA
CASA Supervisor

We want to hear from you!

Please let us know if you have any new training suggestions or if you would like to contribute ideas, tips, or articles to our monthly newsletter.

Contact Program Supervisor
Cynthia Mason at:


CASA of Philadelphia
Friends Center
1501 Cherry Street
Philadelphia, PA  19102

And don't forget to
LIKE us on Facebook!

Try Email Marketing with VerticalResponse!