2017-07-19 / School News

CASA of the Eastern Panhandle receives National Grant

CASA of the Eastern Panhandle, INC. has been awarded an $18,500 Youth Advocacy Renewal grant from the National Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) Association. Funds will be used to help more abused or neglected children in Berkeley, Jefferson and Morgan counties benefit from the services of a CASA volunteer.

CASA of the Eastern Panhandle is one of almost 1,000 CASA and Guardian ad Litem (GAL) programs across the country that recruit, train and support 76,000 volunteers who help ensure that children who have been removed from their parents’ care receive appropriate services, have a voice in determining their futures and, ultimately, find a safe, permanent home where they can thrive.

A child enters the foster care system every two minutes, and currently there are not enough CASA volunteers to serve every child. On average, for every child assigned a CASA volunteer, two others go it alone. “The needs of the Eastern Panhandle’s children coming into care are more complicated than ever before, and life in foster care can be chaotic,” said Vicki L. Barnard, Executive Director. “Every child deserves the support of a caring, consistent adult with the proper training to help her or him, heal, thrive and transition successfully into adulthood.”

The federal grant funds distributed through National CASA are 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 2016, National CASA awarded over $4.4 million in federal grants.

CASA of the Eastern Panhandle is holding its next volunteer training on September 6. For more information about becoming a CASA volunteer or other ways to get involved in changing a child’s life, contact Shawn A. Valentine, CASA-EP Director of Programs at 304-263-5100.

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