HAPPY NEW YEAR!
Happy New Year to everyone
from CASA of Philadelphia! Wishing you a
happy and healthy 2016.
Please remember that the
holiday season is often a particularly difficult time for children in care, so
even if your schedules become extra busy, please take the time to reach out to
the children in your cases this month.
CASA VOLUNTEER MONICA JONES
Congratulations to CASA Volunteer Monica Jones (pictured, center
) who won the 2015 William R. Klaus Community Service Award from her employer Pepper Hamilton LLP for her outstanding commitment to the Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) program, Philadelphia Reads and the outreach project of Chosen 300 Ministries. Not only was she honored with a reception on December 3rd, but she also received a $1,000.00 check for her charity of choice and she decided to donate her check to CASA of Philadelphia.
During the holiday season, everyone seems to be more focused on giving back to the community. But, for Ms. Jones, service to others is a way of life all year long. It is difficult to imagine how she finds time to do all that she does. As well as volunteering with CASA, she also reads to children each week as part of the PhiladelphiaReads Program. Ms. Jones serves on the tribune board at the Enon Tabernacle Baptist Church in the capacity of a Deaconess. And her longest ongoing service project is her work with Chosen 300 Ministries, which distributes meals and services to the homeless and hungry throughout the Philadelphia region and around the world.
At CASA, Ms. Jones has been a strong advocate on her case. She is a volunteer for several young children who have experienced serious trauma. She has developed a great relationship with the children and has built a strong rapport with their foster parents. She demonstrated her commitment to this case even more when one of the children was placed at a residential treatment facility located over an hour away from Philadelphia. She continues to visit him in this new location, and she is a strong advocate in court for the children’s educational and emotional needs.
Ms. Jones is married to Michael Jones and is the proud parent of one son, Alan, who is serving in the United States Army.
HIGHLIGHTS IN ACHIEVING PERMANENCY
Congratulations to CASA Volunteer Robert Angevine for helping to achieve permanency
for the children in his case who were adopted by their grandmother.
Congratulations to CASA Volunteer Hao-Li for helping to
achieve permanency for the children in her case who were reunified with their
mother after five years in care, countless setbacks, and even a previous CASA
Volunteer who, sadly, passed away during her service.
to CASA Volunteer Anne Lovatt for
helping to achieve permanency for the young man in her case who is living with
his mother and has worked hard on his truancy issues.
to CASA Volunteer Esther Cheung for
helping to achieve permanency for the children in her case when the judge
awarded permanent legal custody to their grandmother.
WELCOME NEW CASA BOARD MEMBERS
Horgan, Esq. (Elected 11/15/15) Attorney, Women Against Abuse.
Petaja, Esq. (Elected 11/15/15) Attorney, Saul Ewing, LLP.
Rosch (Elected 11/15/15) Risk Analytics Manager, Lending & Investments, The
THANK YOU VOLUNTEERS FOR YOUR GENEROUS DONATIONS
A special thanks to CASA Volunteers Nancy Lanham, Judy Seibert, Detta Tate, and Lisa Dissinger
for their generous donations during the holiday season. Also, special thanks to CASA Volunteer Elizabeth Young for her generous donation, plus a
matching donation from her employer. If
your company has a matching gift program, please contact Allison Modica at: email@example.com today for information on how
you can get involved.
HAPPY BIRTHDAY CASA
Happy Birthday from everyone at CASA of
Philadelphia to our CASA Volunteers who are celebrating birthdays this month:
THANK YOU SUPPORT CENTER FOR CHILD ADVOCATES
Thank you to the Support Center for Child Advocates for
sharing an overflow donation from their annual toy drive with us when there was
a child in CASA Supervisor Carletta Chandler and CASA Volunteer Beth Vogel’s
case who was living in a residential treatment facility without any family. When they discovered that he would go without
a Christmas present this year, Associate Director Allison Modica
communicated our need with the Support Center and was able to pick up their
generous donation of toys for the ten-year-old boy in our case.
YOU PHILADELPHIA BAR FOUNDATION
Thank you to the Philadelphia
Bar Foundation for their generous grant to support CASA's operating costs. We
are so grateful for their continued support to ensure quality advocacy for
Philadelphia's abused neglected children.
101 Training Highlights
Jennifer Bradley, Esq.
Thank you to everyone who attended the McAndrews
Law Firm’s “Bullying 101” training on December 9th, led by Jennifer
M. Lukach Bradley’s Esq.
Children with disabilities are often subject to
bullying and abuse, and what many are unaware of is that the Pennsylvania
Legislature has adopted legislation requiring school districts to address
bullying. This informative presentation reviewed current statistics, specific
laws pertaining to children’s educational rights that parents should be aware
of, and ways to address the issue with the school district. Ms. Bradley shared her extensive experience
representing parents of children with disabilities in a variety of special
education matters involving the public schools, including due process,
manifestation and expulsion hearings pursuant to the Individuals with
Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act and
the Public School Code.
Be on the lookout for more CASA-sponsored
trainings by the McAndrews Law Firm regarding educational matters in the
REMINDER: PHOTOS FOR NEW
CASA PHOTO ID BADGES
You told us and we listened! After hearing from many of you
about the need for a way to identify yourselves as a CASA, we are instituting a
new policy where we will begin issuing photo ID badges to all active CASA
Volunteers. In order for you to receive your new ID, please email a jpeg
photo headshot to us as soon as possible.
We are in the process
of finishing up our first batch of badges now, so if you have already sent us
your photo, we will be in touch soon!
Please email your jpeg photo to Volunteer
Coordinator Cindy Blum at: firstname.lastname@example.org
OLDER YOUTH VIDEO
For those of you who are working with older youth who are getting closer to the date when they could potentially age out of the dependency system, there are so many issues to discuss, including exploring all of the ways the youth could 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: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m8lHWpPy7L8
TRAUMA-INFORMED CARE ONLINE IN-SERVICE TRAINING
WE WANT TO HEAR FROM YOU!
Please let us know if you have any new in-service training suggestions, ideas for volunteer get-togethers, or fund-raising ideas. We are also happy to host future events and trainings at locations other than the CASA office, so please let us know if you have any suggestions for available, convenient meeting spaces. Contact Volunteer Coordinator Cindy Blum at email@example.com
CHILDLINE CLEARANCES: MUST BE RENEWED EVERY 2 YEARS
all active volunteers: Your Child Line child abuse clearance must be renewed every 2 years. If your clearance is about to expire, you
will soon be receiving a packet in the mail, including step by step
are now able to complete the Child Line child abuse clearance online:
you have any questions about the clearance process, please contact Cindy Blum
E-LEARNING MODULES FOR IN-SERVICE
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.
For more information about any of our events or to RSVP, please contact Volunteer Coordinator Cindy Blum.
CASA of Philadelphia
Board of Directors
Education Law Center
Maureen Smith Lawrence, Esq.
Aronchick, Segal, Pudlin & Schiller
José N. Reyes III, Au.D.
Hospital of Philadelphia
Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia
Hinshaw & Culbertson, LLP
Ernst & Young, LLP
S. Hawkins, Esq.
Buchanan, Ingersoll & Rooney, PC
Exelon Business Services, Labor Relations
J. Lawler, Esq.
Blank Rome, LLP
& Montague, P.C.
Lynanne M. Schaeffer
Women Against Abuse
Saul Ewing, LLP
Wendy Graham, MSW
Allison Modica, MLSP
Cynthia Mason, Esq.
Cindy Blum, EdM
Carletta Chandler, BSW
Trish Kinkle, MSW
Carole Cornelius, MSW
Terrill Carney, MA
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
CASA of Philadelphia
1501 Cherry Street
Philadelphia, PA 19102
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