Operation Hope for the Holidays: Loftiss RYDC DJJ Staff  at:  12/22/2015  
Operation Hope for the Holidays: Loftiss RYDC







Operation Hope for the Holidays!, benefiting Toys for Tots and local domestic violence shelters across Georgia, is off to a roaring start thanks to the generosity of employees across Georgia. One of the most active facilities has been the Loftiss RYDC in Thomasville who has been been gathering toys and other materials for the Halcyon Home for Battered Women.






Operation Hope for the Holidays! provides an opportunity for all DJJ Employees to give back to those in the community who need it most this holiday season. The Halcyon Home for Battered Women is a non-profit, non-denominational charitable organization for battered women and their children whose mission is to provide safe shelter and support services for victims of domestic violence, their children, and survivors of sexual assault and promote community awareness and education to help prevent and break the cycle of violence; provide an environment of encouragement, compassion, and support for all those we service.



Recently, Ms. Laura Majors visited the Loftiss RYDC to pick up a large donation box filled for the Halcyon Home. DJJ would like to thank everyone who participated and donated to the Loftiss RYDC during Hope for the Holidays. For more information on the Halcyon Home, click on http://www.halcyonhomeshelter.org/.








 


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     DJJ and The Vashti Center Holiday Stocking Campaign DJJ Staff  at:  12/22/2015  

DJJ and The Vashti Center Holiday Stocking Campaign





Story support from District Ten Director Laura Pike



This December, the District Ten Team at DJJ has gotten into the holiday spirit by providing and filling thirty-six stockings with toys and needed supplies to the youth of The Vashti Center. In Thomasville, The Vashti Center has been a valuable resource and partner with the Department of Juvenile Justice throughout the years, providing outstanding residential placement for committed youth.





Snookie Brown, Nicole Cromer, Vashti Administrative Director, Kathy Megahee, Family Connections Executive Director, Susan O’Neal, Vashti Development Director, Laura S. Pike, District Director, District 10, Stephanie White (Donations are on the Piano)

The Vashti Center provides mental health services to children and adolescents between the ages of 5-18 years. Children and adolescents face numerous challenges in their lives that impact their well-being and ability to succeed socially, behaviorally, and academically. The Room, Board, and Watchful Oversight Program is designed to provide a safe, nurturing environment seven days a week, 24 hours per day. High staff ratios and special programming in recreation, education, independent living skills, recreational skills, mentoring, and spiritual development are emphasized. Both males and females ages six to 17 may be admitted into the program. Vashti prefers to work with youth whose guardian is within a radius that permits their program involvement. While on campus, education is provided. The majority of Vashti youth receive educational services from Thomasville City Schools. Ralph Comerford is the CEO of Vashti and Susan O’Neal is the Development Director.


Women’s Forum and Vashti Participants (Donations are on the Piano)

DJJ District Ten Director Laura S. Pike donated the Christmas Stockings at the Women's Forum of Thomasville-Thomas County. Director Pike is a current Board member of Women’s Forum of Thomasville-Thomas County and has been active in this organization for many years. Women's Forum is a service oriented committee that offers college scholarship to female high school seniors, provides Christmas gifts to needy children, supports other community causes, and allows mentoring opportunities for females in Thomas County.

These gifts will bring smiles and lift spirits! Vashti's own Arlisha Wildgoose, RBWO Program Director, and Nicole Cromer, Administrative Director presented the program on December 8th and shared how children's lives are being transformed thanks to the support of community-minded organizations like Women's Forum.

The experience provided a great opportunity for DJJ staff to share some fun with other community members. DJJ staff members are committed to participating in Community Events that provide rewarding opportunities for our youth. For more information on The Vashti Center, visit www.vashti.org.


Luncheon Photo



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     DJJ and CASA: Supporting Youth in District Ten DJJ Staff  at:  12/22/2015  
DJJ and CASA: Supporting Youth in District Ten





Story support from District Ten Director Laura Pike

Swearing-in ceremonies for volunteers for the Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) in Thomasville, Georgia included many DJJ employees from the Thomas Community Services Office (Thomas CSO). The CASA Kids Program trained the community graduates in helping foster children and to provide the training needed to work within the child welfare and juvenile court systems. As part of the graduation, Diane Davis was sworn in as an Officer of the Juvenile Court by the Honorable Stephen H. Andrews, Juvenile Court Judge. District Ten welcomes Ms. Davis to the CASA Kids Program and looks forward to working with her in this important endeavor.





Diane Davis, CASA volunteer and Asun Ellis, CASA Executive Director

The CASA Program is part of the Family Enrichment Group, Inc., a non-profit organization serving the Southern Judicial Circuit of Georgia and dedicated to providing child advocacy for families involved in the court systems. Family Enrichment Group, Inc. serves Brooks and Thomas Counties and has three programs:




  • CASA Kids has as its main purpose the ability to provide trained, screened and supervised volunteers to advocate for the best interest of abused and neglected children in Juvenile Court deprivation proceedings.




  • The Family Support Program promotes permanency for children involved in Juvenile Court deprivation proceedings who are in an adoptive placement, or placed in the custody or guardianship of a non-parent custodian as an alternative to foster care.




  • The Court Connection Program provides lay guardian ad litem services to children in Superior Court.



  • The mission of CASA and the Family Support Program is to empower the communities of South Georgia by providing child advocacy and services to the families of the children referred to their programs.

    Leading the efforts of the Family Enrichment Group, Inc. with both a great passion and vision for eighteen years is Executive Director Asuncion "Asun" Ellis. Ms. Ellis became the Executive Director of Thomas County CASA in January, 1994 and, during her tenure, the Thomas County CASA, Inc. became Family Enrichment Group, Inc. on July 1, 2011. As Executive Director of Family Enrichment Group, Inc., Ms. Ellis' duties include supervising, training and evaluating staff and responsible for program management, development, and evaluation. She also manages the finances, and prepares statistical and financial reports for the Board, Georgia CASA and National CASA.

    District 10 DJJ staff members (including Laura S. Pike, District Director/District 10, Shalonda Brinson, JPM and Dawn Smith, JPPS III) are committed to participating in Community Events that provide rewarding opportunities for our youth and in providing training to potential CASA volunteer candidates. The Department of Juvenile Justice is proud of the work of CASA and its District Ten leaders.



    Wendy Green, CASA; Judge Stephen H. Andrews; Asun Ellis, Executive Director; Lisa Owens, JPPS II; Dawn Smith, JPPS III; Laura S. Pike, DJJ District Director; Maria Bustle, CASA Advocacy Coordinator; Michelle Poitevint, CASA Advocacy Coordinator



     




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         Introducing the Office of Planning & Preparedness Safety Newsletter DJJ Staff  at:  12/22/2015  
    Introducing the Office of Planning & Preparedness Safety Newsletter



    Are YOU and your family prepared for any emergency situation that may arise during this Winter? Per the National Weather Service, winter weather is coming to Georgia and it has the potential to be significantly dangerous this year.


    The Department of Juvenile Justice wants to make sure that you have the information you need to keep safe during the long winter. With that in mind, the Office of Planning & Preparedness has put together the first edition of the OPP Safety Newsletter. Full of useful articles on how to keep safe during both emergency and normal household situations, the OPP Safety Newsletter also provides you with the detailed web links and background needed to have your action plan in place before problems arise.

    Don’t be caught in the dark when it comes to emergency planning in Georgia. Stay informed by reading the latest edition of the OPP Safety Newsletter TODAY.

    http://www.djjnewsandviews.org/docs/planningandpreparedness122015.pdf






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         DJJ District Ten: Ringing the Bell for Community Good DJJ Staff  at:  12/22/2015  
    DJJ District Ten: Ringing the Bell for Community Good!



    Story support from District Ten Director Laura Pike


    Recently, several Department of Juvenile Justice District Ten employees from Southwest Georgia made some joyous noise this holiday season as they helped RING THE BELL for the local Salvation Army to raise money for the organization and local charities. District Ten Director Laura S. Pike and members of the Thomas County Community Service Office (Thomas CSO) and High Intensity Team Supervision (Thomas HITS) entertained local shoppers who in turn gave their dollars and coins for this great cause.



    Dawn Smith, JPPS III and Janie Holton, JPPS III/HITs



    Aja Jones, JPPS II; Freddie Robinson, JPPS I/HITs; Laura S. Pike, District Director; Dawn Smith, JPPS III and Janie Holton, JPPS III/HITs


    The Red Kettle Campaign is The Salvation Army's largest fundraiser of the year with 85% of all monies raised going back into the community to feed the hungry, keep people warm during the winter, and help local at-risk youth. The District Ten Team rang specifically on behalf of the Thomasville Kiwanis Club who has been a strong partner to DJJ and whose programs recognize and promote the young people of the area, including DJJ youth.



    Aja Jones, JPPS II; Freddie Robinson, JPPS I/HITs; Laura S. Pike, District Director; Dawn Smith, JPPS III and Janie Holton, JPPS III/HITs


    Working with The Salvation Army and the Thomasville Kiwanis Club provided a great opportunity for DJJ staff to share some fun with other community leaders. For more information on The Salvation Army in Thomasville, visit http://salvationarmygeorgia.org/thomasville. Details on the Thomasville Kiwanis Club projects are available on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/thomasville.kiwanis/.



    Thomasville Kiwanis Club member Jimmy Clanton and Laura S. Pike, District Director



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