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National CASA Association - Training, Technical Assistance and Membership Program

Award Information

Award #
2015-CH-BX-K001
Location
Congressional District
Status
Closed
Funding First Awarded
2015
Total funding (to date)
$20,244,360

Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2015, $5,223,058)

The Victims of Child Abuse Act of 1990 contains provisions that support efforts to ensure that all abused and neglected children involved in dependency proceedings have access to a court-appointed special advocate. Through the Court-Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) Program, OJJDP seeks to ensure that abused and neglected children receive high quality representation in dependency court hearings. The grantee will provide: (1) membership, accreditation, and subgrants to regional, state, and local CASA organizations who represent abused and neglected children in dependency hearings and will partner with other public and private child welfare system stakeholders at the local, state, regional, and national levels; and (2) information, technical assistance, and training to volunteer advocates who represent abused and neglected children in dependency hearings and to other child welfare system stakeholders at the local, state, regional, and national levels.

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 2014, 949 state organizations and CASA programs in 49 states and the District of Columbia recruited, rained, and supervised volunteers. They work individually with 251,165 children to ensure that the child welfare system, and the courts meet their best interests. Re-entry studies have demonstrated the life-changing impact of the CASA model: children are far ss likely to languish in foster care, or re-enter the system after their cases have been dismissed, and more likely to receive needed services. When they cannot be safely returned to their parents, they are more likely to be adopted.

The CASA nationwide network currently has the capacity to serve just 40% 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. Funding provided by OJJDP focuses on providing these important resources to the CASA network. Results will be measured by growth in the number of children served and volunteers recruited, screened, trained, and activated, as well as greater diversity in volunteers to more closely match the children they serve. No portion of the project budget will be used to conduct research, as described by OJJDP in the “Invitation to Apply,” Project Evaluations section.

CA/NCF

This program furthers the Department's mission by providing grants and cooperative agreements for training and technical assistance to organizations that OJJDP designates.

The National Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) Association 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 2015, 943 state organizations and CASA programs in 49 states and the District of Columbia recruited, trained and supervised more than 76,000 volunteers. They worked individually with more than 250,000 children to ensure that the best interests of the child are met by the court, child welfare system and community. Re-entry studies have demonstrated the life-changing impact of the CASA model: children are far less likely to languish in foster care, or re-enter the system after their cases have been dismissed, and 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 currently has the capacity to serve just 40 percent of abused and neglected children in need of advocacy. To expand volunteer advocacy to more children in FY2016, the National CASA Association will use the funds awarded to continue to provide technical assistance, training and awareness/outreach to local and state CASA organizations, funding through grants, and promote an accreditation system to ensure that programs maintain the highest level of quality service. Results will be measured by growth in the number of children served and volunteers recruited, screened, trained and activated, as well as greater diversity in volunteers to more closely match the children they serve.

NCA/NCF

The National Court Appointed Special Advocate Association (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. CASA’s nationwide network currently has the capacity to serve just 40 percent of abused and neglected children in need of advocacy. To expand volunteer advocacy to more children, the National CASA Association provides technical assistance and training to local and state CASA organizations, awareness and outreach to the public, funding through grants and a system to ensure that programs maintain the highest quality of service. The FY 2017 funds will be used to provide training and technical assistance in support of state and local capacities to promote court appointed volunteer advocacy for abused and neglected children so that every child can be safe, establish permanence, and have the opportunity to thrive. A particular focus for FY 2017 will be developing public service announcements to kick off a nationwide awareness campaign to recruit volunteers. CASA also plans to ramp up staff recruitment to add another 10 staff members to position the organization to expand its capacity and reach, with a goal of increasing the proportion of children in foster care served to 100 percent.

Additionally, as the only national-level organization supporting CASA and GAL programs nationwide, the National CASA Association will support the field through subgrants to member programs in diverse communities. Subgrants will be awarded to programs through a rigorous process of application reviews as well as financial and programmatic oversight.

NCA/NCF

Date Created: September 27, 2015