ICAB Newsletter

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CAB Connection - July 2023

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Welcome to Our New Volunteers!

Darin Adams, CASA, Black Hawk Co. Mallory Bagby, FCRB, Scott County
Elizabeth Clarisse, CASA, Des Moines C. Makala Erdman, CASA, Linn County
Inona Fairchild, CASA, Black Hawk Co. Mengcheng Guo, CASA, Johnson County
Matthew Limbert, CASA, Linn County Austyn Slaybaugh, CASA, Linn County
Patricia White, FCRB, Lee County  




ICAB Welcomes Program Coordinator

The Iowa Child Advocacy Board is pleased to announce the hiring of Peggy Sellnau as the CASA and FCRB Program Coordinator for Greater Dubuque. Peggy will oversee programming in Dubuque, Clinton and Jackson. We look forward to working with her!

“I am excited to become the Program Coordinator for CASA and FCRB in Dubuque, Clinton, and Jackson Counties!  I have worked in FCRB as a facilitator in the past and recently returned to Clinton/Jackson and Scott Counties as the FCRB facilitator last fall.  I live in Charlotte, a very small town in Clinton County, with my husband and three cats.  I have four sons, two live in Clinton, one is a student at Iowa State University, and the fourth lives at home.  My past job experience includes Big Brothers Big Sisters in Clinton County, Early Childhood Iowa Director, and family team meeting facilitator, and foster care licensing.  I enjoy camping and boating with my family, as well as reading and going for long walks.  A fun fact about me is that I was the mayor of my town for eight years.  I also served on the council before that and have been the city clerk twice.”


ICAB Board Member Spotlight 

Wayne Schellhammer, of Dallas County, is currently serving as vice chair of the Iowa Child Advisory Board (ICAB). He has been a member of the board for 13 years.

Why did you decide to join the board?  I wanted to participate at a level that could affect change regarding fostering kids and assisting kids in abusive circumstances.  I had a personal experience that was difficult at best because of antiquated policy surrounding abusive situations for kids and once I was able to resolve it in a positive way, I decided to get involved at a level that could affect change.

What has been a highlight of being a part of the board so far?  There have been a number of highlights for me being an ICAB board member for 13 years.  Working with Jim Hennessey through a directional/cultural change of the organization, as well as updating the technologies for our CASA volunteers and the FCRBs to expand the ability to have more participation at the review sessions. This technology improvement also creates better reporting nationally for CASA and reporting to the Iowa Legislature. Participating in the interview process that led to Steffani's hiring in 2019 when Jim decided to retire is an additional highlight for me.

Do you have any future goals or issues you would like to see ICAB address?  Given the state’s new reorganization, the future goal I believe the entire board is looking at is how the integration into DHS will work.  It has the opportunity to provide more streamlined communication that will benefit the kids and their care in abusive and difficult family situations.  We will be monitoring the progress of execution of a plan that has much positive potential.

Why do you think CASA and FCRB are valuable for the children and families of Iowa?   CASA volunteers are statistically beneficial for kids as well as emotionally.  Kids who have CASAs have significantly higher graduation rates at both high school and college.  They statistically do better at adjusting to adult life and not repeat patterns of behavior they learned in difficult family environments. That's a priceless value to Iowa and more importantly to the kids who need the assistance. FCRB is the opportunity to have a voice in the process of handling the services and accountability of all involved in caring for the kids in the system. While Family First is an noble goal, short cuts for the sake of statistics is not a positive outcome for the kids. Their well being has to be the priority, so I feel the jury is still out on the effectiveness of linking Foster Care with Family First.

About Wayne Schellhammer  Wayne first joined the Iowa Child Advocacy Board in May 2010 and is a three term member. He has 40 years of experience in the healthcare industry with more than half of those as a senior executive. He has served as President and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Unity Point Clinics (Iowa Health), President and CEO of Unity Point at Home (Iowa Health Home Care), and Chairman and CEO for American Care Source. He is currently President and CEO of Regenexx, LLC. 

FCRB Case Management

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In Iowa, it costs an average of $1,800 for one child to have a CASA volunteer for one year; on average, it is $850 for a volunteer foster care review board to review one child for one year. While Friends of Iowa CASA and ICFCRB has made progress towards serving every at-risk child in Iowa, we still have work to do. In recognition of that, Friends has created the Advocates Circle: any donor who contributes $850 or more to Friends of Iowa CASA and ICFCRB on an annual basis will receive recognition in our Annual Report and verbal recognition at events in the donor’s local area.

Your leadership gift today will recruit, train and support more CASA and FCRB volunteers. You may make a one-time donation or a monthly gift (NOTE: please enter your gift in the custom field and set the frequency to recurring).

Join the #AdvocatesCircle today by scanning the QR code or clicking here.




Mark your calendars – you are invited to our First Annual Eastern Corridor Light of Hope  fundraiser at the beautiful Cedar Ridge Winery and Distillery in Swisher from 6-8 p.m. on Thursday, Aug. 17. The evening will feature raffle prizes from local Eastern Corridor businesses, a 50/50 raffle, food and drinks, music, and FUN! Tickets are $25/person online or $30/person at the door. Each admission includes one drink ticket and two raffle tickets. Scan the QR code below or purchase tickets here.

LOH Eastern


Western Iowa supporters! If you live west of Des Moines or/and in the western corridor, we want to talk to you! The Friends of Iowa CASA & ICFCRB organization is looking for board members from the western side of the state. The board of directors meets once a month virtually. To learn more about joining our board of directors, please contact Development Director Meghan Malloy at: mmalloy@casaandicfcrb.org.

July Anniversary

Trainer's Corner

For FCRB Members & CASA Advocates:


Attention all caring adults: July is “National Make a Difference to Children Month

Sometimes we need reminders of how much of a difference ONE person can make. Consider these examples:

James Harrison, sometimes referred to as the “Man with Golden Arms” vowed to donate blood as often as he could starting at age 18 after surviving a lung transplant at 14 which required large volumes of blood.  From his blood donation he provided as soon as he was legally eligible, doctors quickly realized he had a unique antibody that helps in the treatment of blood disorder, Rhesus or Rh disease.  Because he donated his blood and doctors found a treatment for a fatal disease of infants that had eluded scientists, he saved millions of lives. 

“One person can make a difference, and everyone should try.”  

~John F. Kennedy.

Claudette Colvin, a 15 year old in Montgomery Alabama in March 1955, was an avid student, who sat on a public bus after school.  When the driver demanded that she and her friends move to the back of the bus to make room for a white woman, her friends moved, and she refused. Colvin was arrested for breaking the law and when the local NAACP heard about her bravery and knew it could be a catalyst for change, they nominated Rosa Parks to reenact  a similar situation months later knowing Colvin was too young to be the face of their movement.  Historians have begun to resurrect Colvin’s story to help correct the historical record. 

When Claudette was asked about her actions she remarked, “Whenever people ask me: ‘Why didn’t you get up when the bus driver asked you?’ I say it felt as though Harriet Tubman’s hands were pushing me down on one shoulder and Sojourner Truth’s hands were pushing me down on the other shoulder. I felt inspired by these women because my teacher taught us about them in so much detail.”  In a very real way, her school teacher, who taught Claudette so passionately, helped end segregation. 

You, too, are making a difference in another person’s life. Perhaps in some ways, the extent of this may only truly be shown in the future. Because, Cared for Children, Become Caring Adults.  Although we all know we should worry about what a child will become tomorrow, we mustn’t also forget that each child is someone today.  Thank you for helping today.  


In honor of “National Make a Difference to Children Month” and continuing the ICAB newsletter training article series around resilience and positive childhood experiences, we wanted to share some tips and resources for ways adults can support and strengthen executive function and self-regulation skills with children and build core skills that older youth need for life.  

The Center for the Developing Child at Harvard University provides a 5-minute Executive Function video about how children use their executive function skills and what disrupts their development. Review their important information and the misconceptions that science has now corrected here which includes:

“Contrary to popular belief, learning to control impulses, pay attention, and retain information actively in one’s memory does not happen automatically as children mature, and young children who have problems with these skills will not necessarily outgrow them.

Contrary to popular belief, young children who do not stay on task, lose control of their emotions, or are easily distracted are not “bad kids” who are being intentionally uncooperative and belligerent.”

To further understand how children and adults can build their core capabilities, watch their second 5-minute video.  

Now that you have the foundational concepts, use the links below to access the entire 16-page activities guide that describes age appropriate ways for adults to support and strengthen executive function and self-regulation skills with children or you can choose to download an age specific resource that might be helpful for your interactions with children. 

In addition, Harvard’s University’s Center for the Developing Child provides a guide for those working with adolescents to explain the science behind the core skills that youth need, what affects the development of the skills, and how to help support those core skills. Read their work here and download the helpful guide for Education and Social Service Practitioners, Building Adolescent Life Skills Guide here.

“The purpose of life is to contribute in some way to making things better.”  

Robert F. Kennedy

Source: Center on the Developing Child at Harvard University (2014). Enhancing and Practicing Executive Function Skills with Children from Infancy to Adolescence. Retrieved from www.developingchild.harvard.edu.

Quest Mark

If you have questions, please contact the State Trainer at lesa.christianson@dia.iowa.gov.