CASA Effectiveness Manual

The purpose of this manual is to provide CASA programs with an easy to use system for tracking information necessary to evaluate the effectiveness of programs.

Emphasis is placed on how to write and measure goals related to child-outcomes. The manual includes easy to follow definitions, instructions, tracking forms and sample surveys.

The manual is divided into five parts:

Part 1: Provides information about how to write and measure child outcomes and process goals.

Part 2: Provides programs with ways to track volunteer and program activities that are believed to effect child outcomes such as: the number of volunteers, number of trainings, number of children served, and volunteer contacts.

Part 3: Provides tracking forms which will allow programs easy tools for collecting information regarding child outcomes, volunteer activities, and program activities.

Part 4: Provides sample surveys that programs can mail to children, parents, child welfare workers, judges, etc.

Part 5: Provides instruction about how to use the information for writing reports.

Why Collect Data

This manual is written to provide CASA programs with a way to evaluate program effectiveness. Measuring child outcomes is one part of an overall program evaluation.

Program evaluation also involves tracking program activities such as number of volunteers, number of children served, training and cost per child. Satisfaction surveys also add to program evaluation by providing community feedback to programs.

Results can be used for training, supervision, grant writing, and future program planning. Programs may choose to implement all or part of the manual or tailor it to meet their own program needs.

Program Goals: Program goals are the goals that each individual program sets for itself. For example, most programs have goals that include increasing the number of volunteers or increasing the number of children served or securing more funding.

Program goals should also include accomplishing outcomes for children.

Program Evaluations: Ongoing collection of the information presented in this manual will allow a program to gauge its performance against standards it sets for itself.

Programs will want to set their own monthly and yearly program goals. CASA programs will want to look at how they are doing on these goals over time and whether or not they are accomplishing their own program goals.

Program Impact: To determine the impact of a CASA program on achieving outcomes for children, a research design is needed which compares outcomes for children who have CASAs with outcomes for children who do not have CASAs. The best design requires random assignment of children to either the CASA program or no CASA. This manual does not provide instructions on this type of research. The authors can provide ideas and information about CASA research methods if you are interested.


National CASA Association | 800.628.3233 | 100 West Harrison, North Tower, Suite 500, Seattle, WA 98119 |

National CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocates) ©2015. The National CASA logo, CASA ®, "A Powerful Voice in a Child’s Life," "Stand Up for an Abused Child," "Speak Up for a Child," "Light of Hope" and "Give the Light of Hope to a Child" are all registered trademarks of National CASA.