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Volunteer Highlight – Elizabeth “Liz” Vaysman


Elizabeth “Liz” Vaysman

Workplace: A Baby Step Adoption

Practice Area: Private Adoption

Child Advocates Volunteer Attorney Since 2015

In her first and current case with Child Advocates, Liz represents five siblings. She has seen one of the children through to adoption and, through her advocacy, has ensured that the other children are now living in pre-adoptive homes with members of their extended family. Liz finds it rewarding to see how the family has stepped up to take care of the children and provide them with positive and caring home environments. While the children have been through difficult situations throughout the life of the case, Liz finds it gratifying to know that her efforts, with the support of the Child Advocates team, have helped all of the children end up in loving and supportive homes.

Liz enjoys working with Child Advocates because she finds it gratifying to feel connected to the community in a positive and productive way. Through her experience as a Child Advocates Volunteer Attorney, Liz feels that she has grown both as a lawyer and as a person.

This Valentine’s Day, Choo Choo Choose Us!

Will you CHOO-CHOO-CHOOSE to support us this Valentine’s Day? Our older youth clients need transportation for emergency needs such as making it to a job interview, to homeless shelters that provide clothing, to new jobs before they receive their first paycheck, and to doctor’s appointments. We need your help getting them there.

A small gift will go a very long way to provide an older youth with Septa transportation when they need it the most.

Will you help us reach our goal of collecting $600 which will be enough to provide 100 key cards that include 1 return-trip + 2 transfers on each?

For riders:

$6 = 1 return trip, including 2 transfers on any Septa bus, trolley, MFL or BS/BRS line train
$9 = 3-destination trip, including 3 transfers
$12 = 2 return-trips, including 4 transfers
$24 = 4 return-trips, including 8 transfers

Click HERE to donate today. For more information on how we serve our youth, please visit our programs page.

39th Annual Philadelphia Bar Association 5k Run/Walk

Save-the-date for the 39th Annual Philadelphia Bar Association 5K Run/Walk! Join us on Sunday, May 20, 2018 at Memorial Hall in Fairmount Park and race to help abused children find more stable lives.

The Philadelphia Bar Association 5K Run/Walk is one of the oldest and most respected events of its kind in the City of Philadelphia! The Run/Walk format provides the opportunity for athletes of all levels to participate in this charity event organized by the Philadelphia Bar Association to spotlight its concern for the children of Philadelphia and to benefit the Support Center for Child Advocates. People of all ages will enjoy fun, family-friendly activities including the Buchanan Ingersoll & Rooney Kids Dash, the Caesar Rivise Team Competition, Face Painting, Balloon Animals and more!

EARLY BIRD SPECIALRunners who register online by Wednesday, February 28, 2018 will receive $5 off your registration fee!

Click HERE to register online.
Click HERE to download the registration form

Sponsorship Forms
Corporate Sponsorship Form – Click HERE
Law Firm Sponsorship Form – Click HERE

Caesar Rivise Team Competition Forms
Corporate Team Form – Click HERE
Legal Team Form – Click HERE
** NEW THIS YEAR – Get your friends together and join in on some friendly competition! Open Team Form – Click HERE


Presenting Sponsors
Buchanan Ingersoll & Rooney
Caesar Rivise
Firstrust Bank

Corporate Sponsors
Philadelphia Parks & Recreation
Veritext Legal Solutions

Legal Sponsors
Anapol Weiss
DLA Piper
Drinker Biddle & Reath
Offit Kurman
Philadelphia Bar Association
Stevens & Lee/Griffin

Questions? Contact Cate Galbally at 267-546-9216 or

$100 Super Bowl tickets

$100 Super Bowl tickets
By: Erin Arvedlund, Inquirer Staff Writer

Eagles madness has made ticket-holders the envy of everyone in Greater Philadelphia. Support Center for Child Advocates, an agency that pairs lawyers and social service advocates with abused children, offered two pairs of Super Bowl 2018 tickets at its annual benefit auction back in April 2017.

One pair went in a raffle — at cost of just $100 — and the second pair went up for a live auction and sold for $2,750.

“Who could have predicted that the Eagles would win the playoffs?” said Frank Cervone, executive director at Support Center for Child Advocates, which provides legal assistance and social service advocacy for abused and neglected children in the Philadelphia County.

Soodabeh Jaffari and Mark Pasierb were the highest bidders at the charity auction. Tami Levin bought the winning raffle ticket.

Mark Pasierb, president of Pitcairn Properties, had won a pair of 2017 tickets at the Child Advocates auction the prior year, and traveled to Houston to see the Patriots beat the Falcons.

“That was a great game and was thrilled to be at the Super Bowl, but this year, I hope to see the Patriots lose,” said Pasierb. “Go Eagles!”

Tami Levin, former director of victim services at the Philadelphia District Attorney’s Office, bought a raffle ticket “because I wanted to support this amazing agency in a small way. I can’t believe I won!”

The two pairs of tickets were donated to Child Advocates last year. Their next event is the upcoming benefit auction on April 18. For event information, visit

Volunteer Highlight – James “Jim” Robinson

James “Jim” Robinson
Workplace: Gordon Rees
Practice Area: Aviation Litigation
Child Advocates Volunteer Attorney Since 1997

When asked about some of the most rewarding experiences as a Child Advocates Volunteer Attorney, Jim recalls representing the child of a teenage father and mother. Jim’s client had been removed from the young parents for her safety. After the failure of all attempts to reunify the child with her mother, and when it seemed that there was no option other than adoption, the biological father, though young, surprised everyone by turning his life around. The father obtained stable housing, a steady job, and attended parenting classes so that he could properly care for his daughter. Jim notes that being able to successfully advocate to place his client with her father was rewarding, especially when he was able to see all of the work that the father did to make reunification possible – work that changed the course of both of their lives.

In another case with Child Advocates, Jim represented a young client with complex medical needs who was removed from an abusive and neglectful mother. Throughout the case, it was a struggle to find a suitable pre-adoptive home for the child. Through diligent advocacy by Jim and his staff social worker partnered on the case, an appropriate home was found and the child was ultimately adopted. Jim recalls a memorable moment at the adoption hearing when the Judge invited the child behind the bench, and the child climbed up on his chair and began singing into the Judge’s microphone.

Jim believes that despite the horrific beginning that so many of these children have endured, they all deserve a “do-over.” Jim regards his work with Child Advocates as the most important legal work that he does. Jim also serves as a member of the Child Advocates Volunteer Committee and is a Child Advocates Board Member.

Thank you, Jim, for all you do to change the story for children!

2017 Pro Bono Roll of Honor

In recognition of the importance of pro bono and the tremendous effort that attorneys expend in providing pro bono services in the courts of Philadelphia, the First Judicial District of Pennsylvania presents the 2017 Pro Bono Roll of Honor. Each and every Child Advocates Volunteer Attorney who provided pro bono representation between 10/1/16 and 9/23/17 were named in the FJD Roll of Honor. For a full list of those honored, pleases click HERE.

In addition, the judges of the First Judicial District selected individual attorneys for special distinction in each division of the courts. The First Judicial District recognized these outstanding pro bono efforts at a reception yesterday. Special congratulations to these Child Advocates Volunteer Attorneys who were selected for the 2017 Pro Bono Publico Awards:

Cynthia Certo, Ryan, Brown, Berger & Gibbons, P.C. – Municipal Court, Criminal

Matt Gutt, Exelon Business Service Co. – Court of Common Pleas – Family, Dependency

Doug Moak, Independence Blue Cross – Court of Common Pleas -Family, Adoption


July 31, 2017 Philadelphia, PA – Support Center for Child Advocates (Child Advocates) announces the addition of ten new Board Members: Dorothy M. Arimond, Brandywine Group; Matthew Duncan, Fine, Kaplan and Black; Elizabeth Jobes, Spark Therapeutics; John F. McCabe IV, Glenmede, Benjamin Pierce, Vanguard Charitable (ret.); Diana Rabeh, ReedSmith; Carrie B. Rosen, Aramark; Katie Adams Schaeffer, Barnes Foundation; Megan Spitz, Blank Rome; and Marianne Styles, PNC Bank. They will join the other 20 members of the Board of Directors as passionate and ambitious advocates of the nation’s oldest and largest pro bono legal and social services agency serving abused and neglected children.

Members of Child Advocate’s Board of Directors are charged with bringing their unique experiences and professional skills to enhance the agency’s mission and provide diligent fiscal and programmatic oversight to promote the agency’s work in the community.

“This is a large cohort of new Board members and we are looking forward to their fresh perspective and a new energy,” said Frank Cervone, Executive Director. “Every member of the Child Advocates Board of Directors plays a crucial role in the oversight of our agency and these new members add a rich diversity of background, talent, and experience to our Board.”

Read more HERE.


Young Friends Launch Party!

You’re invited…

Young Friends of Child Advocates Launch Party!

Tuesday, May 30, 2017 – 5:00 – 7:00 PM
Tabu Lounge and Sports Bar
200 S. 12th Street, Philadelphia

It’s FREE!

Raffle prizes! Drink specials! Taco Tuesday! Appetizer specials!

Bring a friend!!



This year, the Support Center for Child Advocates (Child Advocates) celebrates its 40th anniversary of providing quality, free legal representation and social services for abused and neglected children throughout the Philadelphia region. As we reflect on our past, we honor our founders and recognize the need for renewed passion and ongoing cultivation of relationships and finding new ways to connect and engage with the broader community.

We are currently seeking people of all professional backgrounds, 40 years and younger, who will bring their passion and creativity and join us in finding new ways to sustain and further our mission. Our Young Friends will:

  • Serve as ambassadors for Child Advocates
  • Help us connect with new resources and communities
  • Volunteer at Child Advocates special events
  • Receive discounts to select Child Advocates events
  • Bring new ideas for philanthropy and volunteerism
  • Enjoy networking and career development opportunities

Questions? Contact: Allison Goetz or 267-940-1606

Welcome New Board Members!

Support Center for Child Advocates Announces New Board Slate
July 29, 2016 Philadelphia, PA – Support Center for Child Advocates (Child Advocates) announces the addition of three new Board Members: David Dzara, Sarah Keating, and Jeffrey Sotland. They will join the other 27 members of the Board as passionate and ambitious advocates of the nation’s oldest and largest pro bono legal and social services agency serving abused and neglected children.

Members of Child Advocate’s Board of Directors are charged with bringing their unique experiences and perspectives to enhance the agency’s mission and provide diligent fiscal and programmatic oversight to promote the agency’s work in the community.

“We are delighted to welcome these illustrious new members and young lawyers to our Board of Directors,” said Frank P. Cervone, Executive Director. “Every Board Member plays a crucial role in the oversight of our agency and our efforts as we move to the future. I am confident that these new members add a rich diversity of background, talent, and experience to our Board.”

New Board Members:

David Dzara is an experienced business litigator and trial attorney with Steve Harvey Law, LLC. A graduate of Temple Law School, David previously served as a law clerk for the Superior Court in Delaware and for the Honorable Ronald D. Castille of the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania. David worked at Pepper Hamilton LLP for seven years where he was co-chair of the firm’s Child Advocacy Practice Group before joining his current firm. David has been a Volunteer Attorney with Child Advocates for the past nine years and also serves as a Director for the Jordan Estate Homeowner’s Board.
Sarah Keating is an environmental lawyer and the CEO of Keating Environmental Management, Inc., a female-owned consulting firm that has been in business for 25 years. A graduate of George Washington University National Law Center, Sarah worked for Morgan, Lewis, and Bockius and then for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency for more than 15 years. She also served as a Special Assistant United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania. Sarah is a member of the Forum of Executive Women, is the founder of Women Empowering Women, and is a member of the Society of Women Environment Professionals.
Jeffrey Sotland is a Partner with Mintzer Sarowitz, Zeris Ledva, and Meyers LLP where he oversees the firm’s national subrogation practice. A graduate of Dickinson School of Law of the Pennsylvania State University, Jeffrey has over two decades of experience in civil litigation focusing on property damage and loss cases. He is the past Commissioner of the City of Brotherly Love Softball League, served as co-chair of the William Way LGBT Community Center, and is the current president of Out Philadelphia Athletic League.

About The Support Center for Child Advocates
The Support Center for Child Advocates provides legal assistance and social service advocacy for abused and neglected children in Philadelphia County. Child Advocates is one of the most successful volunteer models serving children in the country. Since its founding in 1977, Child Advocates has trained more than 8,000 attorneys who contribute pro bono services valued at more than $5.1 million annually

We Have Moved In More Ways Than One!

In 2001, we purchased our building at 1900 Cherry Street. Many will recall this ambitious endeavor, supported by so many Capital Campaign donors, to create permanency for the agency: a place we could call our own, where we could grow and be seen. At the time, our 23-person staff included 6 lawyers and 9 social workers, and with the help of 300 volunteer attorneys, we were able to provide legal and social services to 700 abused and neglected children.
How times have changed! Our Child Advocates staff now includes 8 attorneys, 17 social workers and an administrative staff of 13 – plus interns! In each of the last two years we represented over 1,000 child clients, and more come almost every day. More than 320 volunteer attorneys were teamed with staff to cover 2,500 court hearings. Last year, more than 4,600 lay and professional caregivers of children attended training programs produced by our Center for Excellence in Advocacy. To continue providing the level of legal and social services that the community expects from us, it is time to find a larger home.
On Monday, we continue our journey of service. Our important work will now be carried out in a new office location – 1617 JFK Boulevard, Suite 1200 – Philadelphians know it as The Suburban Station Building at One Penn Center. This larger space will allow our services and staff to grow even more as we continue to provide top-tier pro bono services to children and youth in Philadelphia, and training programs everywhere. We also have a new website address:
Thank you to everyone who has supported our work, our staff and most importantly, our child clients. We look forward to seeing you at our new home!
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