WE NEED YOUR HELP!
CASA of the Parkland has been chosen as a top 200 finalist for the State Farm Neighborhood Assist Grant.
You can help by simply voting for CASA of the Parkland from September 23rd - October 2nd. You must be 18 years or older and can vote 10 TIMES PER DAY for CASA OF THE PARKLAND!!
So please get your friends, family, coworkers, neighbors — and anyone else you can think of to vote for CASA of the Parkland to receive $25,000.
The top 40 organizations that have the most votes will receive the grant.
Train community volunteers to assist the courts in advocating for abused and neglect children.
Our 24th Judicial Circuit has an average of 550 children in foster care on any given day which ranks 4th highest in our State, it has only three pro bono guardian ad litem attorneys to represent ALL of the children, and it currently ranks 7th out of 45 in our state for the longest length of stay in foster care. Our caseworkers carry an average caseload of 24 kids — they should average 15. Four positions were just cut due to COVID funding cuts. There is also a high turnover of caseworkers, so children lack consistency. CASA Volunteers provide a consistent caring adult to have a direct, positive effect on children in foster care and our community. As a 5-month-old program, our 15 volunteers will be a huge asset to the individual children in foster care since they are assigned a single case to advocate for in court. The judges and attorneys have already discussed cases they would like assigned to CASA and we are planning our next volunteer training class for the Fall.
The average cost to train a CASA volunteer to advocate for one case (one child or sibling group) is $250, so the $25,000 would provide at least 100 CASA Volunteers for our community. CASA will stay with the child to assist the court in finding a safe permanent home. CASA’s visit the child a minimum of one time a month, they learn about all aspects of the child’s life and always advocate for their best interest because they know them. As a new organization, COVID has made fundraising difficult. We have not been able to have the face to face meetings to educate our community regarding the positive impact CASA will make. Many community events have been cancelled. Budgets are also tighter and many funders are helping organizations they helped in the past because many nonprofits are hurting. We lost several grant opportunities because instead of giving a little to everyone the funders decided to give more to those they already knew.
From the completion of our first group of volunteers we have had an explosion of community interest in volunteering. CASAs in our area will change the trajectory of children and families in foster care which directly effects our community. CASA has been shown to save communities money and resources with the services they offer. Children with a CASA spend less time in foster care, are half as likely to reenter foster care and are more likely to do well in school. Children with a CASA receive more services. Children who are aging out are more likely to have someone who will “foster their future”. CASA creates lasting connections and impacts in their communities because they are directly impacting the kids and families who are apart of them by creating dependable relationships in the system children are involved. This grant would give us solid footing for our future and allow us to show our community how we advocate for children in foster care by getting more volunteers trained.
To learn why we were chosen as a top 200 finalist, please read below.