News and Information from the National Court Appointed Special Advocate Association

Special Features & Profiles

Cover Story: Working with Impoverished Families 

The impact of poverty on children and families can be devastating. Ongoing poverty weakens parents’ and caregivers’ ability to cope with the inevitable demands and stress of day-to-day life. Economic hardship can mean difficulty finding safe housing, childcare, medical treatment, food and clothing. It can also lead to increased depression, family conflict, substance abuse and isolation—all of which can fuel child abuse and neglect. Children in families struggling with poverty are three times more likely to be abused and seven times more likely to be neglected. Read about the impact of poverty on equity and outcomes for children and families caught up in US child welfare systems.  

 Download a print-friendly PDF of The Connection (1 MB)

Voices & Viewpoints

 Volunteer Voice

Frank West, the 2011 National CASA Volunteer of the Year, became an advocate because of his own harsh childhood. He tells children, "foster care is not who you are."

 From the CEO

National CASA CEO Michael Piraino reflects on the death of a child. There are any number of reasons why this tragedy happened, but there are no valid excuses.

 Partner Perspective

Fred Wulczyn, senior research fellow at Chapin Hall, takes stock of child welfare and racial disparity, particularly the overrepresentation of African American children in care.

 Alum Editorial

FosterClub All-Star Shaden Jedlicka shares a transformative experience in “My Journey with Lela.” His mentor was consistent and persistent, qualities also found in CASA volunteers.

 Closing Words

National CASA’s newest spokesperson, country music star Jimmy Wayne, tells the deeply personal story of his time in foster care: “Snapshots from My Journey to Family.”

Regular Features

Program Spotlight

Sharon Balaban of Dallas CASA describes how her program took advantage of its 30th anniversary with a year full of activities that deepened community partnerships.

Top Tips for Volunteers

Charles Lerner, program manager at CASA of Santa Cruz County, shares tips on improving foster care from the perspective of both a child welfare professional and an adoptee.

Book Club

Read about Forever Family by Laurie Oswald Robinson.

Association News

National CASA introduces I Am for the Child campaign; New Training Director Anthony Petrarca joins team.

Child Welfare News

National child welfare organizations report on latest research, publications and news of interest.

Field Notes

CASA programs around America report their news, including events, awards and other success stories.

Publication information

Connection Submission Guidelines and Policies


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.