In these tough financial times, a term that is used more frequently is “evidence-based practices.” What this concept means is that in working with clients in a human service environment, we need to use strategies that improve the outcomes of our clients’ lives. Here are some of the “key outcome data on CASA programs.”
1. CASA-represented children spend substantially less time in long-term foster care. The national average is that CASA-represented children spend up to eight months less time in foster care.
2. Children with CASA volunteers display better academic adjustment as these children have better grades, less disciplinary problems, and are less likely to be expelled.
3. In a survey conducted with Family Court judges, they rated the efficiency of CASA volunteers more highly than attorneys.
4. A child with a CASA volunteer is more likely to find a safe, permanent living arrangement, as these children are more likely to be adopted, half as likely to re-enter the foster care system, and more likely to have a permanency plan.
These facts and more can be found on the National CASA website. As a board member of the 15th Judicial CASA program, I have seen these statistics at work in our local courts. We are fortunate to have very dedicated staff and volunteers who commit hours of their time to protect the rights of our clients.
CASA — 15th Judicial Circuit Board of Directors
From the Sept. 7-13, 2011, issue