Kelly Hopkins, Executive Director
Ottawa & Saline County CASA
(Serving: Ottawa and Saline Counties)
My journey with CASA began in 2012. I was in the first CASA class for the 28th district, and one of 5 volunteers who took our first cases January of 2013. In April of 2016 I accepted a position as a CASA supervisor, and completed my Masters Degree in Social Work in May of 2017; I am currently working on my MBA. In October of 2017 I accepted an offer as the Program Director for our Child Advocacy Center, and the CASA program for the 28th district. It was the best decision I made, and I am loving every minute of it. I am also trained in TF-CBT, and do some therapeutic work with children and families. In my down time I enjoy spending time with my 4 children and my husband of 20 years; we like to play video games, board games, and cause whatever general mayhem we can as a family of 6. I am originally from Arizona and although I miss my desert I have learned to love Kansas and call this place home. Previous to becoming a CASA volunteer and my current chosen career, I was a stay at home mom with my children; I was blessed to be at home with my children during their formative years and am proud to see the teen and young adults they are blossoming into.
Every year Kansas CASA has a Christmas giveaway to thank volunteers, friends and family for their CASA support. This year the winner (by random draw) was Lance Jones. Not only is Lance a K-State graduate but he also serves our country and communities in the United States Army, Army National Guard and as a Hays, Kansas City Commissioner. Lance is a proud CASA supporter for CASA of the High Plains. Thank you Lance for serving our communities in multiple ways!
CASA: A Voice for Children, Inc.
(Serving: Harvey & McPherson Counties)
Mandy was led to CASA after fostering and adopting children of her own. She explained during pre-service training that she felt like there was still more she could do to better the lives of children. She is a passionate advocate who goes above and beyond to give a voice to the children that she serves. Mandy’s efforts to improve the lives of children who have been abused and neglected will have a lasting impact on each child that she works with and on this program. Thank you Mandy for your CASA service.
CLICK HERE: http://www.wibw.com/video?vid=470600223
BNSF Railway Helps CASA
BNSF Railway gifted Kansas CASA ten thousand dollars and treated Law Enforcement and Firefighters to a train ride called the "First Responders Express" at the Amtrak Depot.
CASA of the 31st Judicial District, Inc.
(Serving: Woodson, Allen, Neosho, Wilson)
CHANUTE — Chris and Kelly Diller of Chanute set out on a midlife adventure four years ago that took them no farther than their own home, but still challenged them as never before.
FULL ARTICLE CLICK HERE: http://www.parsonssun.com/news/article_488215c4-eacd-11e7-ad90-63d337d9d20d.html
The Dillers did not step into fostering slowly, but feet first, up to their necks, taking sibling sets into their home, allowing them to remain together rather than being separated.
“The first set we had for 3 1/2 years. The second set we had close to four years. Our third set we had about nine months and then this set we’ve had for three months so far,” Mrs. Diller said. “One set was adopted. One set the family kind of got it together and they let them go back home, the one set we had nine months, the mom quickly acted and did exactly what she was supposed to and she got her kids back. So you deal with all kinds of families. Every case is unique and different and you just have to handle it as it comes.”
Effects of Childhood Trauma
Childhood trauma isn’t something you just get over as you grow up. Pediatrician Nadine Burke Harris explains that the repeated stress of abuse, neglect and parents struggling with mental health or substance abuse issues has real, tangible effects on the development of the brain. This unfolds across a lifetime, to the point where those who’ve experienced high levels of trauma are at triple the risk for heart disease and lung cancer. An impassioned plea for pediatric medicine to confront the prevention and treatment of trauma, head-on.
Visions of Hope, Inc.
Serving: Reno County
Visions of Hope, Inc.
Stock Photo - National CASA
Dennis Hogan has been a CASA volunteer advocate with Reno County CASA since 2005. Dennis works with and mentors teenage males. Dennis takes some of more difficult cases and has worked with them for several years through truancy issues and has even followed them after high school graduation. Dennis has not only advocated for children but also does public and radio speaking for the program as well.
Spirit of the Plains CASA in Garden City, KS
Area residents with a calling for social work have an opportunity awaiting them with Spirit of the Plains CASA in Garden City, an organization that advocates for abused and neglected children traveling through the Kansas court and foster care systems.
Becky Clark, executive director of the local CASA branch servicing children in Kansas’ 25th Judicial District, is calling on people with big hearts to get involved as a Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA). Clark has helmed the operation since Aug. 14. Under her leadership, the organization has redirected its focus on volunteer recruitment and retention efforts.
A licensed social worker with 20 years of experience in public education, Clark is no stranger to the game and is positioned to receive her master’s degree in social work in May from the University of Kansas. She hopes to use that added expertise to strengthen CASA in southwest Kansas for the sake of children caught up in a fraught Kansas foster care system in which 74 children were reported missing in October.
CASA reports that there are about 7,200 children in the custody of the Kansas Department of Children and Families amid a shortage of foster homes and high staff turnover. As an answer to that, CASA tasks itself with finding people willing to help.
“We are the voice for the children in the court system who are abused and neglected,” Clark said. “Many times, without our services, the children’s voice would not be presented to a judge.”
PLEASE consider Kansas CASA when you shop online...
2017 Kansas CASA Board
Thomas B. Wuerfele, President
Blue Cross Blue Shield of KS
Sara Rust-Martin, President Elect
KU School of Social Work
Kansas Bar Association
Sandra Bradley, Secretary
Executive Director - CASA: A Voice for Children, Inc.
Theresa Westphal, Treasurer
CPA and Partner
Varney & Associates
David Whetstone, Assistant Treasurer
Douglas County CASA, Inc.
Vice President of Marketing
Creative Golf Marketing
Honorable Rebecca Crotty
Retired District Court Judge
Fleeson, Gooing, Coulson & Kitch LLC
Juliene Maska, Past President
Maska & Associates Consulting
Ted A. Jowett
Board and Staff Members
CASA: Childrens Advocates
Central KS CASA
IOLTA grant by the Kansas Bar Foundation
Nancy Parrish in memory of Carol Bonebrake
Dan & Mary Tritsch in honor of Juliene Maska
Tom & Janette Meis
Glenn & Amy Braun
Kansas Association of Extension 4-H Agents
Numerous donations from generous Facebook followers
Don Reif Jr.