Through October 2015, 183 CASA Volunteers have advocated for the best interests of 356 children, and will reach 420 by the end of 2015. A total of 70 new child advocate volunteers completed the training curriculum, bringing the number of active advocates for abused and neglected children to 200 volunteers. Program outcomes continue to demonstrate that foster children with a CASA are 50% less likely to languish in foster care and 50% more likely to grow up in a safe, permanent home. A Teen Advocate Program, implemented in 2013, is designed to improve advocacy and support provided to older foster youth. CASA volunteers complete an additional 12 hour training curriculum focused on youth development and independent living skills. Program outcomes indicate youth are improving their life skills and educational outcomes. For example, 80% of eligible foster teens graduated from high school in the two years since the program began. Agency goals for 2016 are to train 75 new volunteers and serve 460 children.
I was fortunate enough to learn about CASA and its mission 4
years ago through a United Way fundraising campaign. I joined the board a year
later and became board president in March 2015. My passion for CASA is tied
directly to having two young children myself and knowing that there are
children in our community just as precious, but without an advocate for even
their basic needs. A CASA advocate works prevent a child from continuing to be
abused or neglected, that they are going to school, that they are being fed and
clothed. CASA fills in that critical gap to give these kids a chance to
become the best version of themselves. Unfortunately, the need grows each year
and we have to react and meet this growing need for the services CASA provides.
An investment in CASA is an investment in the immediate and long-term health of
Kansas City. Please join us by supporting CASA monetarily or, better yet, by
becoming a CASA advocate and making a meaningful difference in the life of a
child who needs your help.
Abuse or neglect reports are tracked internally and investigation results are received from DCF personnel quarterly. Those investigations that DCF has substantiated abuse or neglect are noted. As CASAs generally visit children in their home of residence, they often see first-hand the caretaker-child relationship and note indicators of potential danger. Changes in volunteer assignments are tracked through the case database and reported by program staff on a monthly activity report. Outcome reports are generated quarterly and analyzed by management for trends. If problems arise, management reviews case procedures, training curriculum, and supervision techniques for potential causes. Children who case has been closed a minimum of 24 months are reviewed in the county’s juvenile court case information database. Children that have re-entered the court system due to a new abuse or neglect occurrence are noted. Annual outcome results are shared with the Board of Directors, staff, volunteers, and funders through the annual report.
In May, 2011, 15 year old Trey and his 3 siblings removed from his mother’s home due to physical and emotional abuse by the mother. Mary was appointed their CASA Volunteer in June 2011 and has remained so for 3 years. Trey was placed with a relative and has lived with her during his entire time in foster care. Because of prior frequent school absences, Trey was significantly behind academically. Trey’s relative made sure he worked hard to catch up on missed academics and has been a positive influence for him.
Mary kept in regular contact with Trey and worked closely with Trey’s social workers to make he received needed services, checked in with his teachers, and helped him to set his career goals.
Trey chose to stay in foster care until he graduated from high school in May 2014. In August 2014, Trey began attending Washburn University where he plans to major in nursing. CASA is proud to have played a role in Trey’s current and future successes.
The ultimate success of the program is for children to experience a stable and supportive family environment. Prior to coming into the program, the parents were consistently involved in court proceedings for issues involving parenting time. During program intervention, the parents are encouraged to acquire skills to reach agreement without court involvement. To determine the program's success, court files of former families released from the program for at least 2 years are reviewed to determine those with new court filings. In 2015, 75% of families (18/24) did not return to the court for child-related issues. Instead, these families had developed communication strategies and skills to resolve their co-parenting disputes.
Indirect Public Support HelpIndirect public support represents revenue received through solicitation campaigns. This includes funding United Way and other federated fundraising organizations, but does not include donor designated contributions.
Earned Revenue HelpEarned revenue represents income generated in direct exchange for a product or service.Earned income includes income from government contracts.
Greater Kansas City Community Foundation
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