CASA of the Heartland in Elizabethtown recently was awarded a $20,000 Local Rural Grant from the National Court Appointed Special Advocate Association.
Grant money will be used to recruit, screen and train more CASA volunteers to serve children who experienced abuse or neglect, according to a news release.
CASA of the Heartland is one of almost 1,000 CASA and Guardian ad Litem programs across the country that recruit, train and support 87,000 volunteers who help ensure that children who have entered the court and child welfare systems receive appropriate services, have a voice in determining their futures and, ultimately, find a safe, permanent home where they can thrive, according to the release.
A child enters the foster care system every two minutes, and currently not enough CASA and GAL volunteers exist to serve every child. On average, for every child assigned a best-interest volunteer, two others go it alone.
“The needs of Hardin County’s children coming into care are more complicated than ever before, and life in foster care can be chaotic,” said CASA of the Heartland Executive Director Debbie Smith. “Every child deserves the support of a caring, consistent adult with the training to help her or him heal and thrive.”
The federal grant distributed through the National CASA Association is provided by the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention, U.S. Department of Justice, as authorized under the Victims of Child Abuse Act of 1990. They are awarded through a competitive process. In 2017, National CASA awarded more than $4.6 million in federal grants.
CASA of the Heartland is holding its next volunteer training Jan. 22.
For more information about becoming a best-interest volunteer or other ways to be involved, contact CASA of the Heartland at 270-982-2274 or CASAstaff@casaheartland.org
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