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2011 National CASA Membership and Accreditation Continuation Program

Award Information

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

Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2011, $8,650,839)

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 enhance current resources to the CASA network to strengthen and expand state and local CASA organizations, enabling them to serve more children and to increase the diversity of CASA volunteers to better reflect the children served. The project will fund recruitment, training and supervision of highly dedicated volunteers who work individually with children to ensure that the child welfare system and the courts meet their best interests. CA/NCF

This project will support the development and expansion of state and local programs Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) programs, which serve abused and neglected children in need of advocacy before the courts. The project will enhance the capacity of these programs to recruit, train and supervise qualified volunteers, and support state CASA organizations that increase the capacity of local programs to serve children. The National CASA Association will award 1-year grants to 18-24 local CASA programs; award 1-year grants to 8-10 state CASA organizations; increase the number of new volunteers; increase the number of children served; fund the establishment of new CASA programs in communities where an interest has been expressed by the court and a documented need exists; and support the expansion of existing CASA programs through new grants to enable them to serve more children in need. In addition, the project will help CASA state organizations build their capacity to help existing local programs serve more children while maintaining quality advocacy. The project will also increase the number of volunteer advocates recruited and completing training who have ethnic, cultural or racial backgrounds similar to the children served by the CASA program. Specifically, the project will increase the number of African American, Hispanic/Latino, Native American and multi-racial volunteers. 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

Date Created: August 30, 2011