Crawford County Court Appointed Special Advocates Annual Report: July 1 2011 – June 30, 2012 Crawford County CASA, Inc. 310 Chestnut Street, Suite 334 Meadville, PA 16335 Phone (814) 337-4471 Email: [email protected] Website: www.crawfordcasa.org Dear Friends of CASA: It is time once again to pause to appreciate those who have helped make a difference in the lives of abused and neglected children in Crawford County. CASA is a non-profit organization that recruits volunteers who represent the best interests of those abused and neglected children in court. These Court Appointed Special Advocates have played a vital role in improving the lives of children in our community. The success of Crawford County CASA is due to the efforts of many generous people. CASA supporters include volunteers, donors and staff. With everyone’s special contributions, this year has proven to be very successful. It is exciting to see that these children will continue to have, and many more will receive a CASA volunteer to speak for them in court. Although we continue to experience challenging economic times, the generosity of CASA supporters is amazing and heartening! CASA looks forward to continuing to work with Judge Anthony J. Vardaro, Judge John F. Spataro and Judge Mark D. Stevens as well as Juvenile Court Master Greg Keenan. We were pleased to see The Children’s Roundtable continue its Barriers to Permanency project with the American Bar Association. This two-year project is aimed at shortening the amount of time it takes between a child being removed from an unsafe environment to being permanently placed in a safe and nurturing home. CASA will continue to work hard to provide the courts with quality reports and recommendations. CASA could not continue to exist without our CASA Volunteers. They are the heart and soul of our organization and we are very proud of the good work they do. Our Volunteers’ willingness to positively affect the lives of children whom they do not know personally is an inspiration to the Board of Directors and all who know CASA. So long as there are children in our community that need a special advocate in their young lives, Crawford County CASA will strive to recruit, train and retain Volunteers that make the system and the world a better place for the children we serve. Your support and contributions are needed and appreciated. You can trust that CASA will continue to steward your generosity now and for years to come! Sincerely, PAULA C. DiGIACOMO CASA Board President BOARD OF DIRECTORS Paula DiGiacomo, President Gary Alizzeo, Vice President Penny Linsted, Secretary Joseph Palmiero, Treasurer Angela Abbott Heather Clancy-Young Susan Curtin Francis Schultz VOLUNTEERS OUR MISSION Crawford County CASA, Inc., under professional leadership, trains and provides citizen volunteers to advocate for the best interests of children who are involved in juvenile court proceedings primarily as a result of abuse and/or neglect. These volunteers conduct an independent investigation, establish working relationships with all involved parties and services, report their findings and recommendations to the court, and help monitor compliance with family service plans and court orders. Crawford County CASA is dedicated to ensuring that children have a safe, permanent and nurturing home in the shortest time frame possible. This Annual Report covers donations and activities between July 1, 2011 and June 30, 2012. Donations made after June 30, 2012 will appear in the CASA 2012 – 2013 Annual Report. Robin Anderson Sue Anderson Christie Antoun Corinne Chafey Richard Chafey Joanna Cihon Cathy England Cheryl Forero Michelle Frndak Connie Haibach Ben Haytock Nancy Haytock Phyllis Link Donna Morgan Diane Patton Sharon Persbacker Krista Rhoades Brenda Schoonover Barbara Spencer Layne Spencer Joshua Searle-White FRIENDS OF CASA Mary Collins Larry Dickson Michael McGrath Norma Miller Jody Sperry CASA STAFF Patricia Henry, Program Director Cindy Knight, Volunteer Coordinator Lana Beers, Office Manager CASA by the Numbers Crawford County CASA’s ability to serve abused and neglected children in our local child welfare system is dictated by the number of volunteers it is able to recruit, train and support. In 2011, CASA served just 20% of the children in out-of-home placement. That means almost 150 children and youth did not have a CASA volunteer to represent their best interests. National research shows that children with a CASA volunteer are half as likely to languish in foster care and much more likely to find safe permanent homes than children who do not have a CASA volunteer. CASA volunteers are assigned to the most difficult cases: those with prior maltreatment or contact with child welfare, cases of extreme neglect, physical or sexual abuse, and other cases where children have a great level of risk. As difficult budget cuts strain services for these children, the responsibility falls to us — the community at large — to make sure they don’t slip into the same downward spiral that has claimed so many children and so much potential. CASA volunteers make a difference in the lives of these children. In 2011, Crawford County CASA recruited and trained six new volunteers, who were sworn in by President Judge Anthony Vardaro, doubling the number of new volunteers from three in 2010. Nineteen volunteers worked on cases in 2011, up from 15 volunteers working cases in 2010. In calendar year 2011, 19 Crawford County CASA volunteers donated 1,230 hours advocating for 36 children in dependency court because of abuse and neglect. Of the 36 children served, 16 children are new cases and 20 children are cases continued over from the previous year. CASA volunteers in Crawford County averaged 60 hours (per volunteer) of direct service to children. In 2011, Crawford County CASA volunteers stay on their child’s case an average of 33 months, showing their commitment to children in need. CASA volunteers attended 83 court hearings to advocate for the children and to report to the court of the findings of their independent investigations into the children’s circumstances. Seven cases were closed when the children found permanency. Three children were adopted. One child “aged out” of the system choosing to end dependency status upon turning 18 years old. Three children were returned to the care of their parents after the court determined that various conditions had improved, usually through services provided in drug and alcohol abuse and mental health counseling, parenting skills training, and anger management. Kateyln Burns, Meadville Middle School Alayna Zieziula, East End, Grades 3-4 A Volunteer’s Legacy When Brenda Schoonover became a CASA volunteer seven years ago, she wanted to give back to the community and continue to advocate for children. “The resilience of children is amazing and they deserve an opportunity to grow up carefree and nurtured,” she noted on her CASA application. Retired after 32 years in education, working with children and adolescents as a guidance counselor and elementary school principal, her goal was to “make a difference in their lives in some small way.” “Society has an obligation to prepare children to become productive citizens… Throughout history, some children have been neglected and abused. The silent acceptance of inappropriate treatment continues today in our country and around the world. Society should strive to assist children to be nurtured and cared for in stable home situations. If society does not protect and nurture its youth, who will keep our country the strong world leader that we are? Since being sworn in as a CASA volunteer on October 31, 2005, Brenda has made a significant difference in the lives of four local children. Her first case lasted 65 months and involved four siblings, including a young man who Brenda advocated for from the time he was 12 until just after his 18th birthday. Cindy Knight, CASA Volunteer Supervisor, recalls that Brenda was truly committed to her CASA children. “Brenda was persistent when she needed to be. She did not hesitate to ask questions or to bring up anything that needed addressed by the court, the caseworkers, the schools or service providers. Brenda’s dedication to her cases is immeasurable. She knew exactly what to do and did it.” After a year’s hiatus, Brenda is ready to accept a new case.” Brenda worked as a middle school math, a guidance counselor for Crawford County Area Vocational Technical School, and as an elementary guidance counselor at Second District School, where she later served as principal “Parents tend to parent their children in the same way that they themselves were parented. How can we expect adults who have never been parented themselves to be nurturing? How can we expect parents who moved frequently growing up to understand the importance of a stable home and attending the same school for multiple years? Society must break the cycle of lack of parenting skills, abuse and neglect by offering supports to families in appropriate disciplines, healthy eating and life styles, budgeting, hygiene and educational opportunities. I believe that parents want to take care of their children and give them a better life than they themselves had. Unfortunately, not all parents have the skills needed to do this. Society must be willing to provide all the necessary supports to help parents be the best parent that they can be.” Brenda has also been active with Women’s Services Board of Directors, Martin Luther King Scholarship Board, Rainbow Girls advisor, and Outward Bound drug and alcohol prevention program taking students on camping trips in the Allegheny National Forest. Contributing to Success by Supporting CASA When William and Eva Hanaway established Tech Tool and Die in 1973, they created a precision tooling shop and heat treating service. Today, 39 years later, that business has expanded and evolved into Tech Molded Plastics, Inc, a family owned and operated firm with a tradition of caring about its people and the community. Scott Hanaway, who succeeded his father in 1991 as president, is in charge of all business functions including engineering, tooling and plastics operations. Family members in the business include brothers Mark Hanaway, vice president overseeing marketing, business development programs, benefits, human resources and quality management systems and Doug Hanaway, vice president overseeing facilities, safety and maintenance engineering. Tech continues its legacy of caring about its people and the community by generously donating to CASA and its mission to advocate for abused and neglected children. “Since the very early days in Tech’s community partnership, the company embraced youth sports, competitive skills based competition and helping kids grow their motivation for success. CASA is a critical partner in reaching out to kids who may have lost trust in their role models and challenged their faith in a better life. Caring for people is one of the fundamental building blocks for success in business and in life. We feel that CASA helps us reach beyond our walls and touch these kids in a way that gives them hope and dreams beyond their walls,” Mark Hanaway asserts. Tech’s co-founder, Eva Hanaway, also contributes to CASA on an individual basis. She attended the Champions for Children Breakfast fundraiser in 2010 and generously made a five-year pledge to CASA. When thanked for her generous support, Eva replied, “You don’t know how much it means to me to be able to help.” Employees of Tech Molded Plastics, Inc. on an individual and very personal level support CASA and the children it serves with the annual Angel Tree. Since 2006, Tech has asked for a list of CASA children (ages and gender but not names) and what they might need or want for Christmas. More than 30 employees then purchase gifts for the children every year. After gifts are wrapped and tagged, CASA volunteers distribute the gifts to the children with the explanation that the people at Tech care about them and want to make their Christmas special. “Everyone who takes a name off the Angel Tree here at Tech loves that they are part of making a difference to that kid’s Christmas. It is such a great feeling for us all” say Lucy Bement, who coordinates the Angel Tree at Tech. The following is a CASA volunteer’s report about presenting Angel Tree gifts to her CASA child: He was happy to see I had brought Christmas gifts (from the Tech Molded Plastics Angel Tree). He opened the Steelers jersey first, declared Polamalu (whose name was printed across the back) his favorite player, and assured me the size was exactly right. Then he opened the Steelers winter pajamas, proclaimed how much he liked them, snuggled them up to his face and neck, and held them up to check their size Next he opened the pen light and tried it out on the wall and some other surfaces, shined it through his hand and commented on how it made his fingers look red, and eventually began experimenting with making animal silhouettes on the wall with his hands while I held the light. He made flying geese, barking dogs, etc. The last and biggest gift was a K’Nex construction set in a large covered bin. He got quite excited by this, tearing open the cellophane bags and dumping everything into the bin. He looked through the instruction booklet until he found a racing motorcycle he wanted to build. He at first appeared not to know how to begin, but when I showed him how each step was numbered, said he needed to build in the order of the steps, and showed him the first step, he began to hunt through the bin for the appropriate pieces…Eventually we had a finished product that he seemed to be proud of... Alayna Zieziula, East End, Grades 3-4 Angel Tree Thank You Tech for the Christmas gifts! Savana Major, West End, Grades K-2 Crawford County CASA, Inc. Balance Sheet As of June 30, 2012 and 2011 ASSETS Current Assets Cash Accounts Receivable Investments – Raymond James Prepaid Expense Total Current Assets Fixed Assets Leasehold Improvements Office Equipment Software Accumulated Depreciation Total Fixed Assets TOTAL ASSETS LIABILITIES & EQUITY Liabilities Current Liabilities Accounts Payable Credit Cards Payroll Liabilities Total Current Liabilities Total Liabilities Equity Fund Balance Net Income Total Equity TOTAL LIABILITIES & EQUITY June 30, 2012 June 30, 2011 99,831 7,713 68,997 2,226 178,767 105,330 7,239 70,104 2,226 184,899 1,322 49,342 12,060 - 39,861 22,863 1,322 43,566 9,592 - 36,561 17,920 201,631 202,819 572 0 397 420 19 389 969 829 969 829 201,990 - 1,328 200,662 185,568 16,422 201,990 201,631 202,819 Effecting Positive Changes for Children CASA is grateful to the many community businesses, organizations, foundations and individuals who have supported its efforts to help abused and neglected children in our area. Although there are differing opinions about how to solve our nation’s fiscal problems, few would disagree that strengthening our economy and reducing America’s debt for the long term cannot happen without adequate investment in the education, health, and social well-being of our children. Nobel Laureate James Heckman argues that achieving better outcomes for children is the single most effective way to create greater productivity and prosperity. America’s Children, America’s Challenge: Promoting Opportunity for the Next Generation The Annie E. Casey Foundation 2011 Kids Count Data Book We are guilty of many errors and many faults, But our worst crime is abandoning the children, Neglecting the fountain of life. Many of the things we need can wait. The child cannot. Right now is the time Bones are being formed, blood is being made, Senses are being developed. To the child we cannot anwer “Tomorrow.” The child’s name is “Today.” Gabriela Mistral, Nobel Prize-wining poet from Chile Champions for Children 2011 Breakfast Sponsors Ainsworth Pet Care Bournias/Cervone/Derlink Dental MVS Saegertown Malady’s Meat Market South Park Plaza Clarion Psychiatric Center ErieBank Flick’s TV & Appliance Richard VanBuren Construction R.W. Petruso Hearing Center The Movies at Meadville T.L. Robertson Insurance TOPS Business Sponsors Grantors: Venango County Office of Economic Opportunity Katie Siebert Charitable Trust Harry Winslow Charitable Trust Community Supporters Fallowfield United Methodist Church donated proceeds from pie sales at the Crawford County Fair and a Chicken Pie fundraiser. Meadville Garden Club contributed money from the Trees of Christmas. Sisters in Christ Mission & Community Service in Linesville make quilts given to CASA children at adoption ceremonies. Unitarian Universalist Church continues to provide space for monthly CASA Board of Directors’ meetings and donate funds from its Share the Plate collections. Bethaven Inn 386 Hamilton Avenue Meadville, PA 16335 814 336-4223 [email protected] Gary & Kathy Yaeger, Inn Keepers Mu Chapter, Kappa Alpha Theta at Allegheny College donated $2,600 from its annual Pasta for CASA dinner. The sorority sent more than 100 letters requesting legislators push for restoring Department of Justice cuts in funding to National CASA. The sorority led a dance contest at the April Children’s Fair. Each semester, a Theta works in the CASA office. Contributing to Success by Supporting CASA Founding Members Sponsor a Child Society Diane Summers Norman & Sara Babcock Mr. James J. Duratz Judy & Tom Griffin Marian Van Buren Dr. & Mrs. Peter White Founding Members Multi-Year Giving Society Dr. & Mrs. Joseph Cervone Joyce Logan Dr. James Mullen & Mari Mullen Christopher & Lori Soff Mr. & Mrs. Charles J. Swick Anthony J. Vardaro Multi-Year Giving Society Sponsor for a Child Christie & Greg Antoun Eva Hanaway Dr. & Mrs. Philip A. Frndak Lift Up a Child’s Life Heather Coppola Heart of Gold Foundation Jennifer Hellwarth (Dorfman Family Fund) Bob and Heidi Sook Kathryn Macielak Gustave Rylander Lift Up a Child’s Voice Dr. & Mrs. Damian Derlink, DMD Connie and Gary Haibach Kathy & Bob Roos Ryan Warren, Roofner-Collins-Warren Funeral Home Rob Watson Heather Weibel Gary & Katherine Yaeger, Bethaven Inn Speak Up for a Child Emily Boughton Miriam Bowman Richard & Corinne Chafey Rob Collins, Elite Excavating Susan Curtin Richard & Paula DiGiacomo Cindy Edwards Doris Foster Ben & Nancy Haytock Marcia Metcalfe & Donald Goldstein Bob & Maggie McMunigle Mary Alice McMunn Saundra Mook Deborah Pipp Mr. & Mrs. Francis Schultz Seidel Financial Services Babe Shelby Mrs. Virginia M. Shields Sam & Barbara Spencer Anne Sylves Edward Walsh & Kiersten Peterson Andy Walker Multi-year Supporters Lucy & Dale Bement Gwen Laughlin Norma Miller Jane Ellen Nickell Jarrin Sperry In Memory of Gladys Gordon Judy Beuchat James & Linda Chuey Donna Dudas Kimberly Ferguson Diann & Dennis Frampton Anna Mary Fox Douglas & Rose Ann Gordon James and Helen Gordon Hill, Barth & King, LLC James Johnston Kelly & Joseph Lobdell Paul and Mary Taormina M.G. Thompson Supporters of CASA Allegheny College Prelaw Club Robin Anderson Steve Cappellino Donna Cessna Les & Cheryl Chambers Clerk of Orphans’ Court Association of PA Deborah Curry Scott Curtis, Janney Montgomery Scott Eleanor H. Davies Erie Community Foundation Cheryl Forero Rich Friedburg & Courtenay Dodge Mary Lou Gaughan David Gordon Randy Gorske Jim Hammerlee Jean Jones and Brad Wilson Dave & Marnie Kirkpatrick Richard & Karen Laird Jack & Patience Laub Christine Lang G. Thomas & Patty Lang Roberta & James Lang Jody Leech Bob & Cheryl Muth Nancy’s Under the Steps John & Lucy Nesbitt Linda Palmiero Carol Parks Joan Petruso Barb Phillis Margo Riter Brad Roae Wes Rowden Nellie Mae Schauer Brenda Schoonover Nancy Sheridan John & Kathy Spataro Carl & Bonnie Terry Top Drawer in Memory of Judith Gilbert Patricia Wetherbee Mark & Laura Whitney Sue Wycoff You can create a legacy of hope for vulnerable children through a planned gift to CASA and in doing so will lift up the voice – and the lives – of future generations of children. Crawford County CASA Says Thanks to: Our partners in the important work that we do on behalf of abused and neglected children in Crawford County: County Commissioners, Crawford County Human Services Mark Weindorf and Kelly Schwab, Court Administrator John Shuttleworth, President Judge Anthony Vardaro, Judge John Spataro, Judge Mark Stevens Juvenile Master Gregory Keenan and the Court. CASA volunteer trainers for their time and expertise: CYS Training Supervisor Meredith Ketcham, Family Services of NW PA therapist Toni Mulford, Human Services Solicitor Gary Fabian, Guardian ad litem Debra Higgins, Mind Body Wellness Licensed Professional Counselor Larry Dickson, Edinboro University Assistant Chair of Professional Studies Dr. Susan Curtin, President Judge Anthony Vardaro, Judge John Spataro, Judge Mark Stevens and Hearing Officer Gregory Keenan. The Meadville Tribune for publishing articles and editorials about CASA and efforts to increase public awareness about child abuse and prevention. Armstrong Cable Channel 36 for advertising CASA’s need for volunteers. Kathy Roos, Rebecca Wiler and Lynn McManness-Harlan of Allegheny College, and Margo Riter for assistance at the annual breakfast. First Niagara Bank at Park Avenue Plaza in Meadville for sponsoring the 2nd Annual Children’s Fair. All who helped plan the Children’s Fair: Meredith Ketcham from CYS, Mike Marley from Meadville Council on the Arts, Angela Abbott and Shelly Frndak from CASA, Rose Hilliard from Women’s Services, and Mary Lou Gaughan from Meadville Garden Club, Joe Mazzone and staff at the Downtown Mall, and Margo Riter. Mike Marley for inspiring 152 local students, kindergarten through high school, to create posters using the theme “Finding Joy Though Children and Families” for the Children’s Fair. Also, thanks to judges for the poster contest: Women’s Services Director Bruce Harlan, Meadville Council on the Arts board member Vicki Clark, retired East End Principal Don Petruso, Judge Anthony Vardaro and Judge Mark Stevens. Mary Lou Gaughan of Meadville Garden Club, Michelle Cybolski and her class at Meadville Cooperative Preschool, and Marty and Suzie Malone for the Garden of Hope. Kathy Roos of Allegheny College for her valuable assistance in editing the CASA newsletters. Every effort has been made to recognize the supporters and Friends of Crawford County CASA. If someone was mistakenly excluded, or we have misspelled your name, CASA sincerely apologizes for the error.
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