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Senators Shelby and Isakson, and U.S. Representative Bass Receive 2016 Children’s Champion in Congress Award

The National Court Appointed Special Advocate Association honors three members of congress for their
outstanding support for abused and neglected children across the country

WASHINGTON, DC—More than 200 members of the National Court Appointed Special Advocate Association (National CASA) today awarded U.S. Senators Richard Shelby (R-AL) and Johnny Isakson (R-GA), and U.S. Representative Karen Bass (D-CA-37) with the 2016 Children’s Champion in Congress Award for their leadership on behalf of abused and neglected children nationwide. Representatives of the National CASA Association were on Capitol Hill for “CASA Meets Congress,” to raise awareness of National CASA’s nationwide network of nearly 1,000 CASA and guardian ad litem (GAL) programs that support and promote court-appointed volunteer advocacy on behalf of America’s most vulnerable children.

“There aren’t special interest groups or super PACs on Capitol Hill promoting the rights and interests of the abused and neglected children that CASA/GAL programs serve,” said recently appointed National CASA Chief Executive Officer Tara Perry. “We are proud to partner with these dedicated members of Congress in speaking up for children who have experienced unspeakable trauma and tragedy. With their support, we are working to ensure that these children will have the opportunity to thrive in a safe, permanent home.”

With the support of these three champions, National CASA secured $9 million in federal funding, a $3 million increase over the previous fiscal year. Senator Shelby fought for the increase, as Chairman of the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Commerce, Justice, Science, and Related Agencies. His support for additional resources from the Crime Victims Fund connects child victims of abuse and neglect with critical services to help them heal and thrive.

Senator Isakson has been a longtime champion of CASA’s mission, dating back to his time as a member of Georgia’s General Assembly. He often talks about the importance of a caring adult in the lives of children and encourages people to advocate at all levels including as a CASA volunteer or supporter. Representative Bass is the founder and co-chair of the Congressional Caucus on Foster Youth, and weeks earlier, she brought 90 foster youth to the Hill to shadow members of Congress to share their stories in between meetings and hearings.

Children who have spent time in foster care are less likely to graduate from high school, more likely to be trafficked, and they experience higher rates of incarceration and homelessness as they enter adulthood. Citizen advocates, known across the country as CASA and GAL volunteers have proven to be game-changers for these at-risk youth—making it more likely that they will succeed in school and have a shorter road to a safe, permanent home.

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.

The US Department of Justice has supported CASA advocacy since 1985 through its Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention.
This Web site is funded in part through a grant from the Office of Juvenile Justice and Deliquency Prevention, Office of Justice Programs, US Department of Justice. Neither the US Department of Justice nor any of its components operate, control, are responsible for, or necessarily endorse, this Web site (including, without limitation, its content, technical infrastructure, and policies, and any services or tools provided).