Georgia Association of Homes and Services for Children   

5th Annual Child Placement Conference

Award Winners



Case Manager of the Year

Cathy Rowan, Juvenile Probation Parole Supervisor II, has been employed with the Georgia Department of Juvenile Justice in Barrow County since 1982.  She worked as a Youth Development Worker in a secure Regional Youth Detention Center and as a secretary before becoming a JPPS in Barrow County in 1994. In May 2000, Ms. Rowan completed “Community Based Treatment for Sexually Abusive Youth”. She completed her practicum and received certification in August 2001. The training and certification process was made available to workers on a voluntary basis.   Since obtaining her certification, she has actively supervised all juvenile sexual abusers in Barrow and Jackson counties.  She gets good results from her clients because she is empathetic and genuinely concerned about those she supervises.  Ms. Rowan is a very effective advocate for her clients. She has a reputation for being a real team player and is well respected by her peers, supervisors and external agencies. She is a the epitome of a youth-focused workers that uses her heart and her head in all case management decisions.


SAAG of the Year

Andrea Moldovan does a superior job as our SAAG.  Our caseload has grown by 25% each year since 2000.  We struggle with the load. She is quick to make suggestions on case management. She is thorough in her preparation of her case and her caseworkers. She meets regularly with DFCS to understand what the Department wants and needs from her. She takes the time to teach new workers on the Court's expectations. She participates in settlement conferences that help us narrow issues and resolve cases. She conducts herself with great professionalism and never allows any personal views to distract her in representation.  She is well respected by all who deal with her. She does this quietly and with great dignity.  She is an outstanding citizen, SAAG and role model for any who aspire to serve children.


Supervisor of the Year

Doris "Micki" Smith is the Regional Administrator of Region 2.  She has the ability to be firm and directive and couple it with kindness and sensitivity.  She provides excellent leadership and guidance to those under her supervision.  She takes the time to listen and care about personal issues as well as the details of the many cases that are brought to her for advice.  Micki is able to create an environment where those of us under her supervision feel respected, cared for, and appreciated.  Micki encompasses every aspect of my definition of a great supervisor.  She works tirelessly to make sure her staff has what they need to provide the best services possible to the youth under their care.  She always has the best interest of the youth at heart and repeatedly says, “Whatever it takes,” even if that means that she helps with the legwork of getting a task completed.  She has an attitude and aura about her that makes you feel comfortable with her no matter what your position or status in life happens to be.  She is a role model and an inspiration. Doris “Micki” Smith positive attributes have directly contributed to the mission of DJJ and her special talents will be sorely missed when she retires!


2004 Public Servant of the Year

Bob Keller deserves recognition as the 2004 public servant of the year for his tireless, behind the scenes efforts promoting passage of the felony child endangerment law in Georgia.  As many people know, it took Georgia four long years to finally pass child endangerment and become the last state in the nation to hold caregivers accountable when children are injured due to their reckless disregard for child safety.  There were a number of advocates who worked diligently toward that legislation’s passage, but Bob Keller stands out as a public servant who was able to bridge competing and sometimes hostile interests with his quiet and objective manner that ensured all sides were heard in the contentious debate and that concerns were alleviated wherever possible.  Child endangerment became law on July 1, 2004 and several operators of home-based methamphetamine labs are already facing prosecution because children were in serious harm’s way in these highly volatile and combustible environments.

Bob has served as the District Attorney in Clayton County for more then twenty years.  We will miss him as a protector of Georgia’s children and hope we’ll continue to have the opportunity to work beside him again on behalf of child victims who often have no other voice.


Volunteer of the Year

Pastor Victoria Evans is the pastor of Trust and Obey Outreach Full Gospel Church in Augusta.  She started working with the Department of Juvenile Justice as a counselor with the Positive Image Program in 1989.  She began coming to the juvenile court to pray for the families and eventually counseled some of those families.  She has managed to get the members of her church involved to help provide food, clothing, and money to the families coming through this system.

A little over three years ago, Pastor Evans was able to formally get her church involved in order to help deter delinquency.  Now, Pastor Evans makes sure there is at least one minister in the courtroom each day to minister to the needs of the children as well as the needs of their parents.  Prior to the church purchasing a van, Pastor Evans transported children in her private vehicle without any monetary expectations.  Now, she transports parents to the different placements and YDC’s across the state for visits and appointments.  She picks up children when they are released from YDC's and other placements.  Pastor Evans continues to speak to the Positive Image Program about issues such as anger management, self-esteem, and conflict resolution. She believes that if you become a major nurturer in the life of another person then you have an opportunity to make a major impact on them  Pastor Evans is a good leader who motivates, does not mislead, and does not exploit, but gives love unconditionally.


Friends of Children Award

Kay Harkness has been employed as a houseparent at Christian City Home for Children for the past 28 years.  During that time, she has served over 80 children in her home.  She and her husband came to Christian City in 1976 to serve children in need.  While here at Christian City they had two children of their own, but that never deterred them from accomplishing their goal of serving other children.

After the untimely death of Kay's husband in 1981, Kay has served as a single houseparent.  For the past 23 years, she has maintained a cottage of boys under he own personal supervision.  She has basically done the job of two people in being both a "Mom" and "Dad" to teenage boys. She currently has four boys in her cottage and serves as our Lead Houseparent.  She not only cares for children but serves as a liaison and mentor to other houseparent.

Over the past 28 years, Kay has dedicated her life to being not only a friend, but a parent to the hurting children of Georgia.  It is with great pride that I nominate Kay Harkness for the Friends of Children Award for the 5th Annual Child Placement Conference.


Outstanding Attorney Child Advocate

Darrell R. Caudill, Jr. is a true advocate for the children of Cherokee County. When Mr. Caudill serves as a court appointed attorney in Juvenile Court in Cherokee County, he serves only in the capacity of GAL.  He  has a deep seated passion for child advocacy and the need to move children through the system and out of foster case as quickly as possible.

CASA is blessed through service with Mr. Caudill as he believes in the CASA purpose. He works closely with our advocates and always with great regard for the work our volunteers bring to each case. We are also grateful that Mr. Caudill helps, when possible, with specific needs a child may have. Recently DFCS notified our office of a CASA child in foster care that needed funds for his football endeavors. While this young man was not has client, Mr. Caudill was asked if he would make a contribution to this case? Without hesitation, he opened his wallet and offered cash contribution so that the child could be like “all the other kids” and enjoy an extracurricular activity.


Leadership Award

Kathy Herren has a “Can do” attitude, a willingness to work hard.   She has instituted many changes that have had a positive impact on Dekalb DFCS and the families that we serve.  She has created a night CPS unit to investigate those children that police pick up after normal business hours.  She has also cultivated a working relationship with the local police department and made it possible for CPS workers to ride with police officers when there are children involved in a police matter.  Ms. Herren created a Placement Intake Unit to work with the children and parents as soon as the children come into care to expedite the reunification process.  She has created many new links with the community partners such as the refugee agencies, the public schools, and mental health.  Kathy has initiated a pilot program in Dekalb to collaborate with private foster care providers to create assessment homes for children coming in to care to keep them from having to stay in a group setting until a placement is found.  Ms. Herren developed a Worker Advisory Committee to discuss and address the concerns and issues of the front line staff and is willing to do almost anything to help her staff.  Kathy Herren would never ask her staff to do anything that she herself would not do.  She has a contagious spirit of optimism that has helped to boost the overall morale of the agency.  Kathy Herren is a strong leader in every sense and is committed to protecting children and improving the foster care system.


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Updated by Normer Adams on 01/20/10 05:54 AM -0500                                  .