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November 2019 Newsletter

Giving Thanks
This season of Thanksgiving finds us with much for which to be thankful.  September marked Connecticut CASA Association’s one-year anniversary.  Looking back at our accomplishments over the last 14 months, we are grateful for the support we’ve received and the progress we’ve made. 
We thank the dedicated staff and board members across the Connecticut CASA network who have been working hard to train and supervise volunteers, set up the infrastructure for new programs, and raise awareness about our mission.  We thank the National CASA Association for supporting us with time, talent, and generous grant funding through our start-up phase.  We thank the juvenile court judges, policy makers, attorneys, case workers, and our colleagues from other child welfare agencies throughout the State for sharing their expertise and advice as we develop our organization.  We thank the numerous members of our communities who’ve reached out eager to volunteer their time as CASAs in service to our State’s most vulnerable children.  We appreciate the countless ways you are helping us to further the CASA mission in Connecticut.  With your continued support, we look forward to providing highest-quality CASA programming for more children in the year to come.
Wishing you and yours a happy, healthy holiday season.

Introducing Josiah H. Brown, Executive Director, CASA of Southern Connecticut

Josiah H. Brown comes to his role as executive director for CASA of Southern Connecticut after having served as the first associate director of the Yale-New Haven Teachers Institute. He worked with New Leaders for a summer during its start-up in Boston. Previously, he was chief of staff to the president of the New School in New York City. Earlier, Brown was an aide to U.S. Representative Rosa DeLauro and to the director of a center at Columbia University. He worked for UConn Upward Bound and ConnPIRG and has volunteered with various urban youth organizations and public schools. 
A former president of Domestic Violence Services of Greater New Haven and former member of the New Haven Public Schools’ Community Engagement Team, Josiah chairs the Literacy Coalition of Greater New Haven.  He is also a volunteer youth basketball coach.  While he grew up in rural Windham County, he and his wife, Sahar Usmani-Brown, live in New Haven with their children.
Change a Child's Story
In October, we launched a broad-based adverting campaign, “Change a Child’s StoryTM”, to raise greater public awareness about our mission in Connecticut.  Created by the National CASA Association, the campaign’s messaging is told from the point of view of children who have experienced abuse or neglect. Our advertisements have been running in various print, digital, and broadcast radio outlets throughout the State.  They will continue into December.  It's exciting to be promoting our mission and programs publicly as we look ahead to starting service in two new courts this Winter.

Since its inception in 2012, #GivingTuesday has become the world's largest giving movement.  In 2018, more than $400 MIL through this movement was raised in the United States alone. This year, #GivingTuesday 2019 will be on December 3rd.  Please support Connecticut CASA by making a donation on December 3. Follow us on Facebook and Instagram to participate.  With your support we can make CASA volunteers available to children throughout Connecticut.

Volunteer Updates

Last week, CASA of SW Connecticut completed a volunteer training program to prepare 12 new volunteers for service in Fairfield County.  Our new programs, CASA of Northern Connecticut and CASA of Southern Connecticut, are accepting applications for volunteers to serve as CASAs in the New Britain and New Haven Superior Courts.  An initial training for these programs is expected to be held in December.  Please visit our website for more information or to download an application. 
School Supplies for Children in DCF Region 2

On September 10, symbols of a new partnership emerged at the Connecticut Department of Children and Families (DCF) Region 2 office in New Haven.  There, CASA of Southern Connecticut Executive Director Josiah Brown accepted a donation of backpacks and other classroom supplies from the Kappa Alpha Theta Eta Xi chapter at Quinnipiac University.  CASA of Southern Connecticut then conveyed the items to DCF to pass on to children in need.
Toni Ligon, regional program supervisor for Foster Care and Adoption Services, represented DCF.  She was joined by Marian Russo, DCF's liaison from the Connecticut Alliance of Foster and Adoptive Families (CFAF). Ms. Russo reported that the social workers were very happy to distribute the supplies to children in care.  Some of the supplies were saved for children who will come into care for the first time as they often arrive without personal belongings for various reasons.

Representing Kappa Alpha Theta was Caitlin Smith, a Quinnipiac senior majoring in nursing and the chief external affairs officer for Eta Xi.  We are grateful for the ongoing support of Kappa Alpha Theta Eta Xi.
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