Impact E-News Summer 2015

State Office Updates
Training Updates and Accomplishments

The Training Committee is back up and running and meets the first Tuesday of every month at 10 AM. Interested attendees can participate telephonically at 602-452-3288 (Phoenix) or 520-388-4330 (Tucson). Meeting ID is 5208.

The committee is currently working on a follow-up training for new advocates to attend after they begin their first assignment.

In FY 2015, CASA of Arizona trained 350 new volunteers, including 175 since January 2015!

Update on CASAaz Rollout


We are excited to share that our new online volunteer management system, CASAaz, has been fully implemented in Pinal and Pima Counties! Yuma is scheduled for roll out next. 

What are users saying about CASAaz? Here is some feedback we've received from Pima County:


I think these comments sum it up and make all our work & efforts worth it to get CASAaz & the Dashboard up and running.

  • "By the way...thank you and all who made this happen and who are putting in much time and effort to make our work and lives more organized and enjoyable." -Mark
  • "Love, love, love the new dashboard by the way.  What a time saver and great organization tool.  Yay for us!" -Andi
  • "Thanks! It is sooooo easy." -Bonnie
Tenisha Grant Joins CASA of Arizona Team


We are pleased to welcome Tenisha Grant as the new CASA Administrative Assistant. Tenisha joins CASA from Calibre Academy, a charter school in Surprise, AZ where she spent the past few years working as an Administrative Assistant. Tenisha holds an Associate of Science degree in Elementary Education from Hyles-Anderson College and hopes to continue her education and pursue a degree in Counseling. 


Tenisha loves to travel as well as the outdoors, games, dining at new restaurants, and any activity that allows her to spend time with friends and family!

Please join us in welcoming Tenisha to the CASA team! 

Requesting Contributions: CASA History Project


We are currently collecting photos, documents, and stories as part of a project to memorialize the history of the CASA program in Arizona. 


If you have something you would like to see included, please contact Nancy Molover by email, or call 602-452-3583.

Welcomes and Farewells

In the past quarter, we have been pleased to welcome several new county staff to our CASA team: Richard Blair (Apache), Stephanie Lujan (La Paz), Sue Hutcheson (Maricopa), Sarah Mayo (Mohave), Allyson Lee (Navajo), Julio Vega (Pima), Rachel Coleman (Pinal), and Misty Cicala (Yuma).

In addition, several county staff have resigned or retired from their roles. Join us in wishing farewell to: Stephanie Fink (Apache), Kathy Meadows (Coconino), Sharon Hopkins (Maricopa), Maiya Griffin-Thomas (Maricopa), and Kathy Haberland (Mohave). We wish you all the best!

County Program Highlights
11th Annual March for Children and Child Abuse Prevention Awards
Submitted by Krissa Ericson, CASA of Pima County


CASA of Pima County, our Pioneer CASA Peer Coordinators and the Kappa Alpha Theta-Beta Delta Chapter here at the University of Arizona were all nominated for a Child Abuse Prevention Award - Business/Agency.  

The March for Children was originally conceived as an event to bring light to the issue of child abuse and to recognize those on the front lines fighting to prevent it.   The Child Abuse Prevention Awards (CAP) honor those who have made a difference in the continued fight against child abuse.  They can be a teacher, neighbor, caseworker, therapist, or anyone who has helped families. 

The nominees were recognized at the 11th Annual March for Children event on April 11th, 2015 and we were thrilled to learn that the committee selected the CASA Peer Coordinator Pioneers, Cynthia Dean, Sharon Dely, Susie McClinton, Sandra Rohen & Rufus Tamayo to be an honoree.  The Peer Coordinators have been a tremendous help to our CASA Program and we are thankful for the 11 peer coordinators that we now have supporting our newest advocates!


Kelley Kimble Named CASA of Pinal County Ambassador of the Year at Annual Brunch
Submitted by Donna McBride, CASA of Pinal County

CASA of Pinal County held its annual Volunteer Brunch on April 25th in Florence, which was sponsored by generous grant from the Arizona Lottery.

Presiding Juvenile Judge Brenda E. Oldham spoke before a full house as the group celebrated the work of our advocates.  Kelley Kimble was honored as the 2015 CASA Ambassador of the Year for her 10 years of service.  This honor is a reflection of her dedication and commitment to the Pinal County Superior Court and to the foster children that fall under the Court's protection/jurisdiction. Kelley has taken on a variety of foster care cases and regardless of the challenges, Kelley is always there for her child as a CASA.

Kelley has always been diligent in her duties as the "eyes and ears" of the Judge, helping bring community awareness of CASA/ foster children, and helping facilitate CASA POD (team) meeting in the Apache Junction / Gold Canyon Area. She has also developed a keen understanding of the Dependency Court Process, working as a team member on behalf of a foster child, and most importantly of all, developing good relationships with a foster child while assigned to a case, and standing up in court to advocate for the child's best interest.  Amazingly, Kelley has been able to do all of this while working full-time in the insurance industry, attending college, and still finding time to learn how to play new instruments, including the acoustic guitar!

The theme of the brunch this year was "CASA advocates are the rock of our organization". As a token of appreciation, each CASA received a years of service certificate and a gift bag that included personalized business cards and holder.  After a local youth group learned about what our advocates do, they took on the task to author a list of words that best described a CASA.  Compliments like caring, loving, brave, faithful, dependable and angel were some of the inscriptions. The children painted and brightly decorated nearly 85 rocks so that each CASA received one with a special message.



CASA of Maricopa County Initiatives Receive NACo Achievement Awards 

The Superior Court in Maricopa County is a 2015 recipient of seven Achievement Awards from the National Association of Counties (NACo). Two of the seven programs awarded were initiatives of CASA of Maricopa County!


The awarded programs were:


CASA Best for Babies Collaborative Program - CASA developed this specialized program to improve outcomes for high-risk infants, toddlers, and their families.  Through Best for Babies, CASA offers specialized training, resources and ongoing support in the form of bi-monthly advocate forums to any CASA volunteer working with this population to help move children through the foster care system more quickly while providing increased attention on a child's developmental needs.


Court Orientation for Dependent Youth (CODY) Project - In cooperation with community and court stakeholders, CASA hosts the CODY Project to educate foster youth 12 years of age and older about the dependency court process, offers explanations on the rights of a foster youth and provides helpful take-a-way materials for youth to plan for their upcoming hearings.


Congratulations to the entire CASA of Maricopa County team!


CASA of Pima County Hosts Recognition Luncheon
Submitted by Krissa Ericson, CASA of Pima County
CASA of Pima County was once again treated to a great recognition event by the CASA Support Council for Pima County, Inc on April 16th..  They hosted it at the Scottish Rite in Tucson and had a lovely meal catered for us.  We were delighted to have Dimon Sanders, former CASA youth, and Cynthia Dean, CASA advocate, share their story with the crowd that gathered.  

We were also able to premier our new CASA of Pima County Video.  As in the past years CASA Advocates, DCS Case Managers and Attorneys were nominated for awards in recognition of the work they do on behalf of our children in care.   We believe all our advocates deserve special recognition for the countless hours that they give to support the children of our community and this luncheon is just one of the ways we can say thank you.  Again we thank the CASA Support Council for Pima County, Inc. for hosting this event.

CASA of Pinal County Welcomes Rachel Coleman
Submitted by Donna McBride, CASA of Pinal County

Please join us in welcoming Rachel Coleman to the CASA Program in Pinal County.  Rachel began in late May as our Program Coordinator I. 


Many of you may already know Rachel, as she was part of our Volunteer Program as an Intern last year.  Rachel consistently proved herself to be a great asset while displaying a great deal of enthusiasm and passion for the juvenile court work. READ MORE


In addition to her internship with our department, Rachel's background includes more than ten years of progressive experience in the financial industry, including investigations, with her more recent experience working as a Fraud Investigator with Chase Credit Card Services.  She also had the joy of assisting with the SuperBowl XLIX events performing security and serving as a liaison with various police agencies and security supervisors. 


Rachel's education includes an Associates in Applied Science (Paralegal Studies) from Phoenix College and she graduated this May with her Bachelor of Science degree (Criminology and Criminal Justice) from Arizona State University.


Mark Your Calendars!
August 24-25, 2015 (Phoenix, AZ)

First Things First Early Childhood Summit 

The First Things First Early Childhood Summit brings together early childhood professionals, stakeholders and supporters to learn, share and grow. Ensuring that our youngest kids arrive at kindergarten prepared to succeed requires all parts of the early childhood system to work together, and the Summit offers an exciting opportunity to build both the knowledge and relationships critical to our collective success.

For more information or to register, click here.

August 28, 2015 (Litchfield Park, AZ)

2015 FCRB and CASA Volunteer Conference

The Dependent Children's Services Division is proud to host its 2015 Volunteer Conference forFCRB members and CASA advocates! For all who have already registered, we look forward to seeing you there!
Publications and Resources
Now Available: Independent Audit of DCS

The independent review of Arizona's child welfare system and Department of Child Safety is now available. This report, required last year by state law, identifies several problems and recommendations for the agency. You can read the full report here.
 New Resources on Sex Trafficking and Exploitation

The ASU Office of Sex Trafficking Intervention Research has released a new brochure focused on sex trafficking training for EMS. This was constructed with experts in the field and can be used for training and practice conversations with EMS personnel.  The PDF of the brochure can be downloaded here.

There is also a brochure about Sex Trafficking and Sexual Exploitation for Child Welfare Workers, which can be downloaded here.

ASU Offers Additional Support For Foster Youth

ASU now offers a program called Bridging Success that provides information, resources, and support for former foster youth interested in attending ASU, as well as those already enrolled. To learn more about Bridging Success, or to register to participate, visit the website here.
Foster Care Review Board Members Needed


The Foster Care Review Board (FCRB) in

Pinal County is seeking new volunteers to make a difference in the lives of local foster children.  Foster Care Review Board members regularly review the case of every child in foster care to ensure they are receiving necessary services, and that they are ultimately placed in safe, permanent homes. READ MORE


Each volunteer is appointed to a three year term, and is assigned to a review board that meets one day each month.  No prior experience is required, but volunteers must undergo a criminal background check and initial orientation training. Board members review each child's case, at least every six months, to monitor the progress being made and advise the court of necessary recommendations.

For more information on how you can volunteer to change the life of a child in foster care, call Sandy Guizzetti at 520-388-4300 or visit their website.

2015 Legislative Summary from ACESDV

The Arizona Coalition to End Sexual and Domestic Violence(ACESDV) has released its 2015 Legislative Summary. The document, which can be accessed here, contains brief descriptions of legislation relating to family law and human services, criminal justice, sexual and domestic violence, and child welfare.

Resource Reminder: "CASA in the News"


"CASA/GAL in the News" is a weekly digest of news relating to the CASA/GAL network. National CASA has contracted with Meltwater, a service that monitors more than 190,000 news publications, along with Twitter, YouTube, Facebook and blogs, to create this service. 


The National CASA Communications Department compiles the highlights into a weekly e-news digest for program staff, volunteers and others interested in staying informed about happenings in the CASA/GAL network and national issues relating to foster care.

For more information, a link to subscribe, and tips for utilizing this new service, visit the info page.

Photo Gallery
Presiding Juvenile Judge Lee Jantzen, Judge Rick Williams, CASA Michael Cowper and Judge Richard Weiss at the CASA of Mohave County Volunteer Appreciation Luncheon May 21, 2015.
CASA of Maricopa County, Pima County, Santa Cruz County, and Arizona were all represented at the National CASA Conference held in New Orleans in June.
On July 7th, thirteen new CASA advocates had the honor of being sworn in by Justice Brutinel at the Arizona Supreme Court.
CASA of Maricopa County celebrated volunteer, Mack Sheesley's birthday with a custom CASA cake!
CASA of Arizona | 602-452-3683 | [email protected] |
1501 W. Washington Ave.
Phoenix, AZ 85007
Issue 15 | Summer 2015

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In This Issue

  • Welcomes and Farewells
  • Maricopa County Receives NACo Award
  • Mark Your Calendars
  • Now Available: DCS Audit
  • Recent CASA Media Coverage

In Case You Missed It
You Can Check Out Recent CASA Related Media 
Coverage Here!

Report Child Abuse
Child Abuse Hotline
YOU may be a child's only advocate at the time you report the possibility of abuse or neglect.

If a child tells you of such experiences, or if you suspect abuse or neglect, act to protect that child by calling the toll free Arizona Child Abuse Hotline at:


More info on the reporting process can be found here.
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