2022 John McDermott Champion of Children Award: Carol Goldstein

John McDermott was a man whose life was committed to changing the future for New Hampshire’s youth. He spent his entire career in law enforcement and juvenile justice working diligently to improve the lives of children. John knew and believed the committed work of one or many could, and would, change the course of events and impact generations to come. John McDermott’s life was an example of how relentless advocacy can move mountains and turn the thinking of a single child in need around. The John McDermott Champion of Children Award is an annual award that celebrates the work of one person whose tireless advocacy has influenced the lives of many.

2022 Honoree: Carol Goldstein

Carol served as the juvenile clerk in the Nashua family court for 30 years before her well-deserved retirement this year. From the start, Carol has been a huge supporter of CASA of New Hampshire. She always took the time to meet and get to know each CASA volunteer, and would help by reaching out to CASA if a court report was late, or to facilitate in scheduling judges to speak at trainings and events. She is always in attendance at the CASA Cares gala, annual meetings, and important gatherings. Carol is incredibly committed to the philosophy of family reunification. In the courthouse, her vast knowledge and experience were invaluable to parents and children. Carol did a tremendous job of building a rapport and explaining court proceedings to them. Carol is lively, energetic, and one of the hardest workers CASA knows. She has  always been CASA’s go-to person; an enthusiastic, reliable, and unwavering Champion of Children.

— Bernadette Melton-Plante, Program Director

Past honorees:

2021 – Lou Catano
2020 –Sylvia Gale (Posthumous)
2019 – Judge Willard “Bud” Martin
2018 – Governor Christopher Sununu
2017 – Gail Snow
2016 – Sue Meagher
2015 – Kristi Lamont
2014 – Ann Larney
2013 – Sandra Matheson


2022 Linda Egbert Outstanding Advocacy Award: Jeanmarie Foisie

In September of 2017, CASA of New Hampshire unexpectedly lost a dear friend and outstanding advocate – Linda Egbert of North Hampton. A dependable, compassionate and a true champion for the children she worked with, Linda touched the lives of 26 children over her 10 years as an advocate. Linda was also a longtime member of our CASA Cares and Spring Fashion Show committees. Her dynamic personality and passion for CASA is deeply missed. With the generous support from Linda’s husband and family, CASA is honored to announce the creation of the Linda Egbert Outstanding Advocacy Award. The recipient exemplifies the role of the CASA volunteer – someone who has gone above and beyond in their advocacy work and made a tremendous impact in the lives of children.

2022’s Honoree: Jeanmarie Foisie

Jeanmarie Foisie has been a CASA advocate since 2013. In that time, she has tirelessly advocated for 15 CASA kids, volunteering approximately 2,400 hours, driving more than 19,000 miles, and making 369 visits. Jeanmarie is a strong and committed advocate who undertakes her work as a CASA with uncompromising respect for everyone involved in her cases, especially her CASA children. Through her dedicated advocacy, Jeanmarie is able to make connections with the children for whom she advocates, as well as the parties and service providers on her cases, resulting in better decision making and better outcomes for her CASA kids. She truly understands the role of a CASA, because her objective in every interaction is to achieve the best interests of the children for whom she works so diligently. Jeanmarie’s unwavering commitment to achieving successful outcomes is inspiring to everyone she encounters. Jeanmarie embodies all of the best qualities of a CASA advocate, and we are honored by her dedication to improving the lives of New Hampshire’s children.

Congratulations to all the 2022 nominees: John Rozek, Dianne Macon, Kurt Hastings, Jan Bettencourt, Lucy Weber, Rich Gibadlo, Jennifer Green, and Mary Brown

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Summer Training Series

The CASA training team will be offering three different trainings this summer. Each training will be offered on two different dates/times. 

Trauma and Shame
Wednesday, June 8, 11:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m. OR Monday, August 8, 9-11 a.m.

This training was offered at the 2021 AG’s Conference. The focus is on understanding how shame is developed as a result of trauma and what can we do as a CASA to assist in reducing shame. Simple yet profound.

What Can “I” Do?
Friday, June 24, 9-11 a.m. OR Wednesday, July 27, 4-6 p.m.
This training was previously offered to the North Country Support group. As a CASA, we often can be frustrated with the system and/or lack of progress by parents. This training is geared towards you if and when you feel frustrated on a case. 

Gender Fluidity-Lived Experience
Wednesday, July 13, 11:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m. OR Monday, August 22, 4-6 p.m. 

This training will incorporate individuals who live with gender fluidity and/or gender identity. It will help us understand what our kids with gender fluidity need from their CASA. Come with openness to learn how we can advocate for Best Interest for our gender fluid children/youth. 

The Zoom link below will be used for each of these trainings.
(Meeting ID: 871 8635 0291 & Passcode: 816106) 

A Driving Force for Good: Cars for CASA

In 2016, Nancy Phillips, the founder and owner of Nancy Phillips Associates, an auto dealership brokerage agency, founded Cars for CASA. This partnership of automobile industry colleagues financially supported CASA’s largest fundraising event, CASA Cares, for many years. Sheree Kaplan-Allen, president and owner of Kaplan Auto Group, is one of the dedicated members of Cars for CASA.

Sheree first learned about CASA after buying Milford Suburu through Nancy Phillips. Nancy asked if she wanted to attend CASA’s annual fundraising gala and be a part of her charitable organization, Cars for CASA.

The importance of CASA’s mission was evident to Sheree. “There are many children and youth who are in abusive and neglected homes who need an advocate. This often means being ‘heard’ in court and finding a good home where they can feel safe, loved and are nurtured. CASA and its volunteers work tirelessly and selflessly to help each child that they can, in every way possible,” she explains.

The Kaplan Auto Group, which includes Milford Suburu, Mercedes-Benz of Portsmouth, and Rochester Toyota, is committed to giving back.  “It’s very important to all of us at Jake Kaplans’ to give to the communities in which we live and work,” Sheree adds.

Most recently Nancy Phillips and her team raised over $170,000 for CASA. We are exceptionally grateful for their dedication to CASA’s mission.

Dan Dagesse – DCD Automotive Holdings
Dan Enxing – Volvo Cars Exeter
David Rosenberg – Canobie Lake Toyota
Bob Macdonald – Bernstein Shur
Nancy Phillips – Nancy Phillips Associates
Johanna Cicotte – Third Time/Cicotte Automotive Company
John Loschiavo – Lebanon Ford
Sheree Kaplan-Allen – Mercedes-Benz of Portsmouth
Anthony DiLorenzo – Key Auto Group

The Meyers Family

Donor Spotlight: Larry and Hilary Meyers

The Meyers FamilyLarry and Hilary Meyers, along with their amazing family, have been supporters and friends of CASA for many years. Their son Seth (who you may have heard of) has donated two tickets to his show, Late Night with Seth Meyers, and a virtual “Happy Half Hour with Seth” to the CASA Cares live auction, helping the organization to raise thousands of dollars for our advocacy work on behalf of children experiencing abuse and neglect. We are thrilled that Seth will be donating a virtual happy hour again this year at CASA Cares on May 6th, in addition to donating personalized signed copies of his newly released children’s book, I’m Not Scared, You’re Scared.

In a recent interview with CASA staff, Larry shared more about his and Hilary’s dedication to CASA’s mission.

How did you and Hilary first hear about CASA?   

I am not sure exactly when I first heard about CASA. It could have been at the CASA golf event, but my wife Hilary was certainly well aware of CASA from her years as a teacher in the Bedford school system.

Why is CASA important to you?   

There are many worthy causes, but even though our sons are grown and have long been out of the house, I don’t think as a parent one ever forgets what it was like to have children at home. For Hilary and I, as well as our sons Seth and Josh, the years when the boys were at home were joyful times. Knowing that every child does not have that same experience is heartbreaking. The CASA volunteers are a truly valuable part of the support system for children under court supervision. A CASA volunteer, not part of the court system or state’s child welfare apparatus, can take time to get to know “their child” on a one-on-one basis, in some cases over many months or years, and they can offer the court an invaluable perspective to assist in crafting an outcome that is the in the best interest of the given child.

I have met several CASA volunteers, many of whom I knew socially, and to a person they relate how fulfilling the experience as a volunteer has been. Many have worked with more than one child. I am not a CASA volunteer. While I have the empathy, I am also impatient by nature. I would just want to “fix” the situation, and the situations of the CASA kids are not simple or easily fixed. So instead, I try to support CASA financially or any other way that I can.

You are so involved in the community/other organizations. Can you share some of your wonderful partnerships?

While CASA deals with abused and neglected children under supervision of the civil courts, the Child Advocacy Centers of New Hampshire deal with victims of child abuse in New Hampshire through centers that bring together law enforcement, counseling and other professional services under a single roof to compassionately help heal and sustain the victims of abuse while interfacing with law enforcement to punish the abusers. CAC and CASA deal with many of the same issues and occasionally the same kids.

What is something that you did not know about CASA until you became more involved?

The huge number of abused and neglected kids in a state the size of New Hampshire was shocking. In 2021, CASA served 1412 children. If you think child abuse and neglect is a problem that can’t happen here….well it does happen here, and New Hampshire is fortunate that CASA exists to deal with the result.

What would you like people to know about our mission/programs/impact?

CASA wants to provide advocacy services for 100% of New Hampshire’s abused and neglected children. They are the vehicle that insures that the child’s voice is heard as the kids navigate what must be an overwhelming and confusing engagement with the court system. CASA works to coordinate with all of the public and private child welfare agencies in the state to deliver the best outcomes for the kids they serve.


We would like to thank Larry, Hilary, Seth and Josh for their unwavering commitment to New Hampshire’s children.



Mary Pagucci

The Importance of a CASA

Mary PagucciA nine-month-old baby is brought to the doctor by her mother and grandmother with a broken arm, a broken leg, broken ribs and a bruise under her eye. These are not accidental injuries, they are the product of deliberate and recurring abuse. This is how CASA advocate Mary Pagucci’s recent case began.

While similar cases often involve substance misuse as a root cause of the abuse and neglect, that wasn’t the circumstance here. This was the story of two young parents, both with good jobs and supportive families. At first, suspicion fell on the mother, however, the father quickly admitted to hurting his child when she was crying. Mary says his admission to the abuse quickly changed the focus of the case to helping the mother become a better parent.

While the father never became engaged or participated in taking the steps necessary for reunification, the mother did everything she was supposed to do. She participated in parenting classes, visited her child and brought diapers, food, clothing, and toys, and she developed a relationship with the foster family that continues to this day.

Through all of this, even though she had two generation’s worth of family resources at her side, the mother still turned to her CASA Mary for support, encouragement during the tough times, and objective guidance.

The reunification of this mother with her baby happened about a year after the abuse was discovered, which Mary says was a fair time period. Mary had closely witnessed all of mom’s hard work and progress, and advocated that it was time that the child be allowed to return home. The foster parents and parent aids agreed with Mary’s assessment, as did the judge, who allowed the baby to go home with the mother the day of the permanency hearing, which determines where the child will live. Mary knows that judges really value and rely on the CASA’s input and she knows she truly is listened to, which was evident in the judge’s decision.

Mary played an important role in helping the child and the family through a terrible time, and became an objective voice giving a helpful, outside perspective. “To this day the family thanks me for being there, because I was a good support for the mother when she was stumbling or needed support. She would call me and we would talk things through. It was a great experience for me, and it was a great outcome.”

Mary is still in touch with the family and says the child is thriving. She even receives pictures and videos from the child’s day care provider, showing how well she’s doing. “Time will tell if she has any long-lasting trauma but she has a great family, so hopefully she won’t have lasting effects for the future.”

Make 2022 the year you make a difference!

Over the next few months, CASA of New Hampshire will offer virtual information sessions and advocate trainings to those interested in becoming CASA advocates for children experiencing abuse and neglect. If you have followed the news over the past few months, you are aware of how many children are in need of a caring, dedicated, and consistent adult presence in their lives. Our information sessions are a great place to start learning more about CASA and how you can make a difference! Please sign up for one today!

Virtual Information Session Dates

Thursday, February 24, at 7 p.m.
with focus on needs in Concord and Merrimack County

Monday, March 7, at 5:30 p.m.
with focus on needs in the North Country

Wednesday, March 23, at 12:30 p.m.
with focus on needs in Grafton County

Tuesday, April 5, at 5:30 p.m.

Thursday, April 21, at 12:30 p.m.
with focus on needs in Rochester 


Spring Virtual Training Opportunities

CASA of New Hampshire offers a comprehensive and engaging virtual training program. Participants note that they leave training feeling prepared, supported, and inspired to better the lives of New Hampshire children who experience abuse and neglect. New volunteer training sessions are still being held virtually with upcoming sessions beginning March 2 and March 28. 

During virtual training you will:

  • Work on group projects, either as a whole or in small discussion groups
  • Hear from guest speakers, such as judges and DCYF workers
  • Draft court reports and learn professional communication for court presentation

Applications should be submitted two weeks before the first day of training to allow adequate time for the interview process.


Learn More and Spread the Word!

Do you know someone who may be interested in becoming a volunteer advocate? If so, please share this email with them! Word of mouth is consistently stated as one of the top ways in which people learn about CASA and our mission! We also feature volunteer stories on our website if you’d like to read about some of our advocates and why they choose to volunteer.

If you are considering becoming an advocate at some point in the future, please consider joining our Future Volunteers email list. We send periodic emails with answers to frequently asked questions, volunteer profiles and other information so you will be ready to join us as a CASA volunteer advocate when the time is right.

Program Manager – Manchester

Join CASA of NH, a dynamic, high-energy, mission-based organization that provides volunteer advocacy for New Hampshire’s abused and neglected children. You will be joining a caring family of professionals led by a senior leadership team who values a supportive, smart, and friendly work environment, while setting high expectations. Be your best and work with the best at CASA of NH.

Role of Program Manager:

The Program Manager supervises, coaches and supports CASA Guardians ad Litem (volunteer advocates) and Peer Coordinators to oversee and implement the direct service of the CASA Program to advocate effectively on behalf of vulnerable children. CASA of NH is seeking an enthusiastic, compassionate, and organized team player for this position who thrives in a collaborative, committed environment. The position is full-time and is based in our Manchester office.

Reports To:

Program Director

Major Duties & Responsibilities:

  • Assists in recruitment, interviewing, and screening of Volunteer Advocates & Peer Coordinators
  • Assists in training of Volunteer Advocates & Peer Coordinators
  • Supervises Volunteer Advocates and Peer Coordinators who volunteer in Family Courts
  • Ensures all court case data and files are accurate and up to date
  • Collaborates with community partners such as court personnel, Division of Children, Youth & Families, and others

Basic Qualifications

  • Experience supervising staff and/or volunteers and empowering them in their roles
  • Experience in conducting training with focused enthusiasm and energy
  • Excellent oral, written and interpersonal skills
  • Comfortable learning proprietary software for case tracking
  • Knowledge of juvenile court/child protection system a plus
  • Bachelor’s Degree
  • Commitment to CASA of New Hampshire’s mission and goals
  • Enjoys working in a busy, collaborative, and supportive environment

Other Information

This is a full-time, salaried position with competitive benefits, generous vacation and sick time, and paid health insurance.

Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) of New Hampshire strives to protect the right of our state’s most vulnerable children to live, learn and grow in the embrace of a loving family. Our trained volunteer advocates speak on behalf of the best interests of abused children who come to the attention of New Hampshire’s family courts through no fault of their own.

CASA of NH is an Equal Opportunity Employer offering a safe, inclusive, and supportive work environment where everyone is proactively engaged so that New Hampshire’s abused and neglected children benefit from increased effectiveness and alignment with our mission.

How to Apply

Submit cover letter, resume and salary requirements by email to Jonelle Gaffney  and Bernadette Melton-Plante.

Changing a Child’s Story While Working Full Time? It’s Possible!

Fred and Child on StephsCourt Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) of New Hampshire is a nonprofit that recruits, trains, and supports community volunteers to serve as advocates for abused or neglected children throughout the state. CASA volunteer advocates get to know a child, and the important people in that child’s life, in order to provide vital information to help a judge make decisions based on the best interests of the child.  There is an immediate need for more CASAs in the greater Concord area as cases of child abuse or neglect are on the rise.

For the past 12 years, Mike LaRoche has been volunteering with CASA while working full-time as a busy sales representative. Mike is one of more than 600 CASA advocates across the state who volunteer to speak up for the best interests of victimized children in New Hampshire’s court system.

“My work as a CASA volunteer has become such a significant part of my life that it is like the third leg of a stool—it keeps me balanced,” Mike says. According to Mike, volunteering as a CASA advocate has created some very busy days, but has actually reduced the stress he feels in his work and personal life. “When you see a child who is abused or neglected, your own problems just don’t seem so bad. You realize how incredibly blessed you are,” he comments.

Like Mike, one third of CASA of NH’s volunteer advocates also hold a full-time job, while another third work part-time. After comprehensive training, a volunteer typically devotes 10-15 hours per month on their case(s). This work includes getting to know the child or children on the case; speaking regularly with important people in the child’s life; and writing court reports, attending court hearings, and speaking to a judge about the  child’s  progress.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, everything from training to some court appearances is taking place virtually. CASA volunteers who work full-time say the most  important thing is to have some flexibility in your schedule. As long as you have the freedom to shape your workday, even if only a handful of times per year,  you attend court hearings, it is possible to combine full-time work with a rewarding experience as a CASA volunteer advocate.

“One of the beauties of CASA, and what makes it a manageable volunteer opportunity, is that the volunteer has complete control over what kind of case to take, how many cases to take, and the location of the court to serve,” explains Erin Hiley Sharp, an associate professor at the University of New Hampshire and a six-year volunteer with CASA.

To learn more about becoming a CASA volunteer while working, attend a live virtual information session where you will hear from CASA staff and volunteers about this vital role and have the opportunity to get your questions answered.  Sign up today at www.casanh.org/virtual-info-sessions/.