Court Appointed Special Advocates turned to community for help after learning federal grant would not be renewed
VANCOUVER — Notified last summer that a major federal grant would not be renewed, Clark County CASA — Court Appointed Special Advocates — turned to its community for help.
CASA, a program of YWCA Clark County, needed to fill a funding gap that represented 20 percent of its budget when its federal Victims of Criminal Act’s (VOCA) grant was not renewed for the fiscal 2019/2020 year.
CASA appealed to the local community, to National CASA, and to Clark County authorities for support in its restructuring initiative. Their six-month campaign, which closed Dec. 31, got results:
- $60,000 was raised through community support in individual and corporate donations.
- $58,000 was contributed by National CASA focused on volunteer recruitment.
- $128,000 was approved by the Clark County Council to be added to the 2020 contract for CASA services.
The VOCA grant funded staff positions whose role, in part, was to advocate for children who came into the care of the state. “The national model, based on extensive research, builds the advocacy teams around volunteers rather than staff members,” said Sheryl Thierry, CASA program director. These additional funds place CASA in a solid position for recruiting the volunteers needed to advocate for abused and neglected children. Last year, CASA represented 760 such children. CASA’s goal is to grow its volunteer base from 130 to 200 advocates.
“We are so grateful for the generosity demonstrated by all our partners as we take this organization to a new level of advocacy for children,” said Thierry. “CASA program staff and volunteers work tirelessly in their advocacy for abused and neglected children in our community. The recognition of their hard work, and the importance of CASA’s role in the dependency process, is greatly appreciated.”
To volunteer with CASA, visit the CASA website at casaclarkcounty.org, or contact Sheryl Thierry at (360) 906-9141.
YWCA Clark County is on a mission to eliminate racism, empower women and promote peace, justice, freedom and dignity for all. In Clark County, YWCA began as a lunch counter for working women in 1916. Today, the organization serves more than 12,000 people each year who are escaping domestic violence, sexual assault, child abuse and neglect, and youth in foster care.
For more information about YWCA Clark County, please visit www.ywcaclarkcounty.org.
Information provided by YWCA Clark County.