OUR GOAL IS TO SERVE 100% OF KIDS WHO NEED A COURT APPOINTED SPECIAL ADVOCATE BY 2020
Our dream is that there are no longer children who suffer abuse and neglect. Our dream includes every child having a safe and permanent home from the day they are born. Unfortunately, we are a long way from that dream becoming a reality. On January 12, 2015 there were 2,915 children placed in out of home care because they had been abused or neglected and it was not safe for them to remain in their homes. 2,000 of those children did not have a CASA volunteer. Over the past four years we have made incredible strides toward providing a CASA volunteer for every child. In 2014 there were 366 more CASA volunteers serving children than 2010. In 2014 CASA served 388 more abused and neglected children than in 2010. Our 22 local programs now serve 38 counties. We are still growing. Through partnerships with already established local non-profit agencies, we are establishing cost effective multi-county programs. Local CASA programs who are serving kids plan to expand into additional counties saving money by sharing costs. We could not do this without the CASA Fund. The CASA Fund was established by the Nebraska Legislature to provide grants to local CASA programs. This year we are asking the Nebraska Legislature to continue and increase that funding.
Legislative Bill 229 introduced by Senator Dan Watermeier and co-sponsored by Senator Jeremy Nordquist would continue state funding for CASA programs and increase it. This is a huge step for CASA. These funds plus local fundraising dollars allow continued training and support to our volunteers. These funds allowed us to serve 1,546 children last year – while in 2010 we served 1,158.
To talk with your state senator about CASA, you can find them at http://nebraskalegislature.gov/senators/senator_find.php. Simply type your address into the system and it will give you your State Senator's contact information.