Positive Impacts and Benefits of CASA

Thank you for thinking of the children.

➡ A child with a CASA/GAL volunteer is more likely to find a safe, permanent home.

  • More likely to be adopted (8, 9, 10, 12, 15)
  • Half as likely to re-enter foster care (8, 12, 15)
  • Substantially less likely to spend time in long-term foster care (15)
  • More likely to have a plan for permanency, especially children of color (18)

➡ Children with CASA volunteers get more help while in the system ...

  • More services are ordered for the children (1, 2, 6, 7, 8, 9, 15)

... and are more likely to have a consistent, responsible adult presence. (1, 2, 13)

➡ Volunteers spend significantly more time with the child than a paid guardian ad litem. (2)

➡ Children with CASA volunteers spend less time in foster care... (16, 17)

"It is quite remarkable that children without CASA involvement are spending an average of over eight months longer in care, compared to children having CASA involvement." (16).

... and are less likely to be bounced home to home. (14, 16, 17)

➡ CASA volunteers improve representation of children. (19)

  • Reduce the time needed by lawyers (13)
  • More likely than paid lawyers to file written reports (3, 4, 5)
  • For each of 9 duties, judges rated CASA/GAL volunteers more highly than attorneys (13)
  • Highly effective in having their recommendations adopted by the court (1)

➡ Children with CASA volunteers do better in school... (14)

  • More likely to pass all courses
  • Less likely to have poor conduct in school
  • Less likely to be expelled

... and score better on nine protective factors: (13)

(1.) Neighborhood Resources, (2.) Interested Adults, (3.) Sense of Acceptance, (4.) Controls against Deviant Behavior, (5.) Models of Conventional Behavior, (6.) Positive Attitude Towards the Future, (7.) Valuing Achievement, (8.) Ability to Work With Others, and (9.) Ability to Work Out Conflicts.

Sources:

  1. Caliber Associates, National CASA Association Evaluation Project, Caliber Associates; Fairfax, Virginia, 2004.
  2. Donald D. Duquette and Sarah H. Ramsey, “Using Lay Volunteers to Represent Children in Child Protection Court Proceedings” (Appendix C). Child Abuse and Neglect 10(3): p. 293-308, 1986.
  3. Sherrie S. Aitken, Larry Condelli, and Tom Kelly, Final Report of the Validation and Effectiveness Study of Legal Representation Through Guardian Ad Litem. Report submitted to the Administration on Children Youth and Families, Department of Health and Human Services by CSR, Inc.: Washington, DC, 1993.
  4. Karen C. Snyder, John D. Downing, and Jill A. Jacobson, A Report to the Ohio Children’s Foundation on the Effectiveness of the CASA Program of Franklin County. The Strategy Team: Columbus, OH, 1996.
  5. Victoria Weisz and Nghi Thai, “The Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) Program: Bringing information to Child Abuse and Neglect Cases,” Child Maltreatment 8(X), 2003.
  6. Larry Condelli, National Evaluation of the Impact of Guardian Ad Litem in Child Abuse and Neglect Judicial Proceedings. Report submitted to the National Center of Child Abuse and Neglect for the Administration of Children, Youth and Families by CSR, Inc.: Washington, DC, 1988.
  7. Litzelfelner, “The Effectiveness of CASAs in Achieving Positive Outcomes for Children,” Child Welfare 79(2): p. 179-193, 2000.
  8. John Poertner and Allan Press, “Who Best Represents the Interests of the Child in Court?” Child Welfare 69(6): p. 537-549, 1990.
  9. Gene C. Siegel, et al., Arizona CASA effectiveness study. Report to the Arizona Supreme Courts, Administrative Office of the Courts, Dependent Children’s Services Division by the National Center for Juvenile Justice, 2001.
  10. Susan M. Profilet, et al., Guardian ad Litem Project. Child Advocates Inc., 1999.
  11. Shareen Abramson, “Use of Court-Appointed Advocates to Assist in Permanency Planning for Minority Children,” Child Welfare 70(4): p. 477-487, 1991.
  12. Michael Powell and Vernon Speshock, Arizona Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) Program, Internal Assessment, 1996.
  13. Ohio CASA/GAL Study Committee Report
  14. University of Houston and Child Advocates, Inc., Making a Difference in the Lives of Abused and Neglected Children: Research on the Effectiveness of a Court Appointed Special Advocate Program
  15. Office of the Inspector General, Audit Report 07-04, December, 2006
  16. Cynthia A. Calkins, M.S., and Murray Millar, Ph.D., “The Effectiveness of Court Appointed Special Advocates to Assist in Permanency Planning,” Child and Adolescent Social Work Journal, volume 16, number 1, February 1999.
  17. Leung, P. (1996). Is the Court-Appointed Special Advocate Program Effective? A Longitudinal Analysis of Time Involvement and Case Outcomes. Child Welfare League of America, 75, 269-284.
  18. Abramson, S. (1991). Use of court-appointed advocates to assist in permanency planning for minority children. Child Welfare, 70, 477-487
  19. Davin Younclarke, Kathleen Dyer Ramos, and Lorraine Granger-Merkle,” A Systematic Review of the Impact of Court Appointed Special Advocates” Journal of the Center for Families, Children and the Courts, 2004.

Each Gift Directly Impacts a Child

As a donor, you want to know that your gift will be used for its intended purpose. When you donate, you can be confident that your dollars will directly impact children in your community.

Often, money is the only thing keeping us from helping more children. Currently our program is operating at its full capacity. In order to help more children we need to hire additional employees to maintain the National CASA standard of a 1:30 ratio of full-time staff member to active volunteers. This standard is maintained so as to ensure proper oversight of our active cases.

The cost of advocating for a child is approximately $1000 a year. This covers the cost of recruiting, training and supporting our volunteers – volunteers who are committed to stopping the generational cycle of violence that robs children of their capacity to trust in the hope of a positive future.

Child abuse and neglect are community issues that impact future generations. Children who are robbed of their future due to abuse and neglect may not recover, may not develop the skills and emotions necessary to fit in or be productive members of society. In a world where adults have let them down, they do not develop trust or social skills. Many shut themselves off, others develop unhealthy coping skills, and behaviors that allow them to “survive.” However, often these behaviors can land them in jail or worse.

How Do I Donate?

There are several ways to give to 37th Judicial CASA:

  1. Monetary support – We take internet donations via PayPal and checks can be made out to 37th Judicial CASA and then mailed to us at:
    37th Judicial CASA
    1 Court Square, Suite 240
    West Plains, MO 65775
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  2. Our Angel Advocates Program – ​The Angel Advocates program is a new ​program designed to allows individuals, businesses, and groups to become an "Angel Advocate" to our program.
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  3. An in-kind donation – Like many not-for-profit programs, 37th Judicial CASA has a varied, and lengthy wish list that you may be able to help us fulfill.
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  • 37th Judicial CASA is a 501(c)(3) organization and therefore all donations and in-kind gifts are eligible for full federal charitable deductions for individual and business tax uses.
  • Supporters who have given more than $100 total between January 1st and December 31st in any given calendar tax year are eligible to apply for a 50% tax credit through the Missouri Department of Revenue's Champion for Children Tax Credit program.
  • Major supporters will be listed in the 37th Judicial CASA Annual Report unless requested otherwise.

Did You Know...

It costs approximately $1,000 a year (or $84 every month) for CASA to provide qualified advocacy to one child.

As a not-for-profit entity, the 37th Judicial CASA relies entirely on grants and gifts from the community to support the advocacy efforts of our volunteer task force to deliver the proven CASA Model.

The costs associated with supporting those volunteer child advocates as they deliver services to children include:

  • Advertising, recruitment and outreach – raising awareness and maintaining the size of our advocacy force
  • Training costs – including the 30-hour pre-service training required by all child advocates, and the 12-hours of annual in-service training required of all current child advocates
  • Screening costs – a fingerprint background check for each new advocate and repeat checks for current advocates after every four years
  • Support and administrative costs – maintaining compliance with industry standards and best practices
    • 37th Judicial CASA must maintain the National CASA Association (NCASAA) standard of 1 FTE staff member to every 30 child advocates. Staffed advocacy support makes up the majority of our budget.
    • To remain a NCASAA member program, 37th Judicial CASA must remain in compliance with NCASAA's 14 detailed standards, which add administrative cost to our programs.
    • Advocate mileage reimbursement is key to keeping our advocates continually able to go see the children in person, one of the key factors that show repeated successful results.