FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Liz McGregor
CASA Program Director
111 Market Street
Johnstown, PA 15901
Cambria/Somerset CASA- Beginnings Inc. receives national grant to raise awareness of Cambria and Somerset Counties’ most vulnerable children
– January 6, 2020 – Cambria/Somerset CASA- Beginnings Inc. has been awarded a $10,000 Recruitment and Awareness grant from the National Court Appointed Special Advocate/Guardian ad Litem (CASA/GAL) Association for Children. Funds will be used to tailor a national public awareness campaign about child abuse and neglect for local markets, and to distribute the campaign.
There are nearly 950 CASA/GAL programs nationwide, including 45 state offices, that recruit, train and support volunteers who advocate in court for the best interests of children who have experienced abuse or neglect. Their advocacy enables judges to make the most well-informed decisions for each child.
National CASA/GAL has developed a broad-based national campaign, “Change a Child’s StoryTM.” It is distinguished from other campaigns in that its messaging is told from the point of view of children who have experienced abuse or neglect. The campaign shows the importance to these children of having a volunteer by their side to advocate for their best interests.
“These are the most vulnerable children in our community. They need someone to stand up and advocate for their best interest; this grant will allow the CASA program to recruit more volunteers to advocate in court for the innocent children of our community,” said Liz McGregor CASA Program Director of Cambria/Somerset CASA-Beginnings Inc.
The “Change a Child’s StoryTM campaign was developed with R&R Partners, a cause-driven marketing and advocacy agency that has worked on prominent social issues campaigns. R&R Partners conducted focus groups across the country to ensure the campaign would resonate with target audiences while being sensitive to the perceptions of those with experience growing up in foster care.
The federal grant funds distributed through National CASA/GAL are provided by the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention, US Department of Justice, as authorized under the Victims of Child Abuse Act of 1990. In 2019, National CASA was awarded nearly $10.7 million in federal grants.
About Cambria/Somerset CASA-Beginnings Inc.
The Cambria/Somerset CASA program has been serving the abused/neglected children of our community for over 20 years, serving over 700 children to date. The program works to recruit and train volunteers to become Court Appointed Special Advocates and serve as the “eyes and ears” of the court ensuring that the best interest of the child is served. All CASA volunteers must complete a total of 30 hours of training in order to be sworn in as a CASA volunteer. Once sworn in as a CASA volunteer they spend, on average, 10 hours a month working their CASA case. The CASA program is actively recruiting volunteers to be a part of their spring volunteer training class scheduled to start on April 15th, 2020. Please contact the CASA Advocate Supervisor Tyler Smay at 814-539-1919 or firstname.lastname@example.org to learn more about becoming a CASA volunteer.