Annual Report: July 1 2011 – June 30, 2012

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]
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!
CASA Board President
Paula DiGiacomo, President
Gary Alizzeo, Vice President
Penny Linsted, Secretary
Joseph Palmiero, Treasurer
Angela Abbott
Heather Clancy-Young
Susan Curtin
Francis Schultz
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
Mary Collins
Larry Dickson
Michael McGrath
Norma Miller
Jody Sperry
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
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
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
Current Assets
Accounts Receivable
Investments – Raymond James
Prepaid Expense
Total Current Assets
Fixed Assets
Leasehold Improvements
Office Equipment
Accumulated Depreciation
Total Fixed Assets
Current Liabilities
Accounts Payable
Credit Cards
Payroll Liabilities
Total Current Liabilities
Total Liabilities
Fund Balance
Net Income
Total Equity
June 30, 2012
June 30, 2011
- 39,861
- 36,561
- 1,328
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
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
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
But our worst crime is abandoning the
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
Senses are being developed.
To the child we cannot anwer
The child’s name is “Today.”
Gabriela Mistral,
Nobel Prize-wining poet from Chile
Champions for Children
2011 Breakfast Sponsors
Ainsworth Pet Care
MVS Saegertown
Malady’s Meat Market
South Park Plaza
Clarion Psychiatric Center
Flick’s TV & Appliance
Richard VanBuren Construction
R.W. Petruso Hearing Center
The Movies at Meadville
T.L. Robertson Insurance
Business Sponsors
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
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
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
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
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.