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  1. CAB Connection - February 2023
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Volunteer Spotlight: Patricia DeHarty, CASA

Woodbury County CASA would like to spotlight Patricia (Trisha) DeHarty.  Tricia has been a CASA since February 2018, she has taken on a variety of cases during that time.  During her time as a CASA she has worked directly with seven families.   Tricia would tell you that she enjoys working with families and seeing them get healthy.  One of the cases Tricia worked with had several prior terminations,  Tricia was able to help the mother identify the need to address the root of her trauma,  this resulted in being able to keep her child and successfully close her case.  
Tricia has seen cases with a wide variety of issues such as: mental health, alcoholism, domestic violence, poverty, criminal behavior, trauma and drug addiction.  Tricia has been open to learning about the issues families struggle with and brainstorms possible ways to alleviate those issues.  Tricia has been with CASA long enough to see how every family is different on how they respond to stressors.  
With the experience that Tricia has had she decided to become a Coach for 5 different CASAs.  Tricia is responsive and willing to help her CASAs in any way she can.  Tricia has been able to share her experiences and knowledge to help guide and support them.  Tricia supports the CASA program by attending court with her advocates and helping develop their confidence in the role.  We thank Tricia for her commitment and work with volunteers and families alike. 

Friends Logo

The Friends of Iowa CASA & ICFCRB organization is thrilled for the return of the Light of Hope breakfast in Des Moines this spring! This fundraiser will be from 7-8 a.m. April 5 at the Greater Des Moines Botanical Garden. Among the speakers is Jerry Foxhoven, past ICAB Administrator and past Iowa Dept. Human Services Director. Admission is free; attendees may register by clicking here or scanning the QR Code below.


The Friends board will also launch the Advocates Circle on Feb. 1 to encourage recurring donations and cultivate new donors who want to generously give on a regular basis. Adapted from the National CASA/GAL giving campaign of the same name, the Advocates Circle invites donors to donate a specific amount monthly to cumulatively equal the amounts it costs per child per year to have CASA or FCRB advocacy services right here in Iowa. To learn more about the Advocates Circle, click here or scan the QR code below.



Save the Dates! The North Polk High School Key Club is partnering with Seven Oaks for Family Day on Feb. 23-24, benefitting Friends of Iowa CASA and ICFCRB! 20 percent of the ticket sales will benefit Friends, via the Key Club. Advanced reservations required.

Seven Oaks



Welcome to Our New Volunteers!

Jessica Bixler, CASA, Polk County David Brownfield, CASA, Polk County
Brenna Gallagher, CASA, Polk County Noah Howe, CASA, Winneshiek County
Amy Meyer, CASA, Marion County Abigail Stout, CASA, Henry County
Teresa Tyler, FCRB, Tama County Cheryl Zach, FCRB, Decatur County



Mark your calendars for April 11, 2023, for the first Southeast Iowa CASA Summit: Reinventing the Pinwheel; Planting Change; Nurturing Futures. This will be an all-day event at the Bridge View Center in Ottumwa, and registration will open soon

This will be a not-to-miss event. Together, professionals and youth will navigate through child well-being issues. Topics including lived experiences, suicide prevention, substance use, using youth voices to advocate and building resilience will be covered. We will learn new ways to work together to reduce trauma and abuse cycles and build a more resilient community while building a network of change in how services and interactions are administered.

CASA and FCRB Staff and Volunteers will have their $50.00 registration fee paidTalk to your coordinator regarding lodging and travel expenses.


For nearly 40 years, local citizen foster care review boards (FCRB) have operated in areas of Iowa to ensure the needs of children in foster care are met, and that they are not overlooked due to an overburdened child welfare system. The citizen foster care review boards work to move children and youth toward legal and relational permanency as quickly as possible in an effort to reduce their time in care. The FCRB program collects information about both individual and systemic barriers commonly faced by families with children in foster care to increase knowledge and identify gaps in the system.

The FCRB program utilizes the collective voices of community volunteers to advance the safety, well-being and long-term stability of children in the foster care system. Our vision is to ensure that Iowa children in foster care are safe and well cared for and that their cases move toward permanency in a timely and efficient manner.  To accomplish this, we facilitate volunteer-led case reviews that celebrate the progress towards carrying out the case plan, as well as identify and discuss unmet needs of children and families. 

In FY22, the cases of 1,114 children were reviewed. Cases are reviewed at least every six months until permanency is achieved or the youth ages out of foster care. At the end of 2022, 144 community volunteers remained actively serving on one or more of the 26 local foster care review boards throughout Iowa. Citizen review remains a cost-efficient and effective means of assisting the courts, HHS, the legislature, as well as other interested parties by providing an objective perspective on the foster care case management process.

Polk TempPolk Temp

Trainer's Corner

Continuing Ed

2023 State Office Sessions

Hello from the State Office!!  We are excited to share with you our CASA and FCRB training opportunities as part of the Iowa Child Advocacy Board’s year-long speaker series to support your continuous learning journey within our organization! Join us as we gather together virtually in learning! 

Solution Based Casework Sara Buis, HHS Family Centered Services Program Manager will present on the Solution Based Casework being implemented across Iowa on February 7th from Noon to 1pm.  Learn about this specific service array and get your questions answered! Click here to register! As this session will be recorded, please only register to attend the live session.

Engagement and Safety Decision Making in Substance Use Disorder Cases  Join us to learn from the National Center on Substance Abuse and Child Welfare!  Kim Bishop and Elizabeth Bullock will discuss how families affected by substance use disorders (SUDs) and involved with child welfare services often face a host of challenges and barriers to family well-being.  Parents with SUDs have a lower likelihood of successful reunification with their children and their children tend to stay longer in the foster care system than children of parents without SUDs.  Effectively assessing safety, risk and protective capacities is an essential element of strong child welfare practices.  This session explores the importance of understanding how stigma and language may affect engagement in safety decision making and provides engagement strategies to support positive outcomes for families.  This session will also define safety factors, risk factors, and parental protective capacities, while highlighting the importance of collaborative decision making with families and community partners to address family needs.  March 29th from Noon to 1:30 pm. Click here to register! As this session will be recorded, please only register to attend the live session.

Family Interactions with HHS Join HHS Sara Buis as we learn more about Family Interactions Plans and the new tools available to the workers to help ensure interactions occur in safe and healthy ways. These plans are tailored to meet the safety needs of the family as a powerful tool for family reunification. Come with your questions! As this session will be recorded, please only register to attend the live session. Click here to register!

Success in the Classroom: Advocating for Youth with Disabilities Participant of this workshop will learn about the ways that students with disabilities can be supported in the classroom and the laws that require accommodations in public education systems. Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act is described and compared to the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) along with some important laws that impact kids with disabilities in the general education classroom.  Participants will get a better understanding of: the process of becoming eligible for support under Section 504 and the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, the difference between what is available under each type of pla, and laws that impact kids with disabilities in the general education classroom. Join us on May 15th from Noon to 1 pm as Mari Brown  and Deb Chiodo from ASK Resources share this important information. This session meets CASAs annual Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion in-service training requirement. Click here to register!

Tour of ASK Resource Center and Transition Iowa Website Resources  Do you advocate on a case with a child or youth with disabilities? Do you want more resources for advocating for older youth with a disability who is transitioning to adulthood? If so, then this workshop is for YOU!  Participants of this workshop will learn about the resources available on the ASK Resource Center website. ASK is a resource center that is funded in part by the Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP) to support families and professionals who advocate for children with disabilities. Participants will get a better understanding of the resources available on ASK’s website regarding IEPs, 504 Plans, and Behavior, the resources available on ASK’s website regarding health, Medicaid, HCBS Waivers, and the resources available on the Transition Iowa website to support transition planning for life after high school for youth with disabilities. Join Mari Reyolds and Deb Chiodo from ASK Resources on May 22 from Noon to 1 pm to find out about all the amazing resources and information available!  Click here to register! This session meets CASAs annual Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion in-service training requirement. 


If you were unable to attend one of our past Speaker Series sessions and would like to watch the recording of the event for in-service training credit as an independent study, reach out to your Local Coordinator or the State Trainer at lesa.christianson@dia.iowa.gov.  Available recordings include: 

  • Inclusion Through a Different Lens
  • Adoption in CINA Cases
  • A Judge's Perspective on the Past, Present, and Future of Advocacy in Iowa 
  • Understanding the Subsidized Guardianship Program
  • Parent Partner Program
  • Kinship Navigator Program
  • AMP: Achieving Maximum Potential. Giving Older Youth a Voice
  • Iowa HHS Transition Planning Services
  • Iowa Aftercare Services 
  • The Talking Wall: Listening to the Voices that Matter Most
  • Iowa’s HHS Family Centered Services