Friday, December 21, 2012

CAS Offices: Holiday Hours

Our Children's Aid offices across Alabama will be closed December 24-26 and January 1.

We wish you and your family a wonderful and safe holiday season!

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Summit Conference: January 31

 Summit VIII
Prevent, Protect, and Serve

Thursday, January 31
8:00 am - 4:00 pm 
Canterbury United Methodist Church
350 Overbrook Road
Birmingham, AL 35213

Registration Fee: $60 includes Snacks, Lunch, Conference Materials
Register by: January 18
CEU pending approval. 

Target Audience: Professionals (social workers, nurses, counselors, home visitors) working with children, families and adults in crisis.

Objectives: After completion of this conference, professionals will:
1) Have a greater understanding of how recent budget cuts may impact different segments of the population including children and those with specific needs such as those diagnosed with Alzheimer’s Disease.
2)Learn more about ways their agencies can continue to provide services during difficult times such as using volunteers and networking with other agencies in their communities.
3)Learn specific information about the resources available in the community for specific populations such as children, those with Alzheimer’s Disease, those with Autism, and those in need of furnishings among others.
4)Will gain specific information about issues impacting the community such as Internet Safety, Domestic Violence, Human Trafficking and Childhood Obesity.

Expected Attendance: 175

** Register online**

Contact Linda Stephenson if you have questions: 205-324-6561

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Make a Difference for Families in Alabama

As we celebrate the holiday season, we reflect on our past and how we have evolved as an agency. Many things have changed throughout our 100 years, but our core values remain steadfast.

Our purpose is to help children by strengthening the families who care for them. There is no such thing as a perfect family. But in a child's eyes, their family has every chance to be perfect. CAS tries to help all of our families be their child's best advocates for their future.

Words on a page cannot begin to describe the families that CAS encounters. It all begins and ends with a story.  
"We were moved and inspired by our CAS worker's belief in us. We worked hard to complete the tasks assigned to us so that we would be able to keep our kids. I finished all of my drug abuse prevention classes, got my GED, and my driver's license. All of the hard work was worth it."
We believe we can best help children by strengthening the families who raise them. In the absence of any other fundraisers this year, this holiday appeal takes on even more meaning for our agency.  

We ask that you please consider a gift to our agency and appreciate all of your support.

Monday, December 17, 2012

December Staff Spotlight: LeAnn Oliver

LeAnn Oliver joined the Children’s Aid team in April 2007 as a unit supervisor in our FOCUS program. Leann says “ I was ready for a change. I had been working in mental health for 7 years and felt there was no room for personal or professional growth. A friend of mine at the Department of Human Resources told me about an opening at CAS as a Supervisor and encouraged me to apply.” 

The staff LeAnn supervises help keep kids out of foster care by providing intensive services aimed at keeping vulnerable families together. Due to the intensity of these services, her typical day requires her to be flexible. She helps staff troubleshoot their cases, works with partnering agencies, helps keep the program on track through documentation, and serves her community by serving on other child‐focused committees. LeAnn describes her job at CAS as “a perfect fit.” 

Away from work, LeAnn enjoys spending time playing her with her children. Her parents, who she considers her biggest heroes, influence her as she works to raise her kids. Her children are also very special to her because she considers their adoption to be her greatest achievement.  

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Civitan International Supports CAS

We're so grateful for the generous members of Civitan International whose members donated gifts for the  young families we serve across the state!

The Birmingham Civitan Club meets at Jim & Nick's Restaurant in Homewood at 6:30pm, on the first and third Tuesday of each month. Visitors are always welcome!

Civitan International is an organization of volunteer service clubs around the world, dedicated to helping people in their own communities. Civitans help wherever the need arises - from collecting food for a homeless shelter, to volunteering at their local retirement home, to building a playground for children with disabilities. Civitans have been helping people since the organization’s founding in 1917, by a group of business leaders determined to making a difference in their community. 

Please consider your own holiday donation to Children's Aid!

Monday, December 10, 2012

Free Webinar: Sibling Rivalry

If you have siblings, you have probably experienced sibling rivalry. In most cases, sibling rivalry is healthy and normal, and siblings tend to be more agreeable as they mature; however, for parents to be able to help themselves and their children get through sibling rivalry, it is important to understand some key causes and factors.

This webinar explores factors that influence sibling rivalry and offers parents and caregivers healthy discipline techniques and other creative ways to improve family and sibling relationships. It also discusses the unique dynamics of sibling rivalry among foster and adoptive families. 

Tuesday, December 18
Trainer: Patricia Corbitt, LCSW  

Register Now Online! 

CEUs available for the following:

  • Adoptive Parents
  • Foster Parents
  • Social Workers
  • Counselors 

CAS is an approved CE Provider NBCC #6459 ABSWE #0039

If you have any questions, please contact Brock Sellers at

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Independent Living Networking Conference

Join us for our statewide Independent Living staff networking conference. The purpose of the conference is to increase the knowledge of the Independent Living Program for DHR staff and other professionals working the ILP Residential programs.

One hundred slots will be designated for DHR county and state office staff, provided at no charge to DHR staff. Other professionals in the state who work with IL youth, such as residential providers, IL contract providers, and other private professionals will also be able to attend for a nominal fee.

January 22-23, 2013 
Hilton Birmingham 

Learn more about this upcoming conference 
by visiting IL Connect.

Monday, December 3, 2012

The Importance of Talking to Your Child about Adoption

In the past, it was believed that parents should not tell their children that they were adopted. Parents felt that telling their child would upset him and that the child would feel different. Many parents were also afraid that their child would reject them.

Today, many parents continue to have the same fears, but experts now believe that it is important to tell the child she was adopted as early as possible, and that the repercussions of not telling may have damaging effects on their relationship. Despite various reasons why parents may not feel comfortable talking to their child about being adopted, the longer they do not tell the truth, the more difficult the conversation becomes. When the conversation does not occur, parents are in a position where they choose to lie to their child or may be evasive in talking with them. Children are very perceptive and read body language. They can tell if a parent is uncomfortable or is avoiding a specific topic.

A common reason parents do not talk to their child about adoption is they don’t know how to start the conversation. The conversation will need to be revisited many times during the child’s life and needs to be developmentally appropriate based on the age of the child.

 Below are some recommendations adapted from Explaining Adoption to Your Child by the National Adoption Information Clearinghouse (
  • Convey to your child that the circumstances leading to the adoption were not his fault. Children’s magical thinking often leads them to believe that their bad behavior or thoughts caused the relinquishment, parental death, or divorce. 
  • Children sometimes believe they were placed for adoption because they were not good enough to be kept. If your child was adopted as an infant, emphasize the fact the birthmother probably chose adoption long before your child’s birth, and did this because she cared about her child and wanted her to have what she could not give her. 
  • Don’t say, “Your birth mother loves you, but…” because love will be equated with abandonment very early in life. The birthmother may have been a wonderful and caring person, but the bottom line was that she could not parent a child at that time in her life. 
  • Don’t use the poverty explanation for your child being placed. Saying “your birthmother was poor” may cause negative feelings. Children are likely to feel sorry for the birthmother and feel guilty about being adopted, thinking “Why didn’t someone help her to keep me?” 
  • Don’t depict your family as “savior” of your child, which may place a burden on the child. 
  • If your child was adopted as an older child, the emphasis is likely to be on the fact that the parent was unable to parent because of various problems. 
  • Do stress the fact that these problems were unrelated to your child, but made the parent incapable of being an adequate parent to any child at that time. 
CAS's APAC program has many resources to assist adoptive parents with initiating and continuing this conversation. Give us a call at 866-803-2722 or email us at for more information.