More than 30 people turned out May 1 at Pinot's Palette in Des Moines to support Friends of Iowa CASA & ICFCRB. Pinot's donated $15 for every attendee, for a total of nearly $500. Friends will use the donation to support CASA volunteers and the Iowa Child Advocacy Board's efforts to help abused and neglected children across the state. Pictured from left are CASA volunteers Caroline Bettis, Jennifer Merical, Adonna Stueckradt and Jana Trede.
Emily Blaedel Johnson is Story County’s newest CASA volunteer. She was recruited by a neighbor, Marty Helland, who is also a CASA volunteer. On April 30, 2014, Ms. Johnson, an Ames High School alumna and former social worker in Iowa City, was sworn-in by the Honorable Judge Stephen Owen as a Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) volunteer. She is pictured here with Judge Owen (left) and her daughter, Zoe.
Sarah Elm is Story County’s newest CASA Volunteer. On January 22, 2014, Ms. Elm, from Story City, Iowa and a student at Iowa State University, was sworn in by the Honorable Judge Stephen Owen and now joins other CASAs with the Iowa Child Advocacy Board, which provides oversight and training for the Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) program.
CASAs are persons from all walks of life who make a commitment to become the “eyes and ears” of the court for the children or family to which they are assigned. The CASA volunteer does a thorough assessment by reviewing records and talking to parents, social workers, teachers and others who have knowledge of the child’s situation. The CASA then writes a report to the court with recommendations and continues to monitor the child’s progress by attending staff meetings and court hearings.
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Jerry Foxhoven, the newest member of the Friends of Iowa CASA & ICFCRB board of directors, was honored by the Ames-based Youth & Shelter Services for his contributions to the well-being of Iowa’s children and youth.
Jerry joined the Friends board in December. He is executive director of the Neal & Bea Smith Legal Clinic and professor of law at Drake University, and served as administrator of the Iowa Child Advocacy Board, which directs the Iowa CASA and Foster Care Review Board programs, from 2000 to 2006.
Phil Douglas, who has served Iowa’s neediest children in various capacities for more than 25 years, recently retired from his position as a board member for Friends of Iowa CASA & ICFCRB – an organization he helped found 15 years ago.
Phil became a CASA volunteer in 1986; he was a member of the second class of trained CASA volunteers in Iowa. In 1994, he was named executive director of the Iowa CASA program and doubled the size of the program “with the help of many parties.” Four years later, with the help of the Junior League of Des Moines, Phil established the Friends of Iowa CASA & ICFCRB.
“Phil has been a dedicated and devoted member of Friends for most of its life,” said Shelby Kaura, president of the Friends board of directors. “We have been incredibly fortunate to be able to draw on his experience and knowledge, as well as his passion for helping abused and neglected children. His presence at Friends will be missed, but we are very grateful for his service.”
Phil continues as a supervisor for Polk County Juvenile Court Services.
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