Search

Washington State CASA 

Description

Founded in 1988 and working with an annual budget of $749,930, we support a statewide network of 33 county-affiliated, non-profit, and tribal programs - including King County Dependency CASA. Our focus aligns with our four main goals: awareness raising – volunteer recruitment and raising awareness of the needs of foster children, training – core training to new CASA volunteers and ongoing education to experienced CASAs and local program staff, advocacy – communicating with our legislative partners on the importance and necessity of CASA programs, and capacity building/technical support – providing data collection, program development, support for National CASA quality assurance standards, and resource development for local programs.

Mission Statement
Our mission is to ensure that all dependent children in Washington State who need CASAs have them by promoting, supporting, and developing CASA programs in Washington.
Donate Now
Washington State CASA
PO Box 19209 
Seattle 
WA
98101 
(206) 667-9716 

Ryan Murrey 
Acting Executive Director 

Programs

Washington State CASA Programs

Awareness Raising
We staff information tables, speak at community events, and use social media to share information about the needs of foster children and invite community members to become CASA volunteers. Through our website, we gather potential volunteer requests and forward them to the appropriate local program.

Training
We provide thirty-hour core training sessions for new CASA volunteers so they are eligible to be certified by judges and assigned as advocates for foster children. As continuing education for CASAs, we offer Educational Advocacy classes and Child Safety Framework training for CASA volunteers. We also host our annual conference that offers 75 sessions of continuing education for program staff and CASA volunteers.

Advocacy
We spearhead Advocacy Day to connect local programs with legislators and advocate for foster children’s needs. We also attend monthly Child Welfare Advisory Committee meetings to discuss legislation and share information about issues related to foster youth across the state.

Capacity Building
We assist local programs in collecting a core data set as a basis to ensure program quality. In other support, we provide Title IV-E Training to help local programs apply for federal matching funds for child welfare activities, offer Flex Learning (non-classroom training) to volunteers who cannot attend in-person, and assist local programs with National CASA accreditation and standards compliance.

Recent Successes and Current Challenges

As part of our initiative to use data to evaluate the effectiveness of CASAs in dependency cases, we formed an Outcomes Working Group to define the core data set programs collect and analyze to articulate the effectiveness of CASA intervention. Lessons learned from this year’s meetings have helped inform and identify current program needs and provide groundwork for future evaluations and program development. Through the work of the OWG, local programs have been able to shape data tracking through the lens of their first-hand experience working with CASAs and children.

Our main challenge remains supporting local programs by recruiting and training enough CASAs so that the all children in dependency who want a CASA have one. According to Kidscount, during 2011, Washington State had 9,922 children in foster care, and that number remains consistent today. Currently, 2,300 CASA volunteers are serving 6,874 children. The remaining 3,048 children, most of whom are adolescents, navigate the labyrinth of state foster care on their own, or with paid guardians ad litem, each of whom represents approximately 100 children. Our goal is to close this gap by 2020, if not sooner.

Evaluation


Washington State CASA protects the well-being of foster children by promoting, supporting, and developing CASA programs in Washington.

Proven Success
They support a statewide network of 33 county-administered, nonprofit and tribal programs that provide trained, caring adults who advocate for the best interests of abused and neglected children while they negotiate the complexity of dependency court as foster children.

Use of Best Practices
In collaboration with the CASA programs around the state, Washington State CASA works to raise awareness, train CASA volunteers, spearhead advocacy, and offer capacity building/technical assistance to local staff.

They created an Outcomes Working Group of representatives from local programs that is defining the core data set programs collect and analyze to articulate the effectiveness of CASA interventions.

Financial Health
They continue to try and diversify their funding sources. They purchased a fundraising database, Raisers Edge, to support their fundraising efforts and track the data they are collecting related to their outcomes.

Washington State CASA will celebrate its 25th anniversary in 2013 and are planning for a signature event to mark this anniversary and hopefully attract new donors to support the CASA programs throughout the state.

Grant History with The Seattle Foundation:

Grants Awarded through The Seattle Foundation Grantmaking Program:

DateAmountPurpose
There are no recent grants awarded to this organization.

Financials

Similar Organizations

Give broadly to Basic Needs
If you care about preventing homelessness, increasing affordable housing, and ensuring access to nutritious food, then make a difference by giving to the Grantmaking Program.
Questions or comments about this organization?
Contact us to learn more.