Louisville, KY – June 22, 2020
CASA of the River Region has been awarded a 2-year $25,000 per year Mentoring Grant from the National Court Appointed Special Advocate/Guardian ad Litem (CASA/GAL) Association for Children. Funds will be used to recruit, train and assign new volunteers to represent the best interests of children who have experienced abuse or neglect. Work done under the mentoring grant will target key populations such as American Indian/Alaska Native, rural and opioid-impacted youth.
There are nearly 950 CASA/GAL programs nationwide, including 49 state offices, supporting volunteers who work on behalf of children in the child welfare system. Their advocacy enables judges to make the most well-informed decisions for each child.
The mentoring grant will enable CASA of the River Region to focus on advocating for the needs of at-risk and underserved youth. Volunteers will also mentor youth, helping them increase their level of connectivity with community and family, improve educational outcomes, and reach stable placements.
“For the 2nd year in a row, Kentucky has had the highest number of child abuse and neglect cases in the country. In the last few months, many children have been isolated from teachers, counselors, and friends who are traditional reporters of abuse. With COVID-19, some children have been sheltering at home with their abuser,” said William Myers, CEO of CASA of the River Region. “We expect a rise in cases as things begin to open again. There will be a need for volunteers to be a friend, mentor, and advocate to children who have experienced trauma.”
The federal grant funds distributed through National CASA/GAL are provided by the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention, US Department of Justice, as authorized under the Victims of Child Abuse Act of 1990. In 2019, National CASA/GAL was awarded nearly $7 million in federal grants.
CASA of the River Region (CASA) is the only nonprofit allowed in the closed-circuit Family Court System whose services are appointed by a Family Court Judge. CASA trains community volunteers to be a friend, mentor, and advocate to children who have suffered abuse/neglect. CASA volunteers ensure children are in a safe home, achieve academic success and receive medical/therapeutic services to overcome trauma. In 2019, CASA served 619 children with 235 volunteers. Despite this success, there are 150 children were waiting for a CASA volunteer. To learn more, join us at a CASA 101 Information Session, www.casarr.org/casa101.