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Juvenile Court CASA Program Supervisor Participates as Panelist at 2023 National CASA Conference

CASA supervisor speaking
July 7, 2023

Cobb Juvenile Court, Program Supervisor, Mari Garcia recently represented the Court, and her CASA team, by participating as a panelist during the 2023 National CASA/GAL Conference in St. Louis, MO.   

The panel discussion was titled, “Achieving Greater Compassion & Justice in the Child Welfare System: An intergenerational Panel of Foster Care Alumni Speak.”  Through the lens of their lived experiences, panelists discussed how to achieve a more equitable, just, and compassionate child welfare system that results in increased child and family well-being and fewer children in foster care. They engaged participants to think about how they may contribute to the current status quo (even without intent), which has long-reinforced structural disadvantages to marginalized children and families. The Goal of the session was for participants to leave feeling hopeful and empowered to be a catalyst for change, whether in one child's life or within the larger system.

Panelists included:

Charity Chandler-Cole, Ed.D Candidate, Chief Executive Officer, CASA of Los Angeles, CA.

Maricruz Garcia, Program Supervisor, Juvenile Court of Cobb County/CASA, Georgia

Charles Lerner, MFT, State Director, Massachusetts CASA

Jerri Willis- Mendiola, MSNPA, Executive Director, CASA of the 10th Judicial District, Arkansas

Roger Saillant, PhD

Adam Starks, Ph.D., Founder & CEO, MNDYRR Technologies, Inc. & West Virginia CASA Board President