Monday, December 19, 2011

Bullying in Schools: An Overview

The Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention has released Bullying in Schools: An Overview.

This bulletin examines the connection between different types and frequencies of bullying, truancy, and student achievement, and whether students’ engagement in school mediates these factors. It discusses the results of three studies conducted in 2007 at the National Center for School Engagement, and compares these results with those from a Swedish study. The authors conclude that victimization in the form of bullying can distance students from learning. Schools can overcome this negative effect if they adopt strategies that engage students in their work, creating positive learning environments that produce academic achievement.


Bullying in Schools: An Overview (NCJ 234205) is available online at

Friday, December 16, 2011

Newsletter Focuses on Children Exposed to Violence

OVC announced the release of the November issue of "OVC News & Program Updates," a valuable tool for sharing information about OVC's initiatives, events, and other items of special interest. This edition highlights the impact of child identity theft, child exploitation, the provision of services to drug-endangered children, and more. (OVC)

Friday, December 9, 2011

CASA Toy Drive

During December CASA collects toys and gift items for our needy families.  All gifts are put into our CASA Kids store, where our families can come shop for free. 

Gifts for teenagers are especially welcome.  They are often left out this time of year.

Gifts can be brought to the CASA office, 500 North Main St. #310, in the Bank of America Building.

Thank you!

CEO Michael Piraino Provides Expert Insight for National Inquiry on Overuse of Psychotropic Drugs

As many of you know, National CASA’s CEO Michael Piraino has been prominently featured in media coverage of the recent GAO report concerning the shocking overuse of psychotropic medication among youth in care. Michael was a featured speaker in stories on ABC (World News and 20/20) and on CNN’s Anderson Cooper 360 program.

This is one of the largest media opportunities in National CASA’s history. According to one researcher, the publicity from the ABC 20/20 clip alone reached nearly 7 million viewers, providing what would be the equivalent of $580,000 in purchased advertising. In addition, Michael has worked to line up interviews with over 30 local radio stations to continue the conversation about this critical issue.

We expect that focus on this issue will rise, both in the media and with our nation’s decision makers. In late November, the Obama administration sent a letter to state officials outlining its concerns with the “safe, appropriate, and effective use” of psychotropic drugs in foster children. The Senate Committee on Homeland Security conducted an investigative hearing on December 1, the release date of the GAO Report. (Video of the testimony can be seen on the committee’s website.) The committee anticipates it will conduct additional inquiry.

We encourage local programs to also take advantage of this opportunity, both to raise awareness of the overuse of psychotropic drugs and the importance of CASA volunteers as advocates for children who need someone to protect their rights. If you have local stories of youth who have suffered from receiving unnecessary psychotropic medications, these stories can provide compelling narratives for the media. The young man featured in ABC’s coverage, Ke’onte Cook, was able to find a permanent home with the help of the CASA program in Hunt County, TX. His adoptive family was then able to take the necessary steps so that Ke’onte would no longer have to take any of these medications. (To learn more about Ke’onte Cook and his adoptive family, we encourage you to read Michael Piraino’s recent blog post.) We need to make the point that part of the solution to this issue lies with providing an advocate for every single child in care.

If you missed any of the coverage featuring Michael Piraino, you can view it online:

ABC—World News (Wednesday, November 30)

ABC—20/20 (Friday, December 2)

CNN—Anderson Cooper 360 (Friday, December 2—partial clip of show)

Thursday, December 1, 2011

December Happenings

December is a busy month at CASA!

December 5th - Brothers and Sisters in Stitches, a group of quilters that donated gorgeous quilts to our CASA kids, is having tea with us at 10:00 a.m. and producing their marvels of handiwork.

December 9th - Foster Kids Christmas Party at 6:00 p.m. at Country Club Church of Christ.  All CASA Volunteers are welcome.

December 15th - BROWN BAG In-Service training at noon

Mr. Bill Jones will be speaking on two related subjects: The Adoption Tax Credit and it’s impact on parents adopting our kids and the tax benefits for volunteers and how to claim them properly.

December 19th - CASA foster kids store all day at CASA

December 22-January 3rd - CASA office will be closed for the holidays. Staff will be on call.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Heart Gallery Comes to Roswell

New Advocates Sworn In

Congratulations to new CASA Volunteers
Melody Wakefield, Esther Purkey and Esmeralda Jaramillo!

Welcome to the CASA family.  Here there are with Judge Charles Currier and Volunteer Coordinator Amber Dollar at their november 16th Swearing In Ceremony.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Wings For Life - Budgeting in Hard Times

Budgeting in hard Economic Times
Presented by: Eric Johnston-Ortiz, VP
Business Affairs, ENMU-Roswell

Roswell Boys &  Girls Club

Prize to the guest attending the most meetings

201 S. Garden
SUNDAY, November 20th, 2011

6:00 PM to 7:30 PM
Doors open at 5:45. Meeting starts at 6:00 Doors will be shut at 6:15.

For Questions call: Shelly @ 317-2042

Dinner provided and Arts & Crafts for Children in a family friendly environment
(Sitter available)

Generous Adoption Credit Available

IRS Tax Credit of $13,170 is Available to our Adoptive Families

In 2010 and 2011, you may be able to take a refundable tax credit for qualifying expenses paid to adopt an eligible child (including a child with special needs). This means that you could qualify for a tax refund even if you did not have federal income tax withheld. For tax years prior to 2010, the adoption credit is not refundable.

Under new Adoption Credit Rules for the 2010 tax year, you must attach one or more adoption-related documents (identified in the form instructions) with the completed Form 8839 (PDF), Qualified Adoption Expenses, and attach the form to your Form 1040 or Form 1040A return, to claim the adoption credit or income exclusion. The required documents are different if the adoption is foreign, or domestic, final or not final and if the adoption is for a special-needs child.

A tax credit, including the adoption credit, reduces your tax liability. For expenses paid prior to the year the adoption becomes final, the credit generally is allowed for the year following the year of payment. For expenses paid in and after the year the adoption becomes final, the credit is allowed in the year of payment. The adoption credit is not available for any reimbursed expense. In addition to the credit, certain amounts paid by your employer for qualifying adoption expenses may be excludable from your gross income.

A taxpayer who paid qualifying expenses in the current year for an adoption which became final in the current year, may be eligible to claim the credit for the expenses on the current year return, in addition to credit for expenses paid in a prior year.

For both the credit or the exclusion, qualifying expenses include reasonable and necessary adoption fees, court costs, attorney fees, traveling expenses (including amounts spent for meals and lodging while away from home), and other expenses directly related to and for which the principal purpose is the legal adoption of an eligible child. An eligible child must be under 18 years old, or be physically or mentally incapable of caring for himself or herself. The adoption credit or exclusion cannot be taken for a child who is not a United States citizen or resident unless the adoption becomes final. In the case of an adoption of a special-needs child, you may be eligible for a certain amount of credit or exclusion regardless of actual expenses paid or incurred. A child has special-needs if (1) the child otherwise meets the definition of eligible child, (2) the child is a United States citizen or resident, (3) a state determines that the child cannot or should not be returned to his or her parent's home, and (4) a state determines that the child probably will not be adopted unless assistance is provided. The credit and exclusion for qualifying adoption expenses are each subject to a dollar limit and an income limit.

The amount of your adoption credit or exclusion is limited to the dollar limit for that year for each effort to adopt an eligible child. If you can take a credit and exclusion, this dollar amount applies separately to each. For example, if we assume the dollar limit for the year is $13,170 and you paid $10,000 in qualifying adoption expenses for a final adoption, while your employer paid $4,000 of additional qualifying adoption expenses, you may be able to claim a credit of up to $10,000 and also exclude up to $4,000.

For more details go here.

Teaching Our Children About the Penn State Scandal

The New York Times Learning Network helps us to wade through this difficult subject.
By Katherine Schulten and Holly Epstein Ojalvo 

 Gene J. Puskar/Associated Press

Are you talking about the Penn State news this week in your classroom or at home with your children? Let us know how you’re handling it. Here are some ideas for discussion, writing or further research.

A good place to start to quickly understand the story and its implications is the Times Topics page, Penn State (Sex Abuse Scandal 2011), which features a short overview of the events, along with links to all articles, opinion pieces and multimedia on the topic.

The overview, as currently posted (it may change as events develop) ends with this paragraph:

Law enforcement officials have said that Paterno had met his legal obligation in alerting his superiors at the university when he learned of the allegation against Sandusky, but they suggested he might well have failed a moral test for what to do when confronted with such a disturbing allegation involving a child not even in his teens. No one at the university alerted the police or pursued the matter to determine the well-being of the child involved. 

The rest of this helpful article can be found here.

Monday, November 14, 2011

When Does Spanking Become Abuse?

Sheree L. Toth is executive director of the Mt. Hope Family Center and an associate professor of clinical and social sciences in psychology at the University of Rochester. She writes in response to the video of the judge beating his daughter.

Rochester, New York (CNN) -- As the director of a leading research center on child abuse, I have seen all too often that what a parent considers legitimate discipline can quickly deteriorate into violence fueled by anger.

Parents often say that they spank their children to teach them how to behave. The word discipline means "to teach," but does spanking really teach children to behave, or does it teach them to solve problems with violence?

At our center, we see many parents who spank their children to teach them not to hit their siblings. Spanking impressionable children may reduce undesirable behavior in the short term. In the long term, however, research shows that it offers children a poor example of how to solve problems or deal with difficult situations.

The posting of the video of a Texas judge beating his 16-year-old daughter with a belt, and the controversy surrounding deaths purportedly associated with the pro-spanking book "To Train Up a Child," have reignited the debate about corporal punishment. Even those viewing the disturbing video differ on whether or not it reflects the appropriate use of discipline. When does spanking cross the line and become physical abuse?

Sheree L. TothAlthough corporal punishment has been widely accepted throughout the history of the United States, psychologists and other professionals here are increasingly concerned about the harm it may cause. Many other countries have outlawed the practice, including Austria, Germany, Greece, Kenya, Norway, Romania and Spain. Despite growing evidence against and opposition to corporal punishment in the United States, the practice remains accepted by nearly half of adults and is legal in all states.

Among scientists, there is a consensus that actual physical abuse damages children, directly and over the course of a life. Although not all children who have been abused are affected the same way, decades of research show that child abuse initiates a cascade of negative social, emotional and health-related outcomes.

"Corporal punishment is of limited effectiveness and has potentially deleterious side effects," the American Academy of Pediatrics has said in a policy statement. A 2002 analysis of studies, published in the Psychological Bulletin, concluded that although corporal punishment can make a child obey in the short run, it also is linked with a number of long-term problems, including mental disorders and behavioral difficulties. Spanking in childhood also has been related to criminality.

Too much corporal punishment can also damage the parent-child relationship, as the parent becomes a source of both nurturing and danger. Disconcertingly, spanking in childhood also is associated with approval of hitting a spouse and increased marital conflict.

All the evidence and warnings, however, don't always stop parents from hitting their kids. Personal experiences and emotion continue to dictate whether or not parents choose physical punishment.

The video of the judge beating his daughter is disturbing not only because of the physical violence, but also because of the emotional abuse that is clearly present. Rather than learning not to download computer files, this girl may be learning to hide her behavior from her parents, to avoid bringing them her questions and concerns. She may become more likely to resolve conflict with violence, to become involved with people who are abusive, and eventually to hit her own children.

All parents surely want to raise well-adjusted children. Discipline and structure are key components of doing so. It would be naïve to think that even the most dedicated parents do not sometimes become frustrated with defiant children. There are many ways of disciplining children that are effective and nonviolent. We need to show parents what they are, and to make alternative approaches more widely accessible if we are to avoid tragic outcomes.

Winter Wonderland Event Friday the 18th

Please join us Friday for our gala Winter Wonderland Event!

Hundreds of Christmas trees and fabulous pieces of decor have been design and donated to support our very own Chaves County CASA Program. Food and drink have been donated by our amazing sponsors.

Entry is free.  Come enjoy the decor and get to know our CASA family. 

Frist American Bank, 111 East 5th, 5:00 till everything is gone!

Pocket Practitioner’s Guide for Alcohol Screening and Intervention for Youth

The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism has published a Pocket Practitioner’s Guide for alcohol screening and intervention for youth.  This is a great resource for advocates, parents and school personnel and easy to use; you can access it here.

Psychotropic Medication and Children in Foster Care: Tips for Advocates and Judges

Multiple studies have found that children in foster care are vulnerable to inappropriate or excessive use of psychotropic medication. Advocating for and presiding over cases involving children and teens in foster care who may have mental health disorders requires a solid understanding of the positive and negatives aspects of medication use in this population.

The ABA Center on Children and the Law is therefore pleased to announce the release of "Psychotropic Medication and Children in Foster Care: Tips for Advocates and Judges" by JoAnne Solchany, PhD, ARNP.

The Brief addresses:
* common child and adolescent mental health diagnoses

* a multimodal approach to managing mental health disorders

* the benefits, drawbacks, and side effects of psychotropic medications

* recommendations for best practice, and

* questions judges and advocates should ask about medication use.

The Brief is free and available online here.

CASA Approves of this Response to the Penn State Scandal

Omelas State University

November 10, 2011 By John Scalzi

These things should be simple:

1. When, as an adult, you come come across another adult raping a small child, you should a) do everything in your power to rescue that child from the rapist, b) call the police the moment it is practicable.

2. If your adult son calls you to tell you that he just saw another adult raping a small child, but then left that small child with the rapist, and then asks you what he should do, you should a) tell him to get off the phone with you and call the police immediately, b) call the police yourself and make a report, c) at the appropriate time in the future ask your adult son why the fuck he did not try to save that kid.

3. If your underling comes to you to report that he saw another man, also your underling, raping a small child, but then left that small child with the rapist, you should a) call the police immediately, b) alert your own superiors, c) immediately suspend the alleged rapist underling from his job responsibilities pending a full investigation, d) at the appropriate time in the future ask that first underling why the fuck he did not try to save that kid.

4. When, as the officials of an organization, you are approached by an underling who tells you that one of his people saw another of his people raping a small child at the organization, in organization property, you should a) call the police immediately, b) immediately suspend the alleged rapist from his job responsibilities if the immediate supervisor has not already done so, c) when called to a grand jury to testify on the matter, avoid perjuring yourself. At no time should you decide that the best way to handle the situation is to simply tell the alleged rapist not to bring small children onto organization property anymore.

You know, there’s a part of me who looks at the actions of each of non-raping grown men in the “Pennsylvania State University small-child-allegedly-being-raped-by-a-grown-man-who-is-part-of-the-football-hierarchy” scandal and can understand why those men could rationalize a) not immediately acting in the interests of a small child being raped, b) not immediately going to the police, c) doing only the minimum legal requirements in the situation, d) acting to keep from exposing their organization to a scandal. But here’s the thing: that part of me? The part that understands these actions? That part of me is a fucking coward. And so by their actions — and by their inactions — were these men.

At least one sports columnist has made the point that Joe Paterno, the 40+ year coach of Penn State, who was fired last night (along with the university’s president) by the university’s board of trustees, should be remembered for all the good things he has stood for, and for his generosity and principles, even as this scandal, which brought his downfall, is now inevitably part of his legacy as well. And, well. I suspect that in time, even this horrible event will fade, and Paterno’s legacy, to football and to Penn State, will rise above the tarnishment, especially because it can and will be argued that Paterno did all that was legally required of him, expressed regret and horror, and was not the man who was, after all, performing the acts.

Here’s what I think about that, right now. I’m a science fiction writer, and one of the great stories of science fiction is “The Ones Who Walk Away From Omelas,” which was written by Ursula K. Le Guin. The story posits a fantastic utopian city, where everything is beautiful, with one catch: In order for all this comfort and beauty to exist, one child must be kept in filth and misery. Every citizen of Omelas, when they come of age, is told about that one blameless child being put through hell. And they have a choice: Accept that is the price for their perfect lives in Omelas, or walk away from that paradise, into uncertainty and possibly chaos.

At Pennsylvania State University, a grown man found a blameless child being put through hell. Other grown men learned of it. Each of them had to make their choice, and decide, fundamentally, whether the continuation of their utopia — or at very least the illusion of their utopia — was worth the pain and suffering of that one child. Through their actions, and their inactions, we know the choice they made.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Wings for L.I.F.E. Meeting - Reducing Stress

Wings for L.I.F.E.

(Life-skills Imparted to Families through Education
Presented by: Dr. Van Warren

*Specializing in Oriental Medicine*

Roswell Boys & Girls Club
201 S. Garden
SUNDAY, November 6th, 2011
6:00 PM to 7:30 PM

For Questions call: Shelly @ 317-2042

Dinner provided and Arts & Crafts for Children in a family friendly environment
(Sitter available)

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

New Issue of Judge’s Page Newsletter Focuses on Relative Placements

The November 2011 issue of the Judge’s Page Newsletter is now available at The current issue focuses on placement of foster children with relatives. This publication is produced three times a year by the National CASA Association and the National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges. You can subscribe to receive the Judge’s Page Newsletter via email. (Email subscribers will receive the November 2011 Judge’s Page e-newsletter on Wednesday.)

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Plan to eat at Peppers on Friday, November 4!

Peppers Grill & Bar is hosting their “United Way Day” on Friday, November 4. On that day, 10% of all food and beverage sales will benefit United Way of Chaves County.

November 1 Webinar: “Supporting a Healthy Racial and Ethnic Identity in Children”

Join National CASA Training Specialist Terene Bennett on Tuesday, November 1, 10 a.m. PT, for a one-hour webinar, “Supporting a Healthy Racial and Ethnic Identity: The Effective Use of Proactive and Protective Messages.” You will learn more about what these messages are and how they can be utilized effectively when advocating or caring for any child.

Register at the National CASA Training Calendar.

New National CASA Book List Posted in Volunteer Resource Section of

Great Reading Materials that Can Be Used For In-Service Hours!

National CASA staff regularly receive requests for reading materials that would inform the efforts of CASA volunteers and improve their work with children. In response, the Program Services and Communications departments teamed up to bring you this new resource, a National CASA book list. Books are briefly described and categorized by topics including abuse, cultural competency and working with children.

Find this list of more than 100 books in the Volunteers section of, and share your suggestions for books that should be added using our book list recommendation form.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Read the Latest Issue of Child Advocacy Matters

The October edition of National CASA’s monthly e-newsletter, Child Advocacy Matters, highlighted two new youth stories and Michael Piraino’s blog post about the latest research on children in foster care. An archive of the newsletter can be read online. Please encourage your volunteers to sign up for Child Advocacy Matters to stay in touch.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

October Happenings


If anyone you know is interested in becoming a CASA volunteer, please send them my way or have them go to to fill out an application.

Office Closed October 10th - Columbus Day

Office Closed October 14 - Staff meeting

A&N Court October 18 - 19

Winter Wonderland set up October 29
If anyone wants to come and help with Winter Wonderland setup, feel free to come and join us. It's a lot of fun!

Wings for L.I.F.E. Meeting

(Life-skills Imparted to Families through Education)


PRESENTED BY: Dr. Babak Mirin, M.D. and Dr. David Durham, M.D.

Doors open at 5:45 PM. Meeting starts at 6:00 and doors will be shut at 6:15PM

Lasagna Dinner

Roswell Boys & Girls Club
201 S. Garden
SUNDAY, October 9th, 2011
6:00 PM to 7:30 PM

For Questions call: Shelly @ 317-2042

Dinner provided & crafts for children in a family friendly environment
(Sitter available)

Friday, September 30, 2011

County Jails a Bad Place for All Children, Especially Girls

September 27, 2011 by Lawanda Ravoira and Roy Miller Lawanda Ravoira and Roy Miller

Imagine a group of young girls who suffer from depression, severe neglect, sexual and physical abuse and are in the care of a government agency.

Now imagine that these girls’ caretakers have little or no experience working with children, little or no familiarity with the medical and mental health needs of emotionally and physically battered girls, little or no support for formalized training on child development and no supervision by professionals with child-specific experience either. Then consider extremely limited resources for the care, health services and education of these particularly vulnerable and needy children.

This scenario sounds like it would lead straight to public calls for vastly improved child protection and investigations into government agencies’ poor management and improper use of taxpayers’ dollars. Unfortunately, it accurately describes legislation that was rushed through by the 2011 Florida Legislature (Senate Bill 2112) and signed into law.

Ostensibly motivated by officials with a desire to save money, the new law allows children to be housed in county jails outside the oversight, supervision or even inspections by anyone experienced with the care of children, like the Florida Department of Juvenile Justice. [Note: For more on the new law from Youth Today, click here.]

Specifically, the children affected are those who have been charged with a juvenile offense and are awaiting for their case to be heard and acted upon in juvenile court.

While critical for all children, highly prescriptive, child-specific detention standards and settings are especially important for young girls:

-Girls enter the juvenile justice system with higher rates of trauma and abuse – research suggests 7 of every 10 have experienced emotional, physical or sexual abuse.

-Girls enter the juvenile justice system at earlier ages than boys.

-Girls are detained for significantly less serious crimes than boys.

-Girls remain in detention longer.

Girls are in special need of gender-specific mental and physical health care, including gynecological care and health education that addresses personal safety, self-care, and the prevention of HIV and other sexually transmitted diseases.

Both common sense and research tell us that children housed in adult jails are at increased risk. Girls are five times more likely to be sexually assaulted, twice as likely to be beaten by staff, and 50 percent more likely to be attacked with a weapon in an adult facility than in a juvenile facility.

Overall, youth housed in an adult facility are 34 percent more likely to return to jail – an outcome that does not save money.

The NCCD Center for Girls and Young Women and The Children’s Campaign oppose the detention of children in county jails. While far from perfect, detention centers operated by the Florida Department of Juvenile Justice are a better alternative.

-Ravoira is director of the Center for Girls & Young Women in Jacksonville, Fla. Miller is president of the Children's Campaign in Tallahassee, Fla.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

GED, ESL & Citizenship Classes Available

GED, ESL & Citizenship Classes are Available at St. Johns and many other convenient locations in our community.

Go here for more info.

LeAnn Rimes Supports Homeless Children

LeAnn Rimes has released a powerful and moving video for her new song "Give" from her upcoming album Lady & Gentlemen out September 27. The soaring, moving ballad showcases LeAnn's signature voice wrapped around inspirational and uplifting lyrics.

To watch the video, go here.

"'Give' is a song with a message about how if we want love, kindness and happiness in our lives, then we need to give some of that back," LeAnn says. "I believe that message needs to be shared with the world."

LeAnn wanted to create a video for the song that that tied into its message, and raised awareness of an issue that is very important to her -- homeless teens across America.

Sadly, 13 homeless kids die on the street every day. In Chicago alone, where the video was filmed on location with youth there, there are approximately 25,000 homeless youth. For the video, LeAnn partnered with StandUp For Kids who's mission is to help homeless and street kids. Every day, in cities across the country, their volunteers go to the streets in order to find, stabilize and otherwise help homeless and street kids improve their lives. The video includes several teens participating from Chicago's own StandUp For Kids program.

"My life is forever changed from this experience," shares LeAnn. "One thing they all said to me is no one looks them in the eye when they see them on the streets, so there's a deep loneliness there and a feeling of almost not existing. I will now always look anyone who's homeless in the eye and smile. That smile could make their whole day."

To read more about LeAnn's experience shooting the music video for "Give," visit:

To learn more about, StandUp For Kids:

Free Legal Fair

Legal Fair Day on October 14, 2011 at the district courthouse from 1:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.

Free legal advice to the public

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Standing up, Not Standing By: A Cyberbullying Resource

A Free Cyberbullying Toolkit for Educators

This free toolkit has the resources schools need to take an effective stand against cyberbullying. Rely on it to start your year off right.

Every day, you see how cyberbullying hurts students, disrupts classrooms, and impacts your school's culture. So how should you handle it? What are the right things to do and say? What can you do today that will help your students avoid this pitfall of our digital world?

Commonsense Media created this free toolkit to help.

Wings For Life - Love is not Abuse

Wings for L.I.F.E.

(Life-skills Imparted to Families through Education)

Teen Dating Violence
(What teens and parents can do to help break the cycle)

Presented By Doug Southern, Roswell Refuge

Doors open at 5:45. Meeting starts at 6:00 and doors will be shut at 6:15.

Honoring Grandparents for Grandparents Day

Roswell Boys & Girls Club
201 S. Garden
SUNDAY, September 11th, 2011
6:00 PM to 7:30 PM
For Questions call: Shelly @ 317-2042

Dinner provided & crafts for children in a family friendly environment
(Sitter available)

Friday, September 2, 2011

Congratulations New Volunteers

New CASA Volunteers

Karen Barnett, Tasha Marlow and Mary Sommers were sworn in on August 24th.  Congratulations and welcome to our CASA family!

Here they are with Volunteer Coordinator Amber Dollar and Judge Charles Currier.

September Happenings

September Happenings

CASA will be closed Monday September 5th for Labor Day

Brown Bag - Thursday September 15
"Tips on How to Talk to Our CASA Children" Great info on how to help us communicate more effectively with the children we are advocating for.

Brown Bag - Tuesday September 27
Q&A: Come with questions, concerns, accomplishments having to do with your case. We love to hear and learn from one another as this is how we continue to grow. This should be fun!

Thank you to all the CASA volunteers who took another case. You are lifesavers. Also a big thanks to those of you who are still working these tough cases. We could not do it without you.

Abuse and Neglect Court: September 7th, 20th and 21st. Court reports due 10 days prior. All of you have been awesome about getting the reports in. Lets not break that streak!

Birthdays and Anniversaries
Nicole Miller Sept. 4 Birthday

Mary Bell Sept. 14 Birthday

Rosemary Hinkle Sept. 23 Birthday

Nancy Morales Sept. 26 Birthday

Reana Gonzales 5 Year Anniversary

Merilyn Robertson 1 Year Anniversary

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Local Filmmaker is Making Movie About Foster Children

Local filmmaker Jacob Roebuck is raising capital to make a movie about abused children finding hope in a camp for foster kids. 

It is based on true stories from the lives of real children.

Go to CAMP to find out more about this beautiful project.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Looking for Adoption Stories for CBS’s A Home for the Holidays

Do you have a great adoption story to share?  National CASA would like to hear about it.
We have been asked to help identify adoption stories for the CBS television special program A Home for the Holidays. This yearly special, which airs in December, helps to create public awareness of adoption and draw attention to children in care who are waiting to be adopted.

The producers are looking for inspiring stories of children 5 years and older who have been successfully adopted. They add that they are hoping to find stories that match one or more of these categories:

• Adoption of a child who is comfortable sharing his/her story
• A couple with no children who adopts a foster child age 6–10
• Adoption of a foster child that will age out fairly soon (age 15–17)
• Adoption that highlights the importance of keeping siblings together

If you know of a story that might fit these criteria, please send details to no later than Wednesday, August 31. Thank you!

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Go to Bat for National CASA

Thanks to State Farm and Major League Baseball, National CASA is a featured cause in the Go to Bat program.

By playing an online batting game each week, supporters can help National CASA qualify for weekly $18,000 prizes or a grand prize of $25,000, which will be awarded at the end of the 10-week program. Winning charities will be featured in a pregame ceremony during the 2011 World Series. Visit the Go to Bat website to participate. 

New National CASA Podcast: Today’s Health for Tomorrow

National CASA is back with their podcast series!

Our latest podcast is an interview with Syeda Naqvi from CASA of Cook County, IL, in which she discusses monitoring the health of youth in care and the effect of health on their future well-being. Listen now or subscribe via iTunes or RSS to receive the latest podcasts automatically.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Wings for L.I.F.E. Meeting

Life-skills Imparted to Families through Education
Being an Effective Parent
for Single, Separated, or Divorced Couples

Presented By
Balazs Batyka

We Will Be Raffling Off a Beautiful Baby Blanket

Roswell Boys & Girls Club
201 S. Garden
SUNDAY, August 21st, 2011
6:00 PM to 7:30 PM

For Questions call: Shelly @ 317-2042

Dinner provided & crafts for children in a family friendly environment
(Sitter available)

Monday, August 15, 2011

United Way of Chaves County Golf Tournament

9th Annual Charity Golf Tournament Benefiting
United Way of Chaves County

Prizes: Cash & Credit for 1st, 2nd and 3rd place teams.
Everyone has a chance to win $50,000 in putt off, prizes for
longest drive, all par 3’s and more!!!

Format: 4 Person Scramble (Min. Team Handicap of 45 with One
Player 10 Handicap or Less)
Team Entry Fee: $400 – Includes Green Fees, Carts, Range

Balls, Mulligans (2 per player), Split the Pot, Putt Off,

Breakfast, Lunch and Drinks on the Course.
Date & Place: Saturday, September 17, 2011, 8:00 A.M.
Shotgun Start – Spring River Golf Course.

Breakfast and Lunch Will Be Provided

Pick up & return entry forms to the Spring River Golf Course no later than 12:00 noon
Wednesday, September 14, 2011. Must be age 21 or older. Limited to first 26 teams.

Monday, August 1, 2011

August Happenings

Brown Bag - August 4th, Balazs from Counseling Associates will be speaking to us about some of the services offered at the agency. He will also explain the best process on how to get information on our clients that are getting services through Counseling Associates.

Brown Bag - August 24th, a speaker from Harvest Ministries will be here to talk with us about the services they provide to our community. It will be another resource that we can share with our CASA families.

Breaking Schools’ Rules: A Statewide Study on How School Discipline Relates to Students’ Success and Juvenile Justice Involvement

The Council of State Governments Justice Center, in partnership with the Public Policy Research Institute at Texas A&M University, has released an unprecedented statewide study of nearly 1 million Texas public secondary school students, followed for at least six years. Among its startling findings are that the majority of students were suspended or expelled between seventh to twelfth grade.

Funded by the Atlantic Philanthropies and the Open Society Foundations, this study also found that when students are suspended or expelled, the likelihood that they will repeat a grade, not graduate, and/or become involved in the juvenile justice system increases significantly. African-American students and children with particular educational disabilities who qualify for special education were suspended and expelled at especially high rates.

Download the Press Release: New Report on How School Discipline Relates to Academic and Juvenile Justice Outcomes (.pdf)

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Monday, July 11, 2011

1231 Children Served by CASA in FY11

You made it possible for us to serve over 1200 children in FY11!!

39 CASA Volunteers
        1296 Training Hours
        3310 Service Hours
4 Volunteer Mentors
1231 Children Served

Court Advocacy (by type of petition)
Physical Abuse/Neglect 208
Sexual Abuse 8
Domestic Violence 180
Domestic Matters 123
Total Court Advocacy 519

Access & Visitation
Domestic Matters 43
Domestic Violence 37
Private 6
In-Home Visitation 6
Incarcerated Parent Visit 47
Total Access & Visitation 200

Youth Service
Intensive Youth Court Advocacy 49
Alternative Education 23
Leadership 59
Girls Circle 65
Total Youth Services 196

Kinship Care 231

Emma the CASA Dog 70

Transitions Lifebooks 15

Birth to 5 - 427
6 to 11 - 326
12 to 18 - 478
Female 560
Male 671

Friday, July 8, 2011

July Happenings

BROWN BAG, TUESDAY July 19th, 2011
The Amazing Pat Coronado will be speaking to us about Report Writing

Come and learn some techniques and simple ways to write your court reports.


For those of you who have not yet started on your 12 hours of annual inservice training, Brown Bags are an easy ways to do that. You can also read a book or watch a video. Let me know if you need a list of accepted inservice hour media.

If you know anyone who is interested in becoming a volunteer. I will be starting a training Tuesday evening July 26th. Have them call the CASA office. There is a major need for many dedicated volunteers.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

June Edition of Child Advocacy Matters

The June edition of National CASA’s monthly e-newsletter, Child Advocacy Matters, featured stories of lives changed by CASA volunteers, a powerful blog post from Michael Piraino and an article from the latest issue of The Connection. An archive of the newsletter can be read online. Please encourage your staff and volunteers to sign up for Child Advocacy Matters to stay in touch.

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Wings For Life - Learning About AA

Wings for L.I.F.E.

(Life-skills Imparted to Families through Education)

Living Life on Life’s Terms-
Learn about A.A. & Al Anon

Presented By
Bubba Long, BSW/LADAC & Angie Diel

Roswell Boys & Girls Club
201 S. Garden
SUNDAY, June 5, 2011
6:00 PM to 7:30 PM

For Questions call: Jennifer @ 626-6292
Dinner provided & crafts for children in a family friendly environment
(Sitter available)

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Wings For Life Event - The Role of Judges

Wings for L.I.F.E. Family Event

District Court Judge Charles Currier & District Court Judge Freddie Romero
Present The Role of Judges

Brisket Dinner Will Be Served
Roswell Boys & Girls Club
201 S. Garden
SUNDAY, May 22, 2011
6:00 PM to 7:30 PM

For Questions call: Shelly @ 317-2042

Dinner provided & crafts for children in a family friendly environment
(Sitter available)

New National CASA Podcast—Speaking Up for Autism

The latest interview is a follow up to the February podcast on Autism Spectrum Disorder.

It is the story of a volunteer from Coweta CASA, Inc. in Newnan, GA, who advocated for a child diagnosed with autism. You will hear what resources she used and recommendations she made in order to ensure the best possible outcome for the child she served. Listen now, or subscribe via iTunes or RSS to receive the latest podcasts automatically.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Child Advocacy Matters May 2011

May's Newsletter from the National CASA Association

To read Child Advocacy Matters, go here.

Monday, May 2, 2011

Goodbye Party for Mary Colby

Help us say farewell to our beloved Volunteer Coordinator, Mary Colby
As she leaves us to move to Abu Dhabi

Please join us Monday, May 9th
5:00 on the Peppers Patio

Thursday, April 28, 2011


Early-childhood program to encourage interaction also results in higher IQs, study finds

NEW YORK — Toddlers in a program to encourage interaction and play with their mothers grew into adults with higher IQs, greater educational attainment and less involvement in violence than kids who did not receive the early stimulation, a new study finds. These latest results are the fourth follow-up in a series of studies since the early-childhood program ended, about twenty (20) years ago.

"The most exciting finding this time was the reduction in violent behavior, because that's something we haven't shown before," said Dr. Susan Walker, the lead researcher and a professor at the University of the West Indies in Jamaica.

Beginning in the 1980s, Walker and her colleagues tracked 129 Jamaican toddlers who all had stunted growth and lived in an impoverished area. One group of children was part of the stimulation program, another was given supplemental baby formula, a third group received both interventions, and a fourth group did not get either.

The stimulation involved a weekly visit from a woman who taught the mothers how to play with their toddlers and engage them in everyday activities, and who also left toys and books each week.

Children who received food every week were given 1 kg of milk-based formula, which makes a little less than two gallons. Each intervention lasted two years.

As in previous follow-ups, Walker found that children who received the stimulation from their mother had higher IQs. In this study of the participants at age 22, there was a six-point difference between those who had received the interaction and those who did not. "It's a substantial improvement for something that took place in early childhood," Walker told Reuters Health.

Children who were stimulated were also 65 percent less likely to be involved in fights and violent crime as adults, and they performed better in math and reading tests. The group of toddlers who received formula had no improvements in these measurements two decades later, compared to kids who did not get the extra food. None of the interventions were tied to any differences in alcohol or cigarette use, teenage births, or education past secondary school. And the participants remained small compared to their peers - likely the result of poor nutrition as babies, Walker said.

The study did not examine the cause of the benefits to children whose mothers received the play training. But Walker said that the interactions might have improved the children's self esteem, which could have resulted in better school performance.

Dr. Benard Dreyer, a pediatrics professor at New York University School of Medicine, who was not involved in the study, said the results show that the benefits of early childhood stimulation can ripple for years - increasing the likelihood of excelling in school and avoiding violence.

In an editorial he wrote in the journal Pediatrics, where the study is published, Dreyer said such programs should be offered to poor children in the United States and the developing world.

"It's not that we don't know what to do, it's that we haven't decided to implement this on a large scale," he told Reuters Health. The study did not estimate how much such an intervention program would cost.

Dreyer said weekly at-home interventions would be less expensive than full-time daycare, which is another experience shown to help the development of disadvantaged children. He added that Walker's study is one of the few well-planned interventions followed-up for so many years.

Walker suggests that early-childhood intervention for children who are deprived of nutrition and stimulation should become part of regular pediatric services, just like immunizations. "In this context, where there are virtually no toys in the home and maybe not much language interaction, what you do to improve the quality of that mother-child interaction and the engagement in play can be tremendously important," Walker said.

Copyright 2011 Thomson Reuters.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

New Podcast—A Question of Balance

The latest edition of A Question of Balance is a must-have for every person in the CASA network—if not for every person who works in child welfare. In our latest podcast, author Janet Ward of National CASA discusses the new edition of A Question of Balance, highlighting the changes that have been made and the philosophy behind this book. Listen now or subscribe via iTunes or RSS to receive the latest podcasts automatically.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Wings for L.I.F.E. Meeting

(Life-skills Imparted to Families through Education)

Civil Legal Issues
Presented By The Legal Aid Team

Learn about the appeal process for state benefits, how to dress for court, and know your tenant rights

Roswell Boys & Girls Club
201 S. Garden
SUNDAY, May1, 2011
6:00 PM to 7:30 PM

For Questions call: Shelly @ 317-2042

Dinner provided & crafts for children in a family friendly environment
(Sitter available)

Friday, April 15, 2011

April Happenings

WOW, we have a busy month!
April is...

Friday, April 22
CASA office closed in observance of Good Friday and Easter.

Monday, April 25
Brown Bag 12 noon at the CASA office
MST From Counseling Associates
Multi-Systemic Treatment program from Counseling Associates. Come learn why it is working and how our families can get involved.

Friday, April 29
6:00 pm at the Civic Center
If you have ever been to this event you know how much fun it is. If you have not, you need to come check it out. You don't want to miss it!!!

Andi Smith - 20 Year Board Anniversary
Frank Coggins - 16 Year Board Anniversary
Brett Leach - 11 Year Board Anniversary
Rosemary Hinkle - 7 Year Board Anniversary
Julie Deaton - 4 Year Volunteer Anniversary
Judy Scripps - 4 Year Volunteer Anniversary

Happy Anniversary to each of you. Thank you so much for your time and dedication to CASA and our precious children. We appreciate everything you do!

Gov. Susana Martinez introduces new Child Abuse Hot Line

Governor and CYFD Secretary Announce User-Friendly Hotline Number for Public Reporting of Child Abuse and Neglect

1-855-SAFE (7233)

SANTA FE — Governor Susana Martinez and Children, Youth, and Families (CYFD) Secretary Yolanda Deines today enlisted the public in the state's fight against child abuse and neglect. At a press conference at the University of New Mexico's Children's Campus this morning, they announced #SAFE, a new user-friendly hotline number for public reporting of child abuse and neglect. New Mexicans can also dial 855-333-SAFE from any phone.

Governor Martinez has declared April Child Abuse Awareness Month and encouraged all New Mexicans to be vigilant about reporting child abuse and creating a positive environment for children across the state. "Child Abuse Awareness Month is a time for speaking up, confronting abuse, and standing up for innocent children across New Mexico," said Governor Martinez. "As a prosecutor, I dedicated my career to fighting for the defenseless. Now, I am asking all New Mexico citizens to join this fight. We can do this by joining together as parents, teachers, family members and neighbors to create a safe and positive environment for our children. I encourage everyone to be vigilant about reporting child abuse and neglect by dialing #SAFE from any cell phone or calling 1-855-333-SAFE."

"Children are the most precious resource we have in New Mexico," stated Children, Youth, and Families Department Secretary Yolanda Deines. "We want New Mexicans this month to take a deep breath and really think about child abuse in our society. There are no easy answers. But working together and increasing our awareness strengthens our ability to protect our children. If you know, or even suspect, that a child is in danger, starting now you can dial #SAFE or 1-855-333-SAFE. It's our moral responsibility to watch out for the kids around us."

Calls to the hotline, useable from anywhere in the state, will go to CYFD's State Central Intake unit, housed in Albuquerque. From there, a trained operator fields the call and asks for as much information as possible. The calls are immediately reviewed by a supervisor, assigned a priority code, and rerouted to the county office where the child resides. Some calls are screened out for various reasons, including calls that are not allegations of child abuse. Calls are also cross-reported when appropriate. For example, a call about a parent dealing drugs from the home may or not be a child abuse call, but will always be cross reported to the local law enforcement agency.

There are 561,318 children in New Mexico under the age of 19. In any given year, CYFD receives an average of 33,000 phone calls to their state-wide reporting system. Of those, 18,000 are screened for further investigation, and approximately 4,700 are substantiated for abuse. The vast majority of substantiated cases of child abuse are for physical neglect (72.7%). Twenty-five percent of substantiated claims are for physical abuse, and 1.6% of cases are for sexual abuse.

"Keeping kids safe is a team effort," continued Secretary Dienes. “We need the community to take this responsibility very seriously, because our social workers can't even knock on a door unless we get a call first. #SAFE from your cell phone - it doesn’t get any easier than this."
"We have an obligation to all the children out there, who right now may be living in fear, scared of the adults in their lives who are supposed to love and protect them," said Governor Martinez. "Preventing child abuse and neglect and protecting our kids is up to us."

Deines also discouraged so-called malicious reporting, or people who falsely accuse neighbors or ex-spouses or others. "Every hour we spend sorting out false and malicious allegations is an hour taken from a frightened child who truly needs our help," says Deines, who has personally investigated hundreds of child abuse cases during her career.

"Please find a healthier way to express your anger, and don't take time away from a child who might be in danger."

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

New Report Indicates that Fifteen Percent of New Mexicans are Likely to Be Raped

Department of Health Supports Sexual Assault Prevention Activities

(SANTA FE) – The New Mexico Department of Health reported today that 15 percent of New Mexicans are likely be raped at some point in their lifetime. It was reported in the Sex Crime Trends in New Mexico during 2005 through 2009, that one in four women and one in 20 men are likely to be raped during their lifetime. The data was provided by the Survey of Violence Victimization in New Mexico. Public agencies and community organizations are joining together to raise awareness about the importance of preventing sexual violence in New Mexico. They are sponsoring a variety of activities throughout the state during Sexual Assault Awareness Month in April.

New Mexico sexual assault statistics:
• The number of reported criminal sexual penetration crimes has increased each year from 1,337 in 2006 to 1,408 in 2009.
• The vast majority of rapes against both women and men remain unreported to police or sexual violence support organizations. In 2009, only 1 in 9.5 adult rapes came to the attention of law enforcement.
• Victims of sexual violence are overwhelmingly female (86 percent rape victims and 78 percent victims of non-penetration sex crimes).
• Almost one-third (31%) of rape victims and 29 percent of victims of non-penetration sex crimes are victimized before age twelve. Another 30 percent of rape victims and 32 percent of victims of non-penetration crimes are victimized before age eighteen.
• More than half (57%) of sexual assault victims were victims of a prior sexual assault.
• Almost two-thirds (60%) of prior assault victims were victimized by age twelve and 85 percent of these were victims of on-going sexual abuse.
• More than half of survivors and two-thirds of offenders had a history of domestic violence.

Reports on sexual assault and domestic violence in New Mexico can be found on the Office of Injury Prevention website: and on the NM Coalition of Sexual Assault Programs website at:

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Volunteer Appreciation Luncheon Thursday

Join us as we Celebrate our Superhero CASA Volunteers!

Thursday, April 14th, 11:30 to 1:30, in the CASA Office, 500 N. Main St. #310

Congratulations to the following:

Volunteer of the Year Nancy Morales

Rookie of the Year Pam Coggins

Report Writing Award Fred Bennett

Starfish Award Judy Pittman

Angel Heart Award C&J Drug Screening

Super Hero Award Bill Jones

Social Worker of the Year Virginia Villareal

Mentor of the Year Janet Sanders

Energizer Bunny Award Judy Scripps

Lifetime Achievement Award Harriett Pinkerton

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Training Videos: First Visits with Children

Many new volunteers express anxiety around their first visit to meet a child or a family. National CASA has just posted two new training videos designed to assist a volunteer in envisioning what a first visit might actually look like.

In the first video, a volunteer is seen introducing herself to a caregiver and then talking with a preschool-aged child. In the second video, a volunteer demonstrates a conversation intended to build rapport with a pre-teen-aged youth. Using both videos, volunteers will be able to observe, take notes and compare their notes to the observations of an experienced volunteer supervisor, all from the comfort of their own computers.

To view these videos or to refer your volunteers to these resources, visit the Volunteer Resource Library at

Wings For Life Event - Parenting Skills

Parenting Styles- Find What Works for You Presented By Dare to Be You Team Door Prize- Easter Basket Giveaway -Easter Crafts for the Kids -Roswell Boys & Girls Club -201 S. Garden -SUNDAY, April 10, 2011 -6:00 PM to 7:30 PM -For Questions call: Shelly @ 317-2042 -Dinner provided & crafts for children in a family friendly environment (Sitter available)

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

2011 "State of CASA" Presentation

National CASA CEO Michael Piraino gave a "State of CASA" Presentation at the NCASAA Conference in Chicago.

Go here to see a video of his speech.

My annual "State of CASA" presentation is an opportunity for me to share highlights of the past year and thoughts about the future direction of National CASA with guests at the National CASA Conference in Chicago. I always wish that each of you could be there to participate.

I hope you find this recording of my presentation informative, whether you were at the conference or you are seeing it for the first time. I also invite you to review the following resource materials that I have pulled together.

-- Michael Piraino, National CASA CEO

Friday, March 4, 2011

March Happenings

March Happenings!

Wednesday, March 9
Brown Bag: Lunch with social workers
A Meet and greet lunch with your social workers. Let us join together and become stronger in the best interest of our children. PLEASE come! I believe this is one of the most important brown bag we have ever had.

Monday, March 14
Brown Bag: Lunch with a wise CASA
Come listen to a CASA volunteer who has been here for 10+ years. She is a wise, wise women and wants to share her experiences with us all. CASA will provide lunch for this special brown bag so come on over at noon!

Sara Armstrong 12 Year Volunteer
Bill Jones 6 Year Volunteer
Mary Bell 2 Year Board Member
Happy Anniversary! Thank you for all you do!

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Learning about Health Concerns for Sexually Active People

Wings for L.I.F.E. Event
(Life-skills Imparted to Families through Education)

Presented By
Theresa Williams
Health Educator for Dept. of Health

Chance to win two $20 gift certificates for gas

Roswell Boys & Girls Club
201 S. Garden
SUNDAY, February 27, 2011
6:00 PM to 7:30 PM
For Questions call: Shelly @ 317-2042
Dinner provided and & crafts for children in a family friendly environment
(Sitter available)

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Come to our Clocktail Party

Taylor Orthodontics
and the
Chaves County CASA Program

Invite you to a

Clocktail Party

Thursday, March 3rd
4:30 to 6:30 PM
Pecos Flavors Winery
305 N. Main
Clock-making ideas and parts will be available

Clock-makers, artists, sponsors and donors
are invited to support CASA’s programs for hurting children
at the 9th Annual Make Time For Kids event
on April 29th at the Roswell Civic Center

All donations are tax deductible
For more info: 575.625.0112 or

The Connection: National CASA's Magazine

Cover Story: Supporting Youth Transitioning to Adulthood

The number of youth aging out of foster care each year has increased from 19,000 to nearly 30,000 over the past decade. Too many youth are unable to complete their educations, find housing and jobs or get medical care. Many are not being connected to supportive families. But new legislation, and the attention of several key members of Congress, may go a long way to improving outcomes for older youth. Gary Stangler, executive director of the Jim Casey Youth Opportunities Initiative, is guest author.

Find the Connection here.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

New National CASA Podcast: Autism Spectrum Disorder

Stacy Shook, a board-certified behavior analyst and director of Northwest Behavioral Associates in Seattle, WA, discusses autism spectrum disorder. She describes how it may be treated and possible services for children and their caregivers. Listen to the podcast, or subscribe to receive the latest podcasts automatically.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

February is Teen Dating Violence Prevention Month

Most teenagers do not experience physical aggression when they date. However, for CASA teens, abuse is a very real part of dating relationships (Teen Dating Violence: A Closer Look at Adolescent Romantic Relationships, National Institute of Justice, 2008).

Beginning in 2010, the U.S. Department of Justice worked with the Senate to designate the entire month of February as National Teen Dating Violence Awareness and Prevention Month. As President Obama states in a 2011 Presidential Proclamation: "National Teen Dating Violence Awareness and Prevention Month reflects our Nation’s growing understanding that violence within relationships often begins during adolescence. Each year, about one in four teens report being the victim of verbal, physical, emotional, or sexual violence. Abusive relationships can impact adolescent development, and teens who experience dating violence may suffer long-term negative behavioral and health consequences."

To help bring greater awareness to the dangers and consequences of teen dating violence, NCJRS shares with you the Teen Dating Violence Special Feature, an online compilation of publications and resources on the topic.

Monday, February 14, 2011

New and Improved Volunteers Section Offers Resources for CASA Staff and Volunteers

The Volunteers section of now contains an overhauled and updated Resource Library to help inform the work of CASA volunteers and other child advocates.

Resources provided include publications of National CASA and other organizations as well as annotated listings of websites. Topics covered include Addiction, Domestic Violence, Health, Immigration, Research and Evaluation and Working with Older Youth.

We hope that you find the new library useful in your work as a CASA/GAL program staff member and that you will encourage your volunteers to use this new resource. Please spread the word!

Find it here!

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Interpreting Children's Artwork: Brown Bag In-Service Training for Volunteers

How Volunteers Can Interpret and Utilize Abused Children's Art to Strengthen Their Advocacy:
A Two Part Training

Presented by Billy Hunter of ENMU-R

Thursday, February 10th
Wednesday, February 16th

Noon in the CASA Office

Valentine Making Event for the Whole Family at the Anderson Museum of Contemporary Art

Handmade Valentines are making a comeback!


Ideas, samples, and supplies will be provided,
and the Valentine Cantina will be stocked with
kid-friendly and Valentine-approved food.
Price is $10 adults, $8 students age 12-18, and
$5 children under 12 (who must be accompanied by an adult).
This Valentine Event is part of the
For more information call 575-623-5600.

Monday, February 7, 2011

New Podcast: Use of Psychotropic Medication in the Foster Care System

In this latest podcast, Stephen McCrea, CASA supervisor with CASA for Children in Portland, OR, talks about the history of mental health treatment of foster youth.

He focuses on the introduction of psychotropic medications, their use today and what a CASA/GAL volunteer should know when working with medicated youth. Before working with the CASA program, McCrea was a crisis counselor and a residential counselor for youth. Listen to the podcast at our website, or subscribe to receive the latest podcasts via RSS or iTunes.

Wings for L.I.F.E. - Family Communication

Life-skills Imparted to Families through Education

Family Communication &
Communication Traps

Presented By Bobby Heard, LMSW/LADAC

Brisket dinner will be served to celebrate Valentines Day

A drawing for one paid dinner for two will be held & other door prizes will be given away

Roswell Boys & Girls Club
201 S. Garden
SUNDAY, February 13, 2011
6:00 PM to 7:30 PM
For Questions call: Jennifer @ 626-6292

Dinner provided and Valentine arts & crafts for children in a family friendly environment

(Sitter available)

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Separating the Myths From the Facts About 2nd & 3rd Hand Smoke & the Truth About Dipping

Wings for L.I.F.E.
(Life-skills Imparted to Families through Education)
Presented By
Gisselle Keyes, Smoking Cessation Coordinator

Learn how guests and volunteers can be eligible to win an IPOD or Digital Camera

Roswell Boys & Girls Club
201 S. Garden
SUNDAY, January 30, 2011
6:00 PM to 7:30 PM
For Questions call: Shelly @ 317-2042
Dinner served between 6:00 and 6:30 PM only. Arts & Crafts for Children
in a family friendly environment
(Sitter available)

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

New Podcast: Families Living in Poverty

New National CASA Association Podcast: Families Living in Poverty

In this podcast, Monica Boguki, a lawyer with the Legal Aid Society of Minneapolis, discusses issues around families living in poverty, their battle to get out of poverty and ways that CASA/GAL volunteer advocates can assist these families. Listen to this podcast at their website.

In Their Shoes: Dating Violence and Youth in New Mexico

In Their Shoes: Dating Violence and Youth in New Mexico
Date: February 22, 2011
Time: 8am – 5pm
Location: Double Tree Hotel, Albuquerque
Cost: FREE

Meg Wills, Enlace Comunitario – and youth from her program
Anna Nelson, NM Forum for Youth
Karen Wyman, NMCADV

Description of Training:
This one-day training will focus on dating violence in youth populations in New Mexico. This highly interactive day of learning will include some of the state’s leading experts on dating violence among youth as well as opportunities to hear from youth directly about the issues impacting their lives.
Participants will use an innovative training tool called “In Their Shoes” which provides the chance to experience the day-to-day realities of youth experiencing dating violence.

This FREE training is designed for both youth-serving organizations and domestic violence service providers. Register now! Space is limited. Click here to register.

Serving Child Victims of Sex Trafficking

OVC Web Forum Guest Host To Discuss Serving Child Victims of Sex Trafficking: January 19

Ad for OVC Web Forum session on Serving Child Victims of Sex Trafficking with guest host Mollie Ring, January 19, 2011, 2:00 p.m. EST.

On January 19, 2011, at 2 p.m. (eastern time), the Office for Victims of Crime (OVC) will present a Web Forum discussion with Mollie Ring on best practices for serving child victims of sex trafficking. Ms. Ring is the Director of Anti-Trafficking Programs at the Standing Against Global Exploitation (SAGE) Project, a nonprofit organization working to end the commercial sexual exploitation of children and adults. She coordinates direct services for domestic minor and international victims of human trafficking and leads outreach, training, and public education efforts.

For more information, visit the OVC Web Forum.

Eagle Scout Project 5K Benefits CASA

The Boy Scouts Conquistador Council in conjunction with the Roswell Parks and Rec. and the Roswell Runners Club will be sponsoring the 1st Annual Race for Backpacks.

The event is scheduled for Feb. 5th 2011 in Cahoon Park. It will be a 5K run and a 5K walk. A school backpack is the entry fee to participate that will be later donated to Chaves County CASA. Race day pre-registration will be from 7:30am-8:30am and the race will begin at 9:00am in Cahoon Park located at 1101 W. 4th. Overall awards go to first place male and female. Ribbons to first thru third place and both male/female finishers in all age groups. T-shirts go to the first 100 participants. For more information please contact Parks & Recreation at 624-6720 or Matt Gardner at 623-2627.

CASA is grateful to Matt Gardner for choosing to benefit CASA with his Eagle Scout Project.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Human Trafficking Awareness

January 11 is National Human Trafficking Awareness Day

For more information about this horrrible, but very real, issue go to:

Courthouse Dog Training

Seattle Prosecuting Attorney Ellen O’Neill-Stephens
& Celeste Walsen, Executive Director of Courthouse Dogs

Presentation on the legal issues and protocol of using an assistance dog to assist victims from forensic interview through trial

Since 2003 courthouse dogs have provided comfort to sexually abused children while they undergo forensic interviews and testify in court. The dogs also assist drug court participants in their recovery, visit juveniles in detention facilities, greet jurors and lift the spirits of courthouse staff who often conduct their business in an adversarial setting.
Courthouse dogs assist individuals with physical, psychological, or emotional trauma due to criminal conduct; these dogs are professionally trained to service dog standards by an accredited member of Assistance Dogs International.
The use of courthouse dogs can help bring about a major change in how we meet the emotional needs of all involved in the criminal justice system. The dog’s calming presence creates a more humane and efficient system that enables judges, lawyers, and staff to accomplish their work in a more positive and constructive manner.
Friday, January 28th
1:30 to 3:30 Chaves County Courthouse
Sponsored by the Chaves County CASA Program with a grant from CJAAG
More info: CASA at 575.625.0112, and

January Happenings

Join us for great training opportunities in January!

Childrens Law Institute, Albuquerque - January 12-14

CASA Child Centered Meetings (CCMs) - Wednesday, January 19

Brown Bag In-Service, Samantha Reed of Counseling Associates, Safe and Stable Family Services - Thursday, January 20 noon in the CASA office

Courthouse Dog Training - Friday, January 28, 1:30 to 3:30 Chaves County Courthouse

Friday, January 7, 2011

IRA Holders Can Still Make 2010 Charitable Distributions

Persons aged 70½ or older can again enjoy tax savings by making charitable gifts directly from their Individual Retirement Accounts (IRAs), thanks to a provision of the Tax Relief, Unemployment Insurance Reauthorization, and Job Creation Act of 2010, which was signed into law December 17, 2010. The act also allows charitable distributions made from an IRA in January 2011 to be declared as 2010 gifts, should the IRA holder wish to do so.