Archive for Sunday, July 20, 2008

Volunteers who aid abused children lauded

Andrea Partee, center, of Lawrence, reacts to being awarded the Honorable Jean F. Shepherd Volunteer of the Year Award on Saturday during the Douglas County CASA and Citizen Review Board benefit at Cielito Lindo, 815 N.H. On the left is Joanne Hurst, of Lawrence. Douglas County CASA has served nearly 700 abused and neglected children since the service's beginning in 1991.

Andrea Partee, center, of Lawrence, reacts to being awarded the Honorable Jean F. Shepherd Volunteer of the Year Award on Saturday during the Douglas County CASA and Citizen Review Board benefit at Cielito Lindo, 815 N.H. On the left is Joanne Hurst, of Lawrence. Douglas County CASA has served nearly 700 abused and neglected children since the service's beginning in 1991.

July 20, 2008

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Andrea Partee, left, a Douglas County CASA volunteer, and Guy Dresser, a Citizen Review Board volunteer, greet each other Saturday, July 19, 2008 after being recognized at the CASA4CASA Benefit at Cielito Lindo, 815 New Hampshire St. Partee was awarded the Hon. Jean F. Shepherd Volunteer of the Year Award for CASA while Dresser was awarded the volunteer of the year for CRB.

Andrea Partee, left, a Douglas County CASA volunteer, and Guy Dresser, a Citizen Review Board volunteer, greet each other Saturday, July 19, 2008 after being recognized at the CASA4CASA Benefit at Cielito Lindo, 815 New Hampshire St. Partee was awarded the Hon. Jean F. Shepherd Volunteer of the Year Award for CASA while Dresser was awarded the volunteer of the year for CRB.

Diana Frederick, Douglas County CASA Director, right, introduces Pamela Cullerton, left, as a Hon. Jean F. Shepherd Volunteer of the Year Award 2008 Nominee on Saturday, July 19, 2008 during the CASA4CASA Benefit at Cielito Lindo. In the center is Jean Shepherd, after which the award is named.

Diana Frederick, Douglas County CASA Director, right, introduces Pamela Cullerton, left, as a Hon. Jean F. Shepherd Volunteer of the Year Award 2008 Nominee on Saturday, July 19, 2008 during the CASA4CASA Benefit at Cielito Lindo. In the center is Jean Shepherd, after which the award is named.

Judge Jean Shepherd will take every opportunity she gets to recruit volunteers to work with abused and neglected children in Douglas County - even on a quick car trip.

Twenty years ago, Guy Dresser, a KU graduate and Allen Press employee, gave Shepherd a ride back to the courthouse following a Kiwanis meeting at which Shepherd spoke.

Little did he know then that he would be recruited by Shepherd to affect children's and teens' lives as a Citizen Review Board volunteer, a program started by Shepherd in the county in 1986.

Dresser also received another surprise Saturday night at Cielito Lindo, 815 N.H. He was awarded the Citizen Review Board Volunteer of the Year Award at the 17th annual Casa4Casa fundraiser event.

"I feel very honored and humbled by getting the award," he said.

As a volunteer, he helps review child-in-need-of care cases. That includes helping them in school, and more recently he began reviewing juvenile offender cases.

Dresser was joined in recognition Saturday by a CASA volunteer, Andrea Partee. Partee was awarded with the second annual Honorable Jean F. Shepherd Volunteer of the Year Award.

In 1991, Shepherd founded Douglas County Court Appointed Special Advocates, a nonprofit agency that recruits volunteers to act as advocates for abused or neglected children who are under the protection of juvenile court. The volunteers, called CASAs, are trained to work one-on-one with children and teens who have been removed from their homes.

"It's just amazing to me what the volunteers do, the amount of time and energy and heart they put into what they do," Shepherd said. "And that's what's so rewarding, and seeing that these programs are still going on."

Partee, has volunteered with CASA for the four years she has lived in Lawrence. A year-and-a-half ago, she was assigned her second case with a 17-year-old Topeka girl.

"I'm just glad she's in my life and I'm in hers," she said.

Shepherd said Douglas County was doing well serving youth in the juvenile system in large part because of the volunteers who she said were willing to advocate for resources for children.

To help spread awareness and to raise money for CASA, donations are collected for the chance to win a children's playhouse, designed and built locally. Bryan Hedges was announced the winner of this year's two-story cottage playhouse at the fundraiser.

Saturday's Casa4Casa event also featured a live and silent auction. The event typically raises about $15,000 for CASA, which served 77 children last year.

Comments

Chris Ogle 7 years, 1 month ago

kids need help.... and this helps kids when the parent is not around when they need them. Thanks for helping!!!

coolmom 7 years, 1 month ago

i have had huge issues with the system in lawrence getting custody of my neice and eventually adopting. i am the first to bitch that this system can be really screwy, but my neices casa worker an ex teacher retired was simply put awesome. she advocated, she conjoled, she begged, she pleaded and she did a wonderful job for my kid no matter whose toes were stepped on. my experience is that the VOLUNTEER casa people are awesome.

OldEnuf2BYurDad 7 years, 1 month ago

Your position, then, is that the world would be a better place if NO ONE did anything rather than we have the system we have in place? The courts, SRS and CASA are SO immoral that a sexually abused child should just remain so?You have a lot of angst, but the question still remains: what is YOUR contribution or YOUR plan that is making things better? Or is your main contribution simply that you are very angry, with no constructive means at your disposal?

OldEnuf2BYurDad 7 years, 1 month ago

"My personal and professional Odyssey within this system is really not for public consumption. This much I will say: I don't recall seeing the likes of you around or about when the questions were being asked of "Mr. Charlie"."I wish you well in your quest to resolve these issues in your life. These are your issues; and if you could see it as such, you might be empowered to do some repairative work in your life. Right now, you come across as one who is simple stuck in the emotion of anger. Stuck, stuck, stuck.

Gina Bailey-Carbaugh 7 years, 1 month ago

Yeah, POGO, just what is your experience with this to make such claims?

Gina Bailey-Carbaugh 7 years, 1 month ago

Nice input, Dena. You should send this on to the Letter to the Editor.

Gina Bailey-Carbaugh 7 years, 1 month ago

POGO, give it a rest already. Kansas is no worse than any other state. And, no system is perfect. If parents were parents, there would be no need for this system.

OldEnuf2BYurDad 7 years, 1 month ago

Pogo, what are you doing to make the world a better place? How are you impacting the lives of children? Explain to us how your efforts eclipse those of the "stagnate" CASA program?So, while "shut your hole" may not have been very gentle or kind, there may be some wisdom in those words.

born_to_run 7 years, 1 month ago

"Denak" says: "There are some really good people working within the system. Does the system need to improve? Sure it does. But the system will never help everyone. It just can't be done. There are some people (ie biological parents or children) that have so many issues that they will never be able to function in a normal, healthy way. That isn't a failure of the system. Just the reality.Certain individuals seem to think that if we just "fix the system" then we can save everyone, and that won't ever happen. Is there room to improve, sure but Kansas is a whole lot better than a lot of states. At least in my experience, we haven't "lost" children like the state of Florida or cut adoption subsidies like Missouri."I agree with your comments above, Dena. Too bad that your foster child's CASA volunteer didn't do more for your foster child. Hopefully, that is not the case very often. I hope you were able to let CASA know about her lack of involvement (if you felt comfortable doing so). I think CASA is generally a great program. Thanks to those that volunteer. I have a full-time job that would probably conflict with me being a CASA Volunteer myself, but have often thought about looking into it further. Kudos to those volunteers that are kind, unselfish, and hardworking for children at risk.

dadof41980 7 years, 1 month ago

The people that help my kids are awsome and have been a great big help

Gina Bailey-Carbaugh 7 years, 1 month ago

POGO, the NCCPR article you sighted should be titled, What's wrong with Sedgwick County. There is no mention of CASA or the Douglas county child welfare system. Additionally, there are smilar articles about other states. So your claim that Kansas is the worst is overreaching.Whatever your issues with the child welfare system, I wish you well.

denak 7 years, 1 month ago

I have been a foster parent for about 5 years. In that time, I have only dealt with CASA once. I had a sibling set in my home for 8 months. From roughly March to early December. During that time, I was contacted only twice by their CASA worker. The first time was just to introduce herself. This was in March or April. I didn't hear from her at all until the day before the Citizen Review Board. She sent me an email asking me how the kids were doing and asking me to fill out a form so she could present it to the Board. This was close to 5 p.m. the day before the meeting. I had a mind not to fill it out and see what happens but in the end I filled it out with all the information about the kiddos. The next day, during the board, she presentedher case as if she had had weekly contact with these kids. She didn't know them from adam. She was such a disappointment!The citizen review board, on the other hand, was very professional and very caring. Foster parents are mandated to fill out an update for the court. This update really consists of a few questions that I don't think even comes close to capturing the child so I usually include a letter about the child. The Citizen Review Board took what I wrote in the letter and what I said during the board very seriously. They were very interested in learning the truth about the situation so that they could get a clear and accuarate picture of the situatino so they could make the right decision regarding whether or not the children should be reunified with their mom. I was very pleased with how seriously they took their responsibility.There are some really good people working within the system. Does the system need to improve? Sure it does. But the system will never help everyone. It just can't be done. There are some people (ie biological parents or children) that have so many issues that they will never be able to function in a normal, healthy way. That isn't a failure of the system. Just the reality.Certain individuals seem to think that if we just "fix the system" then we can save everyone, and that won't ever happen. Is there room to improve, sure but Kansas is a whole lot better than a lot of states. At least in my experience, we haven't "lost" children like the state of Florida or cut adoption subsidies like Missouri.The system is what it is and for those who volunteer or work in it day in and day out, I applaud them because the things they hear and have to deal with never fails to sadden me. The amount of abuse, the types of abuse, the savagery, after 5 years, doesn't suprise me but it does still sadden me and I don't know how some people do it for as long as they do.So I applaud them. They are the ones in the trenches not the ones doing nothing but hiding behind the sorry excuse of an oddyssey.Dena

tangential_reasoners_anonymous 7 years, 1 month ago

"...The day the world will turn upside downwe'll run together round and roundscreaming, shouting, singinglaud, laud, laud, laud...."

acg 7 years, 1 month ago

My hat is off to these folks, for sure. It would be nearly impossible for me to work in this field without taking a bit of law into my own hands and killing the scum that abuse/misuse or neglect their children. I have a friend that's an emergency SRS worker in KC, MO. I went on a pick up with her one night to pick up a child from a crack house that had been raided. I was never so disgusted in my life. It affected me for weeks, and still does. I could've killed those people right then, seeing the shape that little girl was in. I really could've done it with no remorse at all. Yeah, that field isn't for me. Thank God for the good folks that are able to do this work and keep their wits about them.

denak 7 years, 1 month ago

Itis filled with touchy feely types who care not about the child in custody......"Ignoring the fact that this statement inherently doesn't make sense. (How can you be "touchy feely" and yet "not care" at the same time?), this isn't even close to the reality of most social workers, judges and foster parents in the foster care system.Ask any foster parent, judge, social worker, volunteer etc who has spent any time whatsoever in the system about the reality of the system, the behavior of the parents, and the future prospects of some foster children, and you will find that most of them are brutally honest about the reality of foster care.A person may become a social worker or a foster parent with "rescue fantasies" running through their mind, but they won't have them for much longer than that. In fact, I would say that the majority of those in the system burn out very quickly (within 3-5 years) because the reality is so brutal. They care but the reality is just to much to handle.So, for those who stay with it for longer than that, for 10, 20, 30 years, it is remarkable because there are things that I have heard and read about and have seen in 5 years, that I wish to God, I didn't know. There are no naive innocents in the system, including sadly, some of the children.No one is standing around waxing poetic and singing Kum-ba-ya. So, Pogo, your assertion (which really are no more than a bunch of cutting and pasting) have no basis in fact. The system isn't made up of touchy feely types who don't care. It is made up of people who care and who are trying for the most part, to put one fire out after another. Sometimes successfully, sometimes not.I will end this post, the way I meant to start it. With a simple question, what, Pogo, are YOU DOING?I highly suspect nothing and so, for most of us, your posts have no value.Dena

Gina Bailey-Carbaugh 7 years, 1 month ago

Dear POGO, your best comeback was an insult? How pathetic.

no_justice_in_kansas 7 years ago

Well I am sure that the Honorable Jean Shepherd is meaning well towards children and placing them with families that would take care of children better than the parents themselves.That is a very noble thing for her to do because in these days of time there aren't alot of government officials that involve themselves the way that the woman does..But in the past Judge Jean Shepherd has been known to break a family up for no reason whatso ever using pour judgement of her own.Meaning of which there was never no physical or mental harm done to the children from the mother,the mother wasn't addicted to alcohol or drugs,the mother had no signs of mental disturbences,and the mother didn't abandon any of the children. So in the end the children and the mother that the judge took the children from suffer dearly.She's left a big mess in 6 people's lives.All due to the lack of Judge Jean Shepherd's poor judgement and lack of showing her face in a courtroom the way she should have done to see that the mother was completely fit to have her children with her..

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