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2011 National CASA Training and Technical Assistance Continuation Program

Award Information

Award #
Congressional District
Funding First Awarded
Total funding (to date)

Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2011, $3,567,521)

The Victims of Child Abuse Act of 1990, as amended (Public Law 101-647), mandates that all abused and neglected children involved in dependency proceedings receive timely, sensitive, and effective advocacy. The Act directs that a court-appointed special advocate shall be available to every victim of child abuse or neglect in the United States that needs such an advocate. The Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) Program ensures that abused and neglected children receive high quality representation in dependency court hearings. This program is authorized by Section 217 of the Victims of Child Abuse Act, Pub.L. 101-647 (42 U.S.C. Section 13013). This project will support and promote court-appointed volunteer advocacy for abused and neglected children so that they can thrive in safe, permanent homes.
The project will expand volunteer advocacy to more children by providing technical assistance, training, awareness and outreach to local and state CASA programs, and will implement a quality assurance system to ensure that programs maintain the highest level of service. Results will be measured by growth in the number of children served and volunteers activated as well as in the increase of volunteers of color. CA/NCF

This project will provide advocacy for abused and neglected children through the Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) program and will implement the following activities: 1) delivery of training; 2) provision of technical assistance for state and local programs that fosters growth and stability; 3) development and dissemination of publications; 4) data collection and dissemination; and 5) increase public awareness of the CASA cause. National CASA will present or sponsor training sessions on key topics such as inclusiveness and cultural competency; board and program development; volunteer recruitment and retention; and facilitation of training, a majority of which will be offered as online programs. In addition, National CASA will provide technical assistance to state and local programs on topics such as volunteer management, sustainability, board development, human resources and financial management. Technical assistance will be provided through on-site visits; dissemination of documents/publications; regional trainings on topics such as cultural competency and youth aging out of foster care; and workshops at state and national conferences. National CASA will also provide technical assistance and training on the online grant application process for member organizations and training on grant management, fiscal oversight and protection against fraud. It will also support 100% of local and state CASA programs in achieving and maintaining full compliance with national standards.

National CASA will disseminate curricula and training materials to support volunteer recruitment, training, cultural competency and current topics in child protection and advocacy. It will also collect data on an ongoing basis and provide robust measures of effectiveness of capacity development and public awareness efforts related to its national recruitment efforts. In addition, it will provide intensive and specialized training on its I am for the Child campaign to a broad group of court and system stakeholders on the national, state, and local levels, and evaluate the effectiveness of training and success of system improvement efforts, to create a court-focused body of evidence-based practice. CA/NCF

CASA programs work with courts across the country to empower everyday citizens to represent the best interests of abused and neglected children in the courtroom and other settings. National CASA is focused on strengthening the CASA network's capacity to provide effective, high quality and consistent advocacy for children through carefully screened and trained volunteers that will result in increased numbers of children in custody receiving needed support. This project directly serves the CASA network by providing grants, technical assistance, training and education to local CASA programs and state CASA organizations. The project also serves the larger community by educating individuals about the CASA cause, volunteerism and the foster care system.
Progress toward grant goals and objectives will be monitored by reviewing data monthly, semiannually and annually. Outputs include increasing the numbers of volunteers activated and children served; providing training and education opportunities for program staff and volunteers; and producing and disseminating public awareness materials promoting the CASA cause. Outcomes include increasing program capacity to serve children; reducing the time children served by a CASA volunteer spend in long-term foster care; securing permanent placements for children in care; and supporting judges with better informed and improved decision making for children. CA/NCF

National CASA supports and promotes court-appointed volunteer advocacy for abused and neglected children so that every child can be safe, establish permanence and have the opportunity to thrive. In 2013, 951 state organizations and CASA programs in 49 states recruited, trained and supervised volunteers to work individually with 238,527 children to ensure that the child welfare system and the courts meet their best interests. Studies have demonstrated the life-changing impact of the CASA model: children are far less likely to languish in foster care or reenter the system after their cases have been dismissed and are more likely to receive needed services. When they cannot be safely returned to their parents, they are more likely to be adopted. CASA's nationwide network has the capacity to serve just 37% of abused and neglected children in need of advocacy. To expand volunteer advocacy to more children, National CASA provides funding through grants, technical assistance, training and awareness/outreach to local and state CASA organizations, and offers a system to ensure that programs maintain the highest level of quality service. Requested funding focuses on providing these important resources to our network. Results will be measured by growth in the number of children served and volunteers recruited, screened, trained and activated as well as in the increase of volunteers of color. No portion of the project budget will be used to conduct research, as described by OJJDP. However, performance measures data will be collected and submitted in the DCTAT system as required.


Date Created: August 16, 2011