The Children's Haven 2021 Impact

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The Children’s Haven promotes the health and happiness of children impacted by abuse and neglect. | 1


Letter from the Executive Director


Our Team


CASA Volunteers


2021 Playground Renovation


Playground Sponsors


The Children’s Haven By The Numbers


2021 Mission Highlights


New Programs Coming in 2022




Dear Friend, We are so happy to share a snapshot of the impact we made together in 2021. With more than 400 Cherokee County children in foster care, we worked diligently to provide supportive services to meet the needs of our children. In 2021, we completed construction on our new playground. Radical generosity from our community partners brought this project to life. The playground is a place of joy, fun, safety, comfort and love. It’s better than we could have dreamed because of each person, organization, business, church group, club, and foundation who poured into it. Driven by need and fueled by support from our community, we developed two new programs to serve children and families this year. Through in-home parent coaching and site-based mentorship for teens, we’re supporting families and children in crisis by offering hope; in a wavering year of many unknowns, hope is our constant. Our CASA and WellStar Family Visitation programs continue to be child-focused and family-centered. Our volunteers are committed to amplifying our children’s voices and to supporting families with humility and respect. Through hope, compassion, and dedication, each volunteer is helping to change a child’s story. We’re driven by our mission to promote the health and happiness of children impacted by abuse and neglect. Your support allows us to do this work…together. The Children’s Haven is proud to have once again earned the highest rankings from charity watchdog organizations, Charity Navigator and GuideStar. These rankings reflect our Board of Directors’ commitment to financial transparency and organizational management. Thank you for trusting us with your gifts. Thank you for volunteering your time to serve our community’s children. Together, we’re building happy, healthy children. Sincerely, Marcie Smith Executive Director | 3


Rob Logan, Board Chair, City Manager, City of Holly Springs Buster Cushing, Vice Chair, Chief of Police, Cherokee County S.D. Tommy Pinyan, Treasurer, Field Operations Commander, Cherokee Sheriff’s Department Gary Sullenger, Secretary, University Administrator, Retired Lewis Cline, Past Chair, Senior Vice President of Synovus

Past Board Chair Lewis Cline was recognized with the 2021 Board Leadership Award for the state of Georgia from Georgia CASA at their annual conference.

Board members from The Children’s Haven.

Directors Steve Page, CEO, Prontotrak Guillermo Sanabia, Executive Director, Health Parks North Region, WellStar Health Systems Kelly Nagel, Vice Chair, Owner and Chief Marketing Officer, Nagels Unlimited Dana Cox, Properties and Development Manger, Penn Hodge Properties Andrew Smith, Attorney at Law, Flint, Connolly & Walker Alexandra Keene, Chief Deputy Clerk, Cherokee County Clerk of Courts DD Lee, Broker/Owner, Skyline Properties, Inc. Francisco Lozano, Business Analyst, Arylessence

Board of Advisors John Cline, Probate Court Judge, Cherokee County Brooke Ford, Director, Division of Family and Children Services Deidre Hollands, Program Operations Director, Georgia CASA Mandi Ballinger, Georgia House of Representatives

Christina Fisher, Visitation Director was elected to serve on the Supervised Visitation Network’s National Board of Directors.

Staff Marcie Smith, Executive Director Daphne Mullen, Office Manager Michelle Meek, Advocacy Director, CASA Cherokee Julie Carter, Advocacy Coordinator, CASA Cherokee Mandy Quigley, Advocacy Coordinator, CASA Cherokee Christine Clark, Advocacy Coordinator, CASA Cherokee Christina Fisher, Visitation Director, WellStar Family Visitation Center Kathy Crites, Family Support Specialist, WellStar Family Visitation Center Trisha Stiles, Family Support Specialist, WellStar Family Visitation Center Kim Bello, Family Care Coordinator, Prevent Child Abuse Cherokee


Michelle Meek, CASA Cherokee Advocacy Director, was appointed to serve on the National CASA Suburban Leadership Council for a second term.


We swore in 41 new CASA volunteers this year! Amy Adams Judy Adams Ginny Arcangelo Cindy Austin Mark Avillar Shawn Bach Michael Ballinger Holly Barrett Brendan Battle Rachel Beasley Patty Bolinger Susan Bonds Weezie Bradach Claire Brannon Lori Bronson Carl Brooker Jennifer Brooker Diane Castle Bill Cecil Theresa Chapman Beth Choppa Frank Cleveland Corrie Coleman Jeff Costa Kim Costa Marilee Coughlin Beverly Crank Sara Davenport Nancy Davis Kelly DiMattesa Randall Dobbs Patti Dotseth Melinda Douglas Lori Downs Nick Downs Linda Etheridge Nicky Evans Greer Ezrine Brittney Fisher Crystal Gammon Angela Gentry Karen Gosdin Judy Grady Debra Graham Karen Greisman Travis Grooms Lori Haigwood Katie Hamilton Glenn Hansen Kathy Hansen Lisa Happe Jeanie Harrison Linda Hartsfield-Briscoe Lynn Henry Heather Hildebrandt Catherine Hill Sandy Hogan Stephanie Holcomb Sandra Hordos Katie Huff

Floyd Jones Sharon Jordan Cheryl Karr Dawn Kasha Linda Katz Pat Kern Michelle Knapp Amy Knauf Janice Latoza Renee Lefebvre Pat Leonard Morgan Lewis Anna Logsdon June Long Katy Love Jill MacGregor Suzanne Mahoney Donna Malone Deirdre Manke Sandy Martin Lucia Mattern Barb McRee Andrea Mells Janet Merkel Mary Minicucci Loretta M’Latamou Amanda Moore Beth Moore Bob Mullinax Paul Mullins Vinnie O’Connor Maggie Orozco Melissa Pagan Olga Phillips Primrose Picart Nellie Porter Teresa Porter Michele Prance Ed Prevost Debbie Rabjohn Jim Reddy Carol Redman Christy Redovian Kelli Reeves Carol Reynolds Barb Richard Valerie Richter Casey Roberts Jody Robinson Suzanne Robinson Kathleen Rodriguez Susan Rose Megan Sahnger David Saltz Kason Sams Lori Sargent Lisa Schmid Lori Shackleford Heather Shelton Lou Shewmake

Penny Sibley John Slump Debra Smith Ken Smith Linda Smith Michele Smith Tami Smith Sandra Smoak Robin Snider Rebecca Sorrel Stephanie Specht Rhonda Speck Holli Spell Deborah Sprayberry Lauren Stallings Lorraine Stallings Barbara Stell Trisha Stiles Paul Stombaugh Angela Stover Jennifer Stowell Caprice Strickland Jim Thibault Karen Tilghman Shelly Torick Nina Torrence Jenni Vereen Michelle Von Trott Wendy Wagner Ellen Ward Sandra Ward Rachel Watson Christy Webb Sara Whitaker Jeff Wilbur Stefanie Williams Kathy Wood Sarah Woods Mary Zamorski | 5

CHILDREN’S HAVEN RIBBON CUTTING MARKS ANOTHER SUCCESSFUL USE OF CDBG GRANT FUNDS Press Release from Cherokee County, Published August 2021 Wednesday, August 11 marked a celebratory milestone for The Children’s Haven and children experiencing foster care in Cherokee County. The nonprofit organization celebrated the completion of the playground that will serve as a safe and inviting place for children being served by the Children’s Haven. The playground project, which features jungle gyms, a swing set, a hand-painted mural, games and a basketball court, were made possible by Cherokee County’s Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) program and what Children’s Haven Executive Director Marcie Smith called “radical generosity” of nonprofits, businesses and volunteers in the community. The CDBG program is flexible and provides communities with resources to address a wide range of unique community development needs. It was enacted in 1974 and provides annual grants on a formula basis to more than 1,200 general units of local government and states. It is one of the longest running programs administered by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. The Children’s Haven originally applied for CDBG grant funds in program year 2018 and was awarded $50,000. The project suffered delays for numerous reasons and construction costs increased during that time. The Children’s Haven came back to the county with a proposal for additional funds in the 2020 program year. “We reallocated funds in the amount of $10,287.47 from a 2017 project that did not use all of their funding, $52,673.53 from leftover funds from a 2018 project and $4,039 from unallocated funds in 2019,” said Laura Calfee, CDBG program manager. Smith said the CDBG funds assisted The Children’s Haven in creating a space that is sustainable and allowed the nonprofit to garner additional funds to complete the project. “The project truly wouldn’t have happened without CDBG funds. The funds allowed us to address water drainage issues that affected the entire property. We would not have been able to effectively address these underlying issues without this grant,” Smith said. “We leveraged these funds to raise matching dollars from businesses, foundations, individuals, and community organizations to complete


the project. The CDBG funds acted as a catalyst for this amazing display of community support. “Our Board of Directors is committed to being good stewards of the dollars invested in our organization and we could not be prouder of what this funding built for our county’s children in foster care. We know this playground will bring joy, promote safety, encourage fun, and preserve dignity,” she added. The CDBG program is open to any nonprofit in Cherokee County or local government in the county with a cooperative agreement with Cherokee County. The county has cooperative agreements with all six cities in the county. In 2020 alone, the CDBG program awarded $1.1 million in grant funding to nonprofits and local governments for projects to better serve the citizens of the community. Through a cooperating agreement with the county, the city of Canton secured $127,496 for improvements to Harmon Park. The Malon D. Mimms Boys & Girls Club received more than $80,000 for transportation, reading and workforce development. Habitat for Humanity received $193,000 to purchase land for affordable housing and administer the home repair program, and MUST Ministries received more than $60,000 for supportive housing and a renovation project. The application process is open during the summer, and the 2022 program year application period closed in July. “While the application period is closed for the next program year, nonprofits should mark their calendars for May 2022 to submit applications for the 2023 program year,” Calfee said. For more information on the Community Development Block Grant program in Cherokee County, visit

The Children’s Haven, before and after the completion of the playground construction.

A “mommy and me” swing is a muchloved feature of the new playground at The Children’s Haven. | 7

THANK YOU TO OUR PLAYGROUND SPONSORS • Cherokee County Community Development Block Grant Funds • Perkins + Will • Anonymous Foundation • Lexikon Construction • Georgia Power • Cowart Mulch • D & L Construction • Georgia Academy Club • Pilgrim’s Pride • EcoPlay Structures • Frank Reynolds Charities • Crane Fund for Widows and Children • Board of Directors • North Atlanta UGA MDP 2020 • Buck Jones Nursery

Volunteers from War Hill West Church built a ramp to make our playground more accessible.

The Cherokee County Chamber of Commerce hosted a ribbon-cutting ceremony on August 11 to open the new playground.

We dedicated a bench on our playground to CASA volunteer Carl Brooker in recognition of his service as a trainer to our new CASA volunteers for the last three years.


The Board and Staff dedicated the playground in honor of Executive Director Marcie Smith.



active CASAs serve with The Children’s Haven


new CASA volunteer advocates trained this year

1,415 supervised family visits


children served through supervised visitation

6 families & 23 Children served since October 2021 through in-home parent support





CASAs have served with us for over 5 years

parents served through supervised visitation



CASAs have served with us for over 10 years


Children served by our CASAs

hours of life skills coaching






hours of parent coaching


hours of volunteer service given by our CASAs


court hearings, panels, DFCS staffings held


miles driven by our CASAs to serve children


BY the NUMBERS | 9

2021 MISSION HIGHLIGHTS Our WellStar Family Visitation Program staff wore orange for supervised visitation awareness in May.

We partnered with DFCS and The Anna Crawford Children’s Center to place pinwheels across our county in honor of Child Abuse Prevention Month. Pinwheels symbolize happy childhoods, our wish for all the children in our community! The District Attorney’s Office donated sweet stuffed animals for Easter.

Volunteers from Cosplay Atlanta made our Virtual Superhero Run so much fun! Over $10,000 was raised to support our CASA program!

A team from The Clerk of Courts office poses for a photo during their walk for the CASA Superhero 5K.

BridgePoint Church volunteers served with us for quarterly projects to beautify our facility and our playground!


Critical Path Security raised $7,705 to win sCAREcrows for Kids for the second year in a row! Their donations came from their clients, friends and families all over the country. We’re so grateful for their support. The event raised more than $23,000 to support the children we serve.

A dad and his daughters made Valentine’s crafts together during their supervised visit.

Our CASA team participated in a drive-thru appreciation event for staff members at the Division of Family and Children Services.

Georgia Academy Baseball Club partnered with Learning Express Toys of Woodstock to raise funds to support the playground renovation. Players sold raffle tickets for a chance to win a shopping spree at Learning Express. The raised more than $6,000! Learning Express graciously offered the shopping spree experience to two of our young girls experiencing foster care. It was a dream come true!

We held our annual CASA Appreciation Event tailgate style at First Baptist Church of Woodstock. We had so much fun recognizing our faithful, dedicated, hard-working CASA volunteers for their service advocating on behalf of children in foster care.

The bargain Hunters Coat Drive collected 186 coats for Cherokee County children!

Six year old Eddie collected diapers for babies in foster care to celebrate his birthday.

CASA Volunteer Janice Latoza raised $1,630 for The Children’s Haven in honor of her birthday!

The Soleil community raised more than $26,000 for The Children’s Haven through their annual Tour of Homes event. Amazing! | 11

WE’RE EXPANDING OUR SERVICES TO INCLUDE TWO NEW PROGRAMS! In-Home Parent Support Program In October 2021, we launched our first in-home parent support program under Prevent Child Abuse Cherokee. The program offers in-home parenting classes in English and Spanish using an evidenced based parenting curriculum. We’re also providing life skills coaching, resource referrals, educational advocacy, and family support. Families will stay in the program at least six months. Our goal is to equip and support families who might otherwise be at-risk of foster care involvement. We’re aiming to prevent foster care and keep families safely together when possible. The program will serve 30 families in 2022. Kim Bello joined our team as the Family Care Coordinator for PCA Cherokee! Chin Up! Mentorship Program In fall of 2021, we developed a new site-based mentorship program for teens involved in juvenile court and/or teens experiencing foster care. The new program, Chin Up!, will pair a teen with a caring adult mentor from our community. Mentees and mentors will meet once a month for a life skills class (we’re talking cooking, home maintenance, financial literacy, etiquette, job skills, etc.) at The Children’s Haven. While taking the class together, mentees and mentors will build relationships based on trust and support. Mentors will commit to sticking with their mentee for at least a year, meeting at least once a month for class. We know these relationships have the ability to truly impact lives in very big and positive ways! Programming starts early 2022. Contact to learn how to get involved.


FINANCIALS 8% 9% 9% 60% 14%

Federal Funding Local Community Support State Funding Fundraising Events Foundation Grants

Total Income: $888,388 Program Expenses: $531,711 Fundraising Expenses: $14,615 Administrative Expenses: $44,810 Total Expenses: $591,136 Ending Assets: $970,859



GOES DIRECTLY TO PROGRAM SERVICES 8 cents goes toward administration and 2 cents goes toward fundraising efforts | 13

Learn More: CherokeeChildrensHaven.Org


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