Special Advocate Case Study

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As representatives of the Legislative Committee for Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) programs across the Commonwealth, we wanted to take a moment and recognize our appreciation of you and your staff for the ongoing support and partnership DCJS has provided to local CASA programs over the last 25 years.
2015 recognizes incredible service accomplishments for local CASA programs in Virginia, one being, thirty years ago, CASA became a voice to children impacted by abuse and neglect. Safety and permanency for children were the goals then and remain the goals now. Communities committed to this model. Judges, representatives from the General Assembly, and DCJS recognized the potential within this unique public–private partnership and
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CASA programs offer unique workforce, a private/public partnership, which proffers an extraordinary return on the state’s financial investment. This is not your average run of the mill volunteer opportunity. CASAs change lives. They hold true to their appointed duties until children are safe and achieve permanency.
Engaging in an exercise to assess the average costs incurred by CASA programs to meet the requirement of state’s regulations and national standards, calculations showed programs needed a minimum of $133,335 in revenues to operate a CASA programs in Virginia. These calculations account for programs hiring two staff members to supervising 45 volunteers, and serving, on average 90 children per year. Regulations and national standards have direct costs correlated to specific requirements including: program management and oversight, human resource management, recordkeeping and monitoring, volunteer management, financial, facility and risk management, and national affiliation. Within these operative categories, specific line item costs, including salaries, benefits, CASA Manager, telecommunications, background checks, training costs (board/volunteers – (new and on-going)), rent, utilities, agency financial audits and national dues were used to minimally establish this average program cost. The $133,335 is a minimum base calculation
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Therefore, we request the department consider our request and include $1,615,000 for CASA within their proposed budget to the Governor. This would allow for a $40,000 base per program and a per child additional allocation to accommodate to the diversity in program service needs.
CASA volunteers provide a consistent presence and a voice in court for these children, helping to ensure the best possible outcome for their future. CASA volunteers provide victims with a fighting chance to thrive during one of the most vulnerable times in their young lives by giving them a voice, ending the cycle of violence and working to place them in safe, permanent homes.

On behalf of CASA programs across the Commonwealth, thank you for the role you play in inspiring and supporting Virginia toward healthy lives and strong and resilient families. Additionally, know how valued we feel as the department staff has been hard at work in organizing and coordinating the upcoming anniversary celebration and reception for CASA. We can’t wait to be a part of the
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