Working together to strengthen our community
The Charlottesville, Albemarle, and Louisa Multidisciplinary Teams (MDT) meet monthly to staff cases involving child sexual abuse and/or serious physical injury. This interdisciplinary collaboration with the police department, Child Protective Services (CPS), prosecutors, and mental health professionals helps improve the investigation and prosecution of child abuse, and ensures the provision of appropriate mental health services to child victims. Each team member contributes special expertise and case knowledge, while the CASA Supervisor, in particular, focuses attention on the children’s safety, stability, and mental health needs.
Piedmont CASA is a founder of the Greater Charlottesville Trauma-Informed Community Network. Its mission is to improve trauma-informed care by educating professionals and the community on the prevalence and impact of trauma and by advocating for trauma-informed systems of care.
The Charlottesville and Louisa County Best Practice teams work to implement the Court Improvement Program, which provides regional training to improve practice in the dependency courts. Piedmont CASA is an active, essential member.
The Family Drug Treatment Court (FTC) - a collaborative project between the Charlottesville and Albemarle Departments of Social Services, Piedmont CASA, the Region Ten Community Services Board, and the Court - is designed to protect children from abuse and neglect precipitated by the substance abuse of a parent or caregiver. This interdisciplinary team works with participants to develop case plans for the parent’s treatment and family service needs, as well as for the child’s safety and health needs, both physical and mental. These efforts are reinforced by intensive judicial monitoring. Piedmont CASA participates in weekly case management team meetings and court hearings to ensure the child’s needs are considered in the parent’s treatment plan.
The Louisa Interagency Council (LIAC) was formed to develop strategies to keep citizens informed about the needs of the community, the resources that are available, and how they can become involved or get access. Piedmont CASA consistently attends community awareness events organized by the LIAC.
Each fall, Piedmont CASA partners with the University of Virginia School of Law Pro Bono Program. We accept up to five law students into each CASA training session, and provide training and supervision to give them hands-on experience working as child advocates in the juvenile court.
Making Connections and Building Awareness
Piedmont CASA partners with the UVA Curry School of Education to host this event. Although play money is used, the Poverty Simulation is not a game. It is a simulation that enables you to look at poverty from a variety of angles. Poverty is a challenge for those who must struggle in it, and for our entire community. More than 86% of the children we serve come from families struggling at or below the federal poverty line. This year, more than 80 people participated in the Poverty Simulation. 22 February 2020.
There were lots of elves making sure that holidays were bright for CASA kids. Hundreds of gifts were donated by the men and women of GE Automation & Controls, Michi Burke and Friends, Nellie Crowder and Friends, and the Albemarle County Rotary Club. December 2019.
Students from the Charlottesville Day School appeared in our office with bags of holiday sweets. It was a welcome surprise and their festive spirit still makes us smile. 11 December 2019.
The annual Women United in Philanthropy Luncheon. CASA President Alicia Lenahan is the Program and Events Chair of the Steering Committee. 11 November 2019.
Trauma 101 training through EMPOWER for music teachers in Louisa County Public Schools. CASA Supervisor Sherri Rosser and President Alicia Lenahan discussed the basics of trauma and brain states, played the Brain Architecture game, and problem-solved specific "in-the-classroom" issues/behaviors for which the teachers were seeking help. 4 November 2019.
For years, energetic members of the Junior League have generously helped us fold, stuff, and stamp our fall appeal letters. They are a big part of the reason our letters go out on time and in good order. 17 October 2019.
CASA Supervisor Sherri Rosser at the Louisa Fall Harvest Festival, just one of the venues we attend. Kids drop into the Piedmont CASA booth to "Draw what makes them happy." Artwork that is donated to PCASA helps us tell the story of CASA kids. 12 October 2019.
Sixteen fabulous volunteers from Carter-Myers Automotive worked on the Piedmont CASA office for the United Way Day of Caring. They installed storage cabinets and shelving, re-finished our front and back doors, built and painted a fence around our trash and recycling bins, weeded, and more. 25 September 2019.
Darkness to Light's Stewards of Children offered a free training to Piedmont CASA Volunteers and staff. Stewards of Children is a nationally recognized sexual abuse prevention program that educates adults to prevent, recognize, and react responsibly to child sexual abuse. 9 September 2019.
For 16 years, the generous men and women of GE Automation & Controls have been making sure that Piedmont CASA boys and girls go back to school with brand new backpacks and school supplies. 13 July 2019
On a beautiful, sunny day, members of UVA ProjectSERVE worked in the Piedmont CASA office to help ensure that the fall mailings would go out in perfect order. 30 June 2019.
The Greater Charlottesville Trauma-Informed Community Network held its regularly scheduled bi-monthly meetings through January 2020. You can register for upcoming online meetings by visiting the website here.
Fundraising and friend-raising through events
Fore Kids Golf Tournament
Eighteen teams played on a clear, sunny day. The winning team included retired CASA Volunteer Greg Hayden, center, along with Philip Seay, David Passerell, and Neal Davis. Hosted by the CVC Committee of VDOT Culpeper, the Fore Kids Golf Tournament raised $9,552 for Piedmont CASA. 3 October 2019.
The Bracket Blast ... Almost
This year's Bracket Blast was going be a celebration of our 25th Anniversary and the 2019 Cavaliers NCAA Championship. Because of the looming pandemic, we cancelled it on March 12 - only 4 days before it was supposed to take place. It was a sad decision, but necessary for the safety of all our friends and supporters. An extra special big thanks to our hardworking Bracket Blast committee, and to all the sponsors who stood by us even when we were forced to cancel.
Bluebird Parade for Children in Foster Care
Since we could not do a live Bluebird Parade in May, we took it online. Men, women, and children from all across the community emailed bluebird art, music, and videos. We put them all in a video, which you can see and hear by clicking the button below. The bluebird art shown here is by Cynthia Burke. The Bluebird Project is a creation of the Foster Care Adoption and Awareness Coalition, a coalition of Piedmont CASA, Community Attention Foster Families (CAFF), the Departments of Social Services in Albemarle and Charlottesville, DePaul Community Resources, Great Expectations, PeoplePlaces, and UMFS. May 2020.