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Leading U.S. Child Welfare Expert Dr. William C. Bell Elected to National Court Appointed Special Advocate Association Board of Trustees

Casey Family Programs CEO to Advise National CASA Organization on Growth Strategy and Improving Advocacy for Abused or Neglected Children

SEATTLE, WA - The National Court Appointed Special Advocate Association (National CASA) today announced the unanimous election of Dr. William C. Bell, president and chief executive officer (CEO) of Casey Family Programs, to the National CASA Board of Trustees. Dr. Bell brings more than 35 years of experience in human services and child welfare to the National CASA Association, a nationwide network of nearly 1,000 CASA and Guardian Ad Litem (GAL) programs that supports and promotes court-appointed volunteer advocacy on behalf of abused or neglected children.
"Dr. Bell is one of the world's foremost experts on at-risk youth, child abuse, neglect and trauma. National CASA is honored to welcome Dr. Bell as a trustee to our board," said Board Chair Bill Collins. "He will add tremendous value to National CASA as we work toward a world where every abused or neglected child has a caring, consistent adult to advocate for his or her well-being and is given the opportunity to thrive in a safe and loving home."

With assets totaling more than $2.2 billion, Casey Family Programs is the nation's largest operating foundation focused on safely reducing the need for foster care and building Communities of Hope for children and families across America.

Prior to serving as president and CEO of Casey Family Programs, Dr. Bell 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.

Dr. Bell previously served as commissioner of the New York City Administration for Children's Services (ACS), where he managed child welfare services, including child protection, foster care, child abuse prevention, day care and Head Start. In that role, he managed a staff of more than 7,000 and a budget of about $2.4 billion. Under his leadership, foster care admissions decreased significantly, more children were placed with their families safely and more adoptions were completed.

"I'm honored to join the board of National CASA and support its important work of building hope and opportunities for our nation's most vulnerable citizens," said Dr. Bell. "This incredible community- based network of people works every day to elevate the best interests of children and their families during some of the most challenging times in their lives. Through this work, CASA plays a critical role in shaping the conversation around how we as a nation can best support the safety and success of all of our children and families."

Dr. Bell has been a member of the American Bar Association's Commission on Youth at Risk, the Pew Commission on Children in Foster Care, and the executive committee of the National Association of Public Child Welfare Administrators. He serves on a number of boards and has received numerous awards and accolades for his achievements on behalf of abused or neglected children.

"National CASA Association is taking steps to elevate its voice in the national conversation on issues that impact abused or neglected children across the country," said National CASA CEO Tara Perry. "Dr. Bell's appointment to the board demonstrates National CASA's governance strategy to assemble a nationally-recognized team of passionate experts to help change the child welfare system."

About the National CASA Association
The mission of the National Court Appointed Special Advocate Association, together with its state and local member programs, supports and promotes court-appointed volunteer advocacy so every abused or neglected child in the United States can be safe, have a permanent home and the opportunity to thrive. Today, more than 76,000 CASA and GAL volunteers serve more than 251,000 children, but approximately 400,000 children are without an advocate. National CASA Association is working in partnership with its state and local programs in 49 states to close that gap to ensure the highest quality advocacy on behalf of America's most vulnerable children. Visit casaforchildren.org to learn 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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