Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2005, $493,322)
Friends of Child Advocates, a not-for-profit corporation, partners with the Los Angeles Superior Court in operating CASA of Los Angeles, the authorized Court Appointed Special Advocate program in Los Angeles County. CASA of Los Angeles recruits, trains and supervises volunteers who, upon appointment by a judge, investigate the circumstances of the lives of foster children and report findings and recommendations to the court. There are more than 27,000 abused and neglected children in foster care in Los Angeles County, California. CASA of Los Angeles is one of the largest programs in the nation, with 10 professionals supervising about 350 volunteers who serve about 450 children on a given day. Nonetheless, it serves less than two percent of the foster child population.
The purpose of the grant is to expand the volunteer program, hiring 3.5 professional FTEs, along with necessary support staff, to increase program capacity by 35%, or roughly 150 children, 100 in the first year. A related purpose is to expand current outreach efforts, to bring in more financial and volunteer support to encourage further program growth.
Project activities will include staff recruitment, hiring, training and subsequent supervision and enhanced outreach efforts.