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News & Events

Dr. William C. Bell Elected to National CASA Association Board of Trustees

National CASA Association is pleased to announce the election of Dr. William Bell to its board of trustees. Dr. Bell brings more than 35 years of experience in the human services field. Prior to becoming president and CEO of Casey Family Programs, he served as the foundation’s executive vice president for child and family services, providing strategic direction to nine field offices and leading a staff working directly with children and families in the public child welfare system. Prior to joining Casey Family Programs, Dr. Bell served as commissioner of the New York City Administration for Children’s Services (ACS), where he managed a staff of more than 7,000 and a budget of approximately $2.4 billion. He serves on a number of boards and commissions and has received numerous awards and accolades for his achievements on behalf of abused or neglected children. You can read more about Dr. Bell’s background here.

Tara Perry Appointed Chief Executive Officer of National CASA Association

The National CASA Association Board of Trustees has appointed Tara Para as its Chief Executive Officer. Tara joined the National CASA Association in 2013—first as Chief Strategy Officer and then as Deputy CEO, Chief Operating Officer and Interim CEO. She has made important progress in several areas critical to achieving the Association’s mission, including strategy development and performance measurement. Perry developed and launched the National CASA Association National Strategic Framework to strengthen the network at the national, state and local levels. She transformed National CASA Association’s model of service to improve partnerships with state organizations and enhance support to local programs. She laid the foundation for the CASA/GAL model to become evidence-based by focusing on research, planning and analysis.

“This is a tremendous step forward for National CASA and for the CASA/GAL network,” said Bill Collins, National CASA Association Board of Trustees Chair. “The board chose Tara because she is without question the right leader to execute the National CASA Association Strategic Framework and set our network on the path of serving every child in need of a CASA/GAL volunteer. Read more about Tara’s background by viewing yesterday’s news release.

 First Akerman Academic Excellence Scholarship Awarded

Established through an endowment by Akerman LLP, the Akerman Academic Excellence Scholarship was created to help young adults who have spent time in foster care achieve a post-secondary education.

The inaugural scholarship was awarded yesterday to Katherinne Peraza at the 35th annual CASA/GAL Conference at the Gaylord National Resort in National Harbor, Maryland. A victim of abuse and neglect, Katherinne was placed in care at eight years old. Despite those hardships and numerous placements, Katherinne endured and has been an honor student since middle school, achieving a 4.0 for two consecutive years.

Katherinne was recommended for the scholarship by her GAL advocate, Mark Bass of Child Advocates of Indianapolis, Indiana. She has received advocacy from their program for more than ten years. Katherinne will be attending Indiana University Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI) in the fall of 2016. Congratulations, Katherinne!

 June is National Reunification Month

June is designated as National Reunification Month in recognition of the most common and desirable outcome for children removed from their homes and placed in foster care. Every year, hundreds of thousands of children are successfully reunified with their families. Reunification takes work, commitment, and investment of time and resources by parents, family members, social workers, attorneys, courts, CASA/GAL volunteers and the community.

Celebrating reunification enables communities to:
  • Celebrate the accomplishments of families who have overcome an array of challenges to reunify safely and successfully.
  • Recognize the vital role that community partners – including mental health and substance abuse providers, courts and judges, CASA/GAL volunteers, foster parents and others – play in helping to reunify, strengthen and support families.
  • Inspire other parents – particularly those going through the recovery process – that it is possible to confront and resolve the issues that led to their separation, and to reunify with their children.

The US Department of Justice has supported CASA advocacy since 1985 through its Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention.
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