News and Information from the National Court Appointed Special Advocate Association

Special Features & Profiles

Cover Story: Supporting Youth Transitioning to Adulthood

The number of youth aging out of foster care each year has increased from 19,000 to nearly 30,000 over the past decade. Too many youth are unable to complete their educations, find housing and jobs or get medical care. Many are not being connected to supportive families. But new legislation, and the attention of several key members of Congress, may go a long way to improving outcomes for older youth. Gary Stangler, executive director of the Jim Casey Youth Opportunities Initiative, is guest author.

Before and After: Chris Steigerwald of CASA for KIDS of Geauga County in Ohio presents a dramatic turnaround for a child who finally gains the support of a CASA volunteer.

Read about the Fostering Connections to Success Act, legislation designed to improve outcomes for youth leaving foster care, in the July 2011 Judges' Page newsletter.

Voices & Viewpoints

Volunteer Voice

Ann Garnier of Alameda County, CA, specializes in advocating for teen mothers in foster care. Learn how she helps these girls navigate to young womanhood.

From the CEO

Michael Piraino considers ways to promote justice for children in foster care. He argues that our nation cannot succeed economically until we ensure the success of all US children.

Leadership Reflections 

Rep. Jim McDermott, WA, celebrates passage of the Fostering Connections to Success and Increasing Adoptions Act. He also looks forward to spearheading more support for older youth in care.

Partner Perspective

Celeste Bodner, founder and director of FosterClub and an alum of foster care, addresses 7 myths associated with transitioning from care to adulthood.

 Alum Editorial

FosterClub All-Star Ashley Jackson describes education as her compass to the future. After losing all connections to her family, her college cohorts become her permanent circle.

Glenda a. hatchett  Closing Words

National CASA spokesperson Judge Glenda Hatchett recalls remarkable teens who came through her juvenile courtroom in Atlanta. Their main need was connections to caring adults.

Regular Features

Top Tips for Volunteers

Ryan Miller, team leader for the Transitioning Youth Project in Austin, offers 5 ways to better serve teens in care. The CASA program focuses on giving youth a voice and facilitating connections to caring adults.

Association News

Dr. Phil features foster youth and supportive senators; National CASA earns renewed Standards for Excellence certification; CASA programs partner at American Legion convention; The Connection wins awards.

Book Club

The Power of Half documents the Salwen family's quest to cut their living costs in half and donate the balance to charity.

Child Welfare News

National child welfare organizations report on latest research, publications and news of interest.

Program Spotlight

Tara Beckman of Alameda County CASA in San Leandro, CA, highlights her program's new tools for youth transitioning to adulthood.

Resources for Foster Youth

Lupe Tovar, an alum of foster care who now works for the National Resource Center for Youth Development, shares tools useful to older youth in care.

Field Notes

CASA programs around the US report their news, including events, awards and other success stories.

Connection Sightings

Fran Follett, an advocate with CASA for Lancaster County in Lincoln, NE, spent two weeks in Uganda volunteering at Hope Children’s Home.

Adobe reader Read online from this page, or download and print the full issue for later:
Winter 2011 Connection (1.9 MB PDF)

Publication information

Connection Submission Guidelines and Policies

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Anonymous @ 4/23/2011 11:01:44 PM 
Your program sounds wonderful. Thank you all for all the good you & the wonderful volunteers do to help the children in the world.
Anonymous @ 4/18/2011 8:48:40 AM 
Thanks for writing, Sheree. Your local CASA program may be able to use the support of your whole family. Find your closest program by going to the Zip Code search box at the bottom right corner of --Editor
Anonymous @ 4/17/2011 5:21:20 PM 
looking for a way for my two daughters and myself to donate time helping in any way we can. helping kids is a new one for us but I as a mother am needing to show my kids exactly how hard life can be along with how good they have it here at home.

I am looking for a program for all three of us to join.

We live in 78641 = leander tx closest to georgetown tx
Anonymous @ 3/10/2011 10:16:23 AM 
Thanks for your comment. So that we may respond, please email your question to
Anonymous @ 3/9/2011 7:28:33 PM 
Anonymous: Thanks for spotlighting my mother in this issue along with other great volunteers. I am so happy that there are people who spend their free time devoted to helping children. Often times, no one wants to listen to the children. CASA is a program which is an inspiration to everyone and I hope that it is never taken out of existence. My mother volunteered almost half of her life devoted to CASA and we never complained. I love her and again, thank you for the spotlight. I need to find out how to get hard copies of this issue.
Anonymous @ 3/9/2011 12:26:04 PM 
This issue provides many valuable tools for our Volunteers and the Youth in care while assisting me in better supervising the cases.
Thank you for this excellent issue of The Connection!
Sheree A. Kimball
Carroll Co. Ga. CASA Advocacy Coordinator
God Bless all of the wonderful Volunteers out there :)

Anonymous @ 2/28/2011 8:46:32 AM 
God Bless you All
Anonymous @ 2/24/2011 1:22:18 PM 
Excellent issue...informative, inspiring and creative. Ready to roll up our sleeves!
Anonymous @ 2/19/2011 5:17:52 AM 
This is awesome news, great resources given and I am also interested in teens aging out and their opportunities. Thank you for all you do.....CASA Volunteer Teresa Harris Polk & Haralson County,of GA.
Anonymous @ 2/18/2011 2:11:11 PM 
Wow. Just as I was ready to embark on a weekend of final research into my project of Youth In Transition, this pops into my work Inbox. Awesome.
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