Children’s advocacy group has a new director in Northwest Colorado
June 19, 2017
How to help
• To report child abuse of neglect all 1-844-CO-4-KIDS.
• People interested in volunteering with Northwest Rocky Mountain CASA may learn more at: http://www.kidscasa.org.
Abused and neglected children have a new advocate in Northwest Colorado.
Northwest Rocky Mountain Court Appointed Special Advocates have appointed a new executive director — Allan Hallman. Hallman had been serving as a child protection worker in Grand County, a position he held for over five years.
"His demonstrated commitment and passion for making the lives of children better and his experience within the 14th Judicial District make him uniquely qualified to take the helm as our next executive director,” wrote Board President Sherry Shelton in a news release.
He’s replacing Suzanne Fegelein, who left the organization in early March to become the executive diector of LiftUp of Routt County.
"It has been my honor to work for CASA and to serve abused and neglected children in our community. I hold CASA in very high regard, and am leaving on good terms. I will continue to support CASA in the future when possible," Fegelein stated in an email sent to area nonprofits when she announced her resignation.
Hallman started with CASA on May 22. We caught-up with him to learn more.
How often do you visit Craig/Moffat County?
Twice a month, if not more.
Do you manage any other paid staff besides Moffat and Routt County Program Coordinator Bruce Cummings?
Not at the moment. I'm assessing the needs of the organization and what will best serve the needs for the communities where we work and that might include bringing more paid staff on board.
What challenges do CASA and children in this community face?
There are two issues that we have discussed. With some collaboration, we might try to figure out ways to create more opportunities for teenagers outside of school. The second issue, is that there are no designated, supervised visitation facilities in Moffat County where supervised visitations can occur, whether that's for in custody cases or dependency and neglect cases.
Sometimes there is tension between child welfare caseworkers and CASA volunteers, how might you resolve those issues?
I was a caseworker myself. I'm aware of the possible tension that can exist. From my experience, the best way to solve or prevent that is to have a healthy line of communication between social services and CASA staff. And having oversight over court reports, and using that as a way to teach volunteers new ways of handling touchy subjects. We don't want to be communicating with the reports, but rather communicating before the reports come out. I think Bruce Cummings has done a wonderful job in this area, and I expect it to continue in the future.
Anything else you'd like readers to know?
I'm looking forward to working in Moffat County and learning how CASA can support the community.
"I'm an avid skier and coach for the Winter Park Competition Center on weekends. I also love spending time outdoors with my wife and our four kids."
Contact Sasha Nelson at 970-875-1794 or snelson@CraigDailyPress.com or follow her on Twitter @CDP_Education