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National CASA/GAL Conference Registration Open

Join more than 1,000 of your colleagues at the upcoming National CASA/GAL Conference taking place March 11 - 14, 2017 in Seattle, WA. Our work together throughout the past four decades to build a network of nearly 1,000 programs supporting 77,000 advocates has inspired this year's conference theme -- Building Brighter Futures for America's Abused and Neglected Children.

More than 100 workshops, institutes and planning sessions are being curated for this year's conference, with input from National CASA's State, Urban, Rural, Suburban and Tribal leadership councils, the Conference Planning Committee, Washington state office and the state's network of programs. Session tracks have been created for CASA/GAL staff, volunteer advocates, attorneys and judges. This conference will also host the roll-out of the revised pre-service training curriculum for volunteers and pre-conference institutes that will train facilitators utilizing the revised curriculum.

Check out the different session descriptions and tracks posted to the conference agenda.

Turn November Green for National Runaway Prevention Month 

Between 1.6 and 2.8 million youth run away each year. Together, that’s equal to the population of the fifth largest city in the United States. These numbers are unacceptable, particularly when we consider the fact that many of these young people will end up on the streets.

Young people who have been in foster care are three to 10 times more likely than their peers to experience homelessness. 

These are not bad kids; they are good kids in bad situations. By supporting National Runaway Prevention Month (NRPM), you are showing America’s runaway and homeless youth that they are not invisible and they are not alone. 
Wednesday, November 9th is ‘Wear Green’ Day. This is a fun and easy way to get people to learn more about NRPM. For added impact, take a photo of your group wearing green and post it to social media with the hashtag #NRPM2016. Tag NRS and we will share your photo! NRPM is symbolized by the color green, and is spearheaded by the National Runaway Safeline (NRS). Read more.

Order Holiday Cards to Support Our Work on Behalf of Abused and Neglected Children

Support the mission of National CASA this holiday season by purchasing low-cost, business-quality Holiday Cards! Throughout the years, ALL-STATE LEGAL (ASL) has donated more than $181,400 in proceeds to National Holiday Card Program 2016CASA through its beautiful “Caring for Kids” holiday card program. 

Order holiday cards by November 23, 2016, and receive 50% off your order. Choose from eight different designs with options for personalization and customization. Prices include blank matching gummed envelopes.

Invite your friends, family and co-workers to order holiday cards from ASL and support National CASA. Download ordering information today.

GreatNonprofits Recognizes National CASA as a 2016 Top-Rated Nonprofit

Thanks to positive reviews by CASA and GAL volunteers around the country, the National CASA Association has been named a 2016 Top-Rated Nonprofit by GreatNonprofits.org. The awards have been in existence since 2009. The honor is equivalent to the people’s choice award for non-profits, where volunteers, donors and people served by a nonprofit organization can cast their vote in the form of a review to express their appreciation. Read more.

Advocate Helps Foster Youth Find Safe Housing

Former foster youth Nick Sullivan moved into his 580 square-foot apartment a little over a year ago. He says it’s the first place that has felt like home since he entered the system at age six.


A big part of a CASA volunteer’s job is making sure kids have safe housing. In Nick’s case, he spent half his life in a group home. But a year and half ago, Chris Unruh, Nick’s, facilitated him getting his own apartment through a supportive housing nonprofit.          

After seven years, the two remain closely connected. They still go out to lunch and catch up once a month. Take a minute to listen to how Chris helped Nick when he aged out of the foster care system.

October is National Prevent Bullying Month

This month, thousands of schools, communities, organizations, and individuals will come together to release new resources, campaigns, and efforts aimed at raising awareness for bullying prevention. Students, parents, and people around the country need to become more aware of the serious consequences of bullying.

For children involved in the child welfare system, bullying and teasing may be not only a more prevalent, constant, and serious problem, but they may have fewer supports available to help them deal with these issues. Read more.

Donate That Idle Vehicle to Benefit National CASA

Instead of selling, trading-in, or storing your unused vehicle, you can donate it to further the mission of National CASA Association with the assistance of the Vehicle Donation to Any Charity program (V-DAC). V-DAC converts unwanted vehicles of almost any kind into cash.

Just visit the V-DAC website and follow the easy instructions in the donation wizard or call toll free at 877.999.8322. V-DAC will take care of it all.

The V-DAC program has an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau (BBB). If you have any questions, visit the V-DAC website to review a list of their frequently asked questions and complete responses. 

National CASA Announces Re-Election of Bill Collins as Board Chair, New Executive Committee Appointments

At the most recent meeting of the National CASA Board of Trustees during the 35th annual CASA/GAL conference in National Harbor, Maryland, Bill Collins began his second two-year term as Board Chair, having been reelected by the Board to serve the second term. A Trustee since 2009 and Board Chair since 2014, Collins has been at the forefront of a major transformational change initiative at the National CASA Association. During his time as Board Chair, National CASA’s Board of Trustees has added former U.S. Senator Mary Landrieu and Casey Family Programs President and CEO Dr. William Bell as Trustees. Collins also led the appointment of Tara Perry as Chief Executive Officer of National CASA.

The National CASA Association Board of Trustees also recently elected new Executive Committee members to serve a two-year term. The new Executive Committee members and their offices are as follows:

  • Bill Collins, Board Chair
  • Pat Bresee, Vice Chair
  • Bob Culak, Treasurer
  • Britt Banks, Secretary
  • Mary Landrieu, Executive Committee Member-at-Large
  • Don Gimbel, Executive Committee Member-at-Large

See here for a full list of National CASA trustees. Read more.


Million-Dollar Commitment from Kappa Alpha Theta Foundation Lays Groundwork to Improve Outcomes for Vulnerable Children

On June 28, Kappa Alpha Theta Fraternity announced that the organization's Foundation will to raise an unprecedented $1 million over the next three years to support the National CASA Association in its launch of a rigorous performance measurement initiative. National CASA was presented an initial $200,000 gift at Kappa Alpha Theta's Grand Convention in Phoenix, Arizona, on June 25th.

This groundbreaking investment expands the 26-year partnership between Theta and CASA and sets National CASA on the path to becoming an evidence-based practice and generating new evidence-based knowledge about outcomes for youth in foster care and in the court system. Read more.

Toy Industry Foundation and CASA Team Up to Bring Toy Packages to Kids in Need

Thousands of foster children throughout Southern California will enjoy the magic and joy of play, thanks to the generous support of more than 50 participating toy companies and 250 local toy industry volunteers brought together on June 16 by the Toy Industry Foundation (TIF) and National CASA at TIF's annual "Play Your Part" event in Los Angeles.

Volunteers from toy companies -- including Bandai, Educational Insights, Funrise, JAKKS Pacific, Mattel, Spin Master and The Walt Disney Company -- helped to sort, wrap and pack toys for 25,000 foster care children in Southern California and seven additional states.
Read more

Setting Her Sights: Meet One Remarkable Student Ready to Make her Mark on the World after Graduation

When she was growing up, it might have seemed unlikely that Allison Gilbreath would one day earn a Master of Social Work degree from Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU).

Life was not always easy for Gilbreath as a youth she witnessed members of her family struggle with drug addiction and was overwhelmed within the social services system. She was angry about how children were treated as a number and not a person, until she came into contact with a volunteer from the local CASA program. One day, she decided, she would become a CASA volunteer herself. She has accomplished that goal and has now set her sights on changing the whole system from the inside out. Read more.

Mashable Article Encourages Readers to Become a CASA Volunteer

Mashable, social media's "one stop shop" for the latest in business, tech, entertainment and world news, featured a story about the foster care system in June entitled 6 problems with the foster care system and what you can do to help. This informative piece encourages people who are looking to make a difference to volunteer to become a Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA). Read more.         

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