Through October 2014, CASA has advocated for the best interests of 375 children, and will reach 435 by the end of 2014. A total of 60 new child advocate volunteers completed the training curriculum, bringing the number of active advocates for abused and neglected children to 185 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, 70% of eligible foster teens graduated from high school this past May. Agency goals for 2015 are to train 70 new volunteers and serve 460 children.
1) Volunteer advocates for children in foster. Must be 21 years of age or older, complete screening and 30-hour pre-service training. Approximately 10 volunteer hours per month. Trainings occur in throughout the year. Day and evening training times offered. Email Julie at firstname.lastname@example.org for information. 2) Friends of CASA allows you to support CASA by volunteering when and how often you choose. Select from activities offered each month including child-center, special events, hospitality, and office support. Email Lois at email@example.com for information. 3) Holiday gifts for CASA children. If you would like to adopt a CASA child or sibling group with clothes (sizes provided) or wish list items (requested items provided) contact Nina at firstname.lastname@example.org. Donations may also be made to the Children's Activitites fund. 4) We want foster children to have a special birthday celebration!! Provide birthday items for children in foster care. The birthday boxes may be filled with such things as streamers, napkins, paper plates, party hats, balloons, a birthday card, and gift cards for pizza and cake. Contact Nina at email@example.com. Donations directed to Children's Activities also accepted in lieu of birthday items.
After learning about CASA when my company became a corporate sponsor, I was pleased to join the board in 2011 and became board president in March 2013. My passion for CASA stems from my belief that all children have value and rights. CASA speaks up for children who have often been dismissed or discarded by others. More abused and neglected children has also led to an increased demand for CASA services. While more individuals have stepped up to volunteer as advocates, we are unable to keep up with the increased demand for CASA services. The Board is focused on growing our revenue base so more children experience the benefits of CASA Volunteers. I encourage you to become involved – individuals may become a Hope Society member, companies may participate as members of the In Good Company Club, join Friends of CASA, or become an advocate – our children need 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.
Trey’s Story - 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. His siblings were 13, 10 and 7 years old. 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. While with his mother, Trey was frequently absent from school to take care of his siblings. Consequently, he was significantly behind academically. Trey’s relative made sure he worked hard to catch up on missed academics and has been a good role model and positive influence for him.
Mary kept in regular contact with Trey and his siblings to see how they were adjusting to their home and school situations. She 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 turned eighteen in September 2013. He decided to stay in foster care until he graduated from high school. In May 2014, Trey graduated from Washington High School in Kansas City. He is the first of his immediate family to do so. His fall semester grades were all A’s and a B in Chemistry. Mary attended the graduation party along with his relative and siblings.
Trey works part-time as a busboy for a local restaurant and is learning how to budget his money. One of his biggest regrets is not seeing his siblings on a regular basis because of the distance between their foster homes.
In August 2014, Trey began attending Washburn University where he plans to major in nursing. CASA is proud to have played a role, along with others, 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 2014, 81% of families (21/26) 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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