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May 7 - 9, 2023   ◦   Baton Rouge, Louisiana 

The Louisiana CASA Conference is a dynamic, three-day event hosted on Sunday, May 7 through Tuesday, May 9, 2023. Hosted in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, the conference offers CASA staff, volunteers, and stakeholders to come together for collaboration, celebration, training, and professional development. The conference brings our statewide network together for in-depth learning, networking opportunities and collaborative discussions about the issues that impact our work and the future of child welfare in Louisiana. The three day experience includes five major events: the Awards of Excellence Banquet, the Louisiana CASA Conference Workshop Day, 'ALL RISE' Documentary Screening, DCFS Panel, and CASA Capitol Day.

Sunday, May 7th

Awards of Excellence Banquet 

Monday, May 8th

Conference Workshop Day  

'All Rise' Documentary Screening

Tuesday, May 9th

DCFS Panel 

CASA Capitol Day 

Conference Registration


The 2023 Conference will provide an opportunity for you to network and connect with your CASA colleagues. Discussing current issues in-depth, connecting and celebrating with CASA friends and peers, advocating for CASA, and sharing and learning from one another are all highlights of the 2023 Louisiana CASA Conference. Registration is open to current CASA volunteers and staff who strive to change the lives of our most vulnerable children. Thanks to our generous sponsors, registration for the three day event is only $25!

Your $25 Conference Registration Includes:

  • CASA Conference T-Shirt and CASA Swag Bag

  • Hotel Room*

  • Admission to all keynotes, learning sessions, and network opportunities

  • Admission to CASA Awards Banquet 

  • Admission to 'All Rise' Documentary Screening

  • Admission to CASA Day at the Capitol

  • Dinner on Sunday and Monday

  • Continental Breakfast on Monday and Tuesday (For hotel guests only)

  • Lunch on Monday and Tuesday

Conference Registration

Awards of Excellence

Sunday May 7, 2023 at 7:00PM

Each year we highlight innovation and exemplary service at the Annual Awards of Excellence Banquet. This year’s awards ceremony will take place on Sunday evening, May 7, 2023 where we celebrate programs and individuals doing incredible work in their communities. This celebratory event includes dinner (included in your conference registration) and an awards ceremony to honor our dedicated advocates, judges, board members and staff. If your CASA program has someone you would like to nominate, please email Louisiana CASA at

2022 Awards of Excellence Winners

Sarah Ghere, Advocate of the Year

Liz Betz, Director of the Year

Kabrina Bland, Staff Member of the Year

Felicia Hillhouse, DCFS Staff Member of the Year

Orlandar Jack, Board Member of the Year

Judge Chuck West, Judge of the Year

Rep. Dustin Miller, Legislator of the Year


Meet the Speakers

Mayor Broome

Conference Kick-Off

Monday, May 8th at 8:30AM

Judge Amanda Calogera

Judges Panel

Monday, May 8th at 8:45AM

Dr. Kristyn Carver

Breakout Session

Monday, May 8th at 3:00PM

Judge Carole Clark

Keynote Speaker

Monday, May 8th at 12:00PM

Judge John Davidson

Judges Panel

Monday, May 8th at 8:45AM

Jennie Gregory, MS Ed., LCSW

Breakout Session

Monday, May 8th at 1:45PM & 3:00PM

Judge Gail Grover

Judges Panel

Monday, May 8th at 8:45AM

Mark Harris

Judges Panel

Monday, May 8th at 8:45AM

Chan Hellman, PhD

Breakout Session

Monday, May 8th at 10:30AM

Dr. Valandra

Breakout Session

Monday, May 8th at 1:45PM

Dr. Paula Zeanah

Breakout Session

Monday, May 8th at 10:30AM

Session Descriptions 

Conference Kick Off

Mayor Sharon Weston Broome

Monday, May 8, 2023 at 8:30AM

Join us for a conference kick-off with Mayor Sharon Weston Broome! Mayor Broome will welcome attendees to Baton Rouge and address the value that CASA brings to the communities that CASA serves.

Judges Panel

Moderator - Mark Harris, Panel - Judge Calogera, Judge Davidson, and Judge Grover

Monday, May 8, 2023 at 8:45AM

CASA volunteers provide best interest advocacy for children in court. A panel of three Child In Need of Care (CINC) trial court judges from different areas in Louisiana will discuss their views on the most effective way to advocate for children in court. The judges will share their views on the best way to communicate with the court, the most effective court reports and the court's expectations for CASA advocacy and court testimony. Participants will gain insight into the way the court balances the positions of the various parties and the court's view of the importance of the CASA voice in Court.

CASA as a Protective Factor

Dr. Paula Zeanah

Monday, May 8, 2023 at 10:30AM

Many children served by CASA have experienced unrelenting and chronic stressors that threaten their health and well-being. This presentation will identify factors that provide protection in the face of adversity and will focus on the important role of CASA in building resilience for vulnerable children.

Hope Rising: The Science of Hope

Chan Hellman, PhD.

Monday, May 8, 2023 at 10:30AM

Hope has emerged as a psychological strength that can enhance coping and wellbeing among children and adults experiencing trauma. This presentation will introduce the science of hope and provide evidenced based strategies to improve hope in self and others. 

Trauma Informed Court

Judge Carole Clark

Monday, May 8, 2023 at 12:30PM

Inspired by the work of the late Dr. Karyn Purvis from Texas Christian University who developed trust-based relational intervention (TBRI), Clark created the first trauma-informed courtroom in the country. Using TBRI and Circle of Security, a model to teach children and families about attachment and security, Clark worked with families to address the trauma that led them to lose their children to the foster care system. During this presentation, Judge Clark will give an introduction to the parts of a trauma informed court system. Participants will also learn about the theory of trauma, phased service plans, assessments to identify level of addition, and possible solutions to clients' problems, and how to promote healing. 

Understanding Trauma through a Lens of Assessments and Treatment Needs

Jennie Gregory, MS Ed., LCSW

Monday, May 8, 2023 at 1:45PM

Participants will be introduced to the complexities of Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) and how those experiences are related to, and affect, their Risks and Needs as based on Dr. Douglas Marlowe's matrix. Participants will be introduced to an understanding of how important it is to design interventions specifically tailored to the individual's needs based on their ACEs and their Risks and Needs matrix.

Working with Children who have Incarcerated Parents

Dr. Valandra

Monday, May 8, 2023 at 1:45PM

This presentation uses a multi-systems life course framework to help social service professionals support families experiencing incarceration in the United States. Participants will explore how criminal and child welfare policies and practices influence individual, family, and community engagement and responses to experiences of incarceration.

Communicating Effectively with Caregivers and the Court

Jennie Gregory, MS. Ed., LCSW

Monday, May 8, 2023 at 3:00PM

Participants will be introduced to the importance of attachment and parenting styles, recognizing their own styles, and how to communicate effectively with the caregivers and courts they serve.

Building Trust with Traumatized Children

Dr. Kristyn Carver

Monday, May 8, 2023 at 3:00PM

A trauma‑informed lens helps us to approach youth with empathy and understanding while also recognizing their potential strength. In much the same way that we are shaped by adverse childhood experiences, we are also shaped deeply by positive experiences that lead to resilience. Supportive relationships and enriched environments are critical for providing youth with positive experiences that can protect them from the impact of ACEs. 

Gregory 1
Gregory 2

'ALL RISE' Documentary Screening

Monday May 8, 2023 at 5:30PM

Join us Monday evening for a special viewing of 'ALL RISE" followed by a Q&A session with Judge Carole Clark. 'ALL RISE: For the Good of the Children' takes you inside the courtroom of an unconventional judge in East Texas who takes a trust-based, trauma-informed approach to healing broken families in the child welfare system. Two families share how their lives were transformed through the support and intervention offered by Judge Carole Clark and her team of lawyers, mental health experts and child advocates. 

This film spotlights the effort of one small court in East Texas to change these odds and improve the system for the people of Smith County. The judge, Judge Carole Clark, revamped her court on the principles of TBRI ®, Trust-Based Relational Intervention, created at the Karyn Purvis Institute of Child Development at TCU.

Dinner will be served at 5:30PM and the screening will begin at 6:00PM and directly followed by a Q&A session.

All Rise

CASA Day at the Capitol

Tuesday, May 9, 2023

As a state CASA organization, we strive to continuously raise the visibility of the statewide CASA network and the children we serve at the state capitol. One of the best methods for doing so is by hosting a Legislative Advocacy Day at the State Capitol during the legislative session. Legislative advocacy is about making your voice heard! State legislators are much more likely to listen and take action on legislation or funding if they hear from their constituents. They want to know what matters and to serve the interests of the voters in their district/state. 

This year's CASA Capitol Day is being held in conjunction with the 2023 CASA Conference. Attendees will receive support in preparing in advance for the Capitol Day. Also, during registration, conference


attendees will receive a packet of everything you will need to have a great Capitol Day experience. 

Capitol Day highlights will include advocating in the Rotunda, meeting with legislators, attending committee meetings, and CASA recognition in the House and Senate Chambers.


Venue & Lodging

Baton Rouge, Louisiana

The Cook Hotel and Conference Center at LSU is a boutique hotel experience on the edge of the LSU campus. Located in the heart of Baton Rouge on the scenic University Lake and minutes away from downtown Baton Rouge, the Cook Hotel is the perfect place to spend a few days in the capitol city. 

A block of rooms is reserved for the 2023 Louisiana CASA Conference and is included in the conference registration thanks to our generous donors. During online registration, please mark if you need a hotel room or not. Louisiana CASA will be making all of the hotel reservations on behalf of conference attendees. Deadline to reserve a hotel through online registration is April 7, 2023.

*Double occupancy required per funding. First come first serve.













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