Building Bigger

Effective Advocacy for CASA Children

Advocating for children in DeKalb County who have experienced abuse or neglect.

CASA DeKalb County is the only organization in DeKalb County that is appointed as the guardian ad litem (GAL) to 100% of children in DeKalb County who have experienced abuse or neglect and are involved in the juvenile court system through no fault of their own. As the GAL, CASA provides highly trained volunteers to administer effective advocacy for these children by being the eyes and ears of the judge outside of the courtroom and the voice for the child's best interests inside of the court room. Currently, CASA has 45 volunteers and is appointed to 94 sibling groups (169 children total). Of the 94 sibling groups, 45 do not have a volunteer and are being served by staff, a ratio of 1 supervisor for every 15 sibling groups. As CASA’s caseload increases, CASA’s goal is to recruit enough volunteers to attain a 1:1 volunteer to sibling group ratio. Having a CASA volunteer - a caring, consistent adult who puts the child's best interests before all others' - makes all the difference.

The funding would help CASA recruit enough volunteers to help effectively advocate for 100% of children in our community who have experienced abuse or neglect and are involved in the court system through no fault of their own. CASA utilizes members from the community as volunteers to be the voice of the children that CASA is appointed to by the court. The $25,000 grant will enable our program to focus on recruiting volunteers to help attain our goal of a 1:1 volunteer to sibling group ratio. Recruitment costs include staff support, training efforts and the cost of recruitment materials, including community-wide presentation costs and marketing materials like print ads, radio spots, social media ads and billboards. According to National CASA, children with a CASA volunteer are more likely to find a safe, permanent home, succeed in school, and they are half as likely to re-enter the foster care system. This funding would greatly impact the lives of children in DeKalb County.

Fostering the next generation is vital to our community's success in the future. Often, CASA volunteers are the only stable and consistent adult in a child’s life. CASA serves children from birth to age 18. In addition to speaking on behalf of the child’s best interests in court, CASA volunteers are also positive role models for these children, making a lifelong impact on their lives. National CASA states that children assigned a CASA volunteer report significantly higher levels of hope. A child’s hope has been linked to numerous positive outcomes such as academic success, overall wellbeing, increased self-control, positive social relationships and optimism. The $25,000 grant means more CASA volunteers to serve children in DeKalb County, leading to more children whose lives are positively impacted, making for a better future and a healthier community overall.