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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

no_justice_in_kansas 5 years, 8 months 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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Gina Bailey-Carbaugh 5 years, 9 months ago

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

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Ramsfield 5 years, 9 months ago

tangential_reasoners_anonymous (Anonymous) says: ":The day the world will turn upside downwe'll run together round and roundscreaming, shouting, singinglaud, laud, laud, laud:."oh, thats touching..............................____Hey, expert Pogo, - instead of blabbing about it all day online, get off your a$$ and DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT

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acg 5 years, 9 months 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.

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Pogo 5 years, 9 months ago

Dena, you're flat wrong.Caring means impacting. It doesn't mean patting the kid on the head; buying the kid an ice cream cone or bag of fries from McDonald's. That kind of touchy feely nonsense is cry baby woo woo and is done to make the "social worker" or "advocate" feel good....it's done to change a rotted, bankrupt, and pretty worthless institution.If people actually care, they'll take charge and change the rotted blight that makes up the social service industry in these here parts. It's going to mean rough and tumble dischord and it's going to be an uphill battle to undo all the silliness that pervades the arena.Again, read the audits done on Kansas SRS and the Court systems across Kansas that handle these hapless souls who get caught up in an uncaring and remarkable ignorant system. If you're not familiar with the audits and their results, you're not in a position to know what's really going on......building a toy house is woo woo. Changing a corrupt and worthless system has merit and value."Children left in their own homes typically fared far better than comparably maltreated children placed in foster care." (http://www.nccpr.org/index.html)"...consider a study released on April 7, 2005 by a large, Washington State-based foster-care provider, Casey Family Programs, and Harvard Medical School. The study used case records and interviews to assess the status of young adult "alumni" of foster care.When compared to adults of the same age and ethnic background who did not endure foster care:¢ Only 20 percent of the alumni could be said to be "doing well." Thus, foster care failed for 80 percent.¢ They have double the rate of mental illness.¢ Their rate of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder was double the rate for Iraq War veterans.¢ The former foster children were three times more likely to be living in poverty and fifteen times less likely to have finished college.¢ And nearly one-third of the alumni reported that they had been abused by a foster parent or another adult in a foster home." (http://www.nccpr.org/reports/cfpanalysis.doc)"The response of the judgesonly reinforces the impressionthat Sedgwick County JuvenileCourt is a closed club whereeverybody is such good friendswith everybody else that evenwithout any bullying, theobjectivity required to achievejustice is compromised. And thatis one more reason why it isurgent that these court hearingsbe opened to press and public." (http://www.nccpr.org/reports/kansas.pdf)I assert it ain't no different in Douglas County, Kansas.

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denak 5 years, 9 months 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

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tangential_reasoners_anonymous 5 years, 9 months ago

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

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Pogo 5 years, 9 months ago

How deep does one need to bury one's head in the sand, Gina, to get to the level of stupidity your post suggests?

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Gina Bailey-Carbaugh 5 years, 9 months 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.

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Pogo 5 years, 9 months ago

CASA nationwide is a headbobbing, don't make waves outfit.Here is the Kansas org's address: http://kansascasa.homestead.com/webpage.htmlIt is filled with touchy feely types who care not about the child in custody.....but more about the feelings of those who are members of and participate in the "local" CASA operation.CASA was designed and set up so that judges, who are PAID to JUDGE, don't have to deal with people who dare to question the status quo.......Lawrence and Douglas county are STUCK with what we got.....and the national stats show that KANSAS sux.....and simply because Douglas County ain't mentioned in the reports don't mean Douglas County foster kids are NOT getting the SHAFT......trust me....or not.....THEY ARE.Good riddance to the SRS good ole boy and girl system. It don't work.Do you or any of the other posters have the courage or the ability to read the facts posted at: http://www.nccpr.org/reports/kansas.pdfThe State of Kansas Legislative Post Audit group has made it's own report.....it's as damning as the other groups report:www.kslegislature.org/postaudit/audits_fc/singleaudit07.pdf

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born_to_run 5 years, 9 months 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.

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Gina Bailey-Carbaugh 5 years, 9 months ago

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

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denak 5 years, 9 months 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

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Pogo 5 years, 9 months ago

OldEnuf2BYurDad:Good German soldier, eh? Not I........

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dadof41980 5 years, 9 months ago

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

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Gina Bailey-Carbaugh 5 years, 9 months 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.

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OldEnuf2BYurDad 5 years, 9 months 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.

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OldEnuf2BYurDad 5 years, 9 months 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?

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Pogo 5 years, 9 months ago

Additionally:Kansas SRS has REPEATEDLY FAILED the federal audit of it's Child Welfare (foster care) programs. (check the most current A-133 audit found at http://www.kslegislature.org/postaudit/audits_fc/singleaudit07.pdf ) It's high time kids got what they deserved relative to a familial quality of care rather than a system that places them (the kids) a far, far distant second.Make nice.....those are the words of those who make a living off of this bankrupt and immoral system. Read it and weep. I challenge the each of you to get hip to what is really going on in Child Welfare circles around these here parts, and not just "circle the wagons" when it's questioned and brought to task. You might be surprised if you've even an iota of an open mind.http://www.nccpr.org/reports/kansas.pdfDo you have the courage or the stomach to read the truth about Kansas? The report above is as objective as you'll ever find and most certainly more objective than anything that goes on here in Douglas County, Kansas.......

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Pogo 5 years, 9 months ago

OldEnuf2byurDad and Gina:What are you doing other than being headbobbers who really don't grasp the horror of the Child Welfare System in this Nation of which Kansas happens to have one of the worst track records?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".The Public Welfare system of Kansas is fraught with one deal after another. Children suffer as a result of these deals. CASA is an agent of the Court and NOT appointed counsel for the child; (like it or not, the USA is builit upon an adversarial process: There is ALWAYS a WINNER and a LOSER: The POOR PERSON ALWAYS LOSES;) and, hence, an extension of the Court, which perpetrates one fraud after another upon the citizenry and that includes the poor child caught up within the bankrupt system SRS foists on the public."Out of every 100 children investigated as possible victims of abuse, six are "substantiated" victims of all forms of physical abuse, from the most minor to the most severe, about three more are victims of sexual abuse. . Many of the rest are false allegations or cases in which a family's poverty has been confused with neglect." (U.S. Dept. of Health and Human Services, Child Maltreatment 2001. Available online at http://www.acf.dhhs.gov/programs/cb/publications/cm02 .)Photo ops are wonderful things. The truth is a totally different subject......

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Gina Bailey-Carbaugh 5 years, 9 months ago

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

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OldEnuf2BYurDad 5 years, 9 months 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.

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RockFockingChockFockKu 5 years, 9 months ago

Nothing like a lesbian friendly,liberal, half-wit court system to ensure proper care for the children.. ggeeezzzuuuusssss kkkaaarrriiste

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le 5 years, 9 months ago

But..I can vouch for Mrs. Hurst...I have known her family for many years...she is a good lady....good thing people like her is their to insure the safety of the kids..cuz you cant depend on the Judge to truly care...how can you argue that a person in her position of power does the right thing and lets child rapist off easy...get that lady off the bench...shes a worthless wench.....and she gives the justice system a nasty stench....

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le 5 years, 9 months ago

Judge Shepard..isnt this the same judge that slaps the wrist of rapers of underaged kids.....and when we cant even trust a catholic clergy man with our children ..why would I ever wanna trust a volunteer in a short ride with a child? What kind of investigation and criminal background checks do they have at their disposal? And do you trust that a offender slipped thru the cracks ....I would agree that a good % of these kids are probably bullys and punks...people like Shepard are glory seekers that love to stroke their own egos for political gain and 2 look like the saint ! I am sure their are some good honest good hearted volunteers...but people like Shepard are hypocritical power trippin self proclaimed do-gooders ! You dont fool me Judge ! I bet she is one o them evil catholics....and probably a G.O.P. as well ! Am I on target?

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coolmom 5 years, 9 months 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.

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ROCKCHALK_KU_SUCKS 5 years, 9 months ago

justforsh*t is more like it...................GO POGO

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Pogo 5 years, 9 months ago

nah.....I don't think so "justforfun":"When you're indigent you have to take the lawyer you're assigned. And all over the country that's going to be either: "--A grossly overwhelmed public defender with no time to deal seriously with the case."--A grossly overwhelmed lawyer from a firm with which the court has a contract, with no time to deal seriously with the case."--A grossly overwhelmed lawyer who takes these cases on the side to make a few extra bucks, and has neither the time nor the inclination to deal seriously with the case."--A solo practitioner operating out of his briefcase who needs a huge volume of these low-paying cases to make ends meet and so will have neither: well, you get the idea."http://nccpr.blogspot.com/2008_07_01_archive.htmlCASA is for the bully boys and girls......they're agents of the Court....

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ROCKCHALK_KU_SUCKS 5 years, 9 months ago

Dougls County Courts are a JOKE. One time I had a hearing scheduled with "Judge Jean" and they switched judges right before the hearing, did not call the hearing to order, did not announce that they had switched judges, had NO court reporter, we did not even know that the white lady with the robe was not "Judge Jean" because no one announced the judge. Un-Fckin'-believable. Welcome the klusterfck USA,Lawrence Kansas........................

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Chris Ogle 5 years, 9 months ago

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

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Pogo 5 years, 9 months ago

Shepherd's appointed CASA coordinator sees to it that only people who will report/do what Shepherd wants them to report/do are made "volunteers". There is no room for deviation in that outfit.......Because there is no "diversity of thought", the CASA program stagnates and it's business as usual year in and year out. No wonder Kansas has the highest out of home placement rate in the Nation.http://www.nccpr.org/reports/kansas.pdf

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