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April 2015

In this issue of CASA/GAL News: 

Welcome to the State Edition of CASA/GAL News

Welcome to CASA/GAL News for state organizations. This new publication will allow us to provide you a wider range of in-depth content and important news. CASA/GAL News will be distributed to state organizations monthly and we will contact you in-between published issues as the need arises. Local programs will also receive a version of CASA/GAL News which does not include content specific to state organizations. If you have questions or comments about this publication, please email

Annual State Organization Survey Open Now

It is once again time to complete the National CASA Association annual survey. The survey is now available and detailed instructions for completion and a link to the survey have been sent to all state organizations.

This year’s survey will include questions about your state organization’s governance, budget, staffing and services provided to local programs. A second component of the survey this year is questions about your satisfaction with services offered by National CASA.

Any state organization wishing to apply for a grant from National CASA must be current with the annual survey and program six-month report.

If you have questions about the annual state survey please contact Selina Lau at (800) 628-3233, ext. 227 or, or contact

April 6 State Directors and Representatives Meeting

On April 6 National CASA hosted the monthly call with state directors and representatives from across the country. View the PowerPoint presentation from the meeting and the meeting notes.

The next meeting of state directors and representatives will be Monday, May 4 at 2 p.m. eastern. 

April is Child Abuse Prevention Month – Resources Available

Many CASA and GAL programs take advantage of the national publicity surrounding Child Abuse Prevention Month to heighten public awareness of our mission and the need for volunteer child advocates. If you’re looking for a bite-sized project or just want to add a little something extra to what your program already has planned, check out the resources on our website.

Conference Update

Nearly a thousand people have already registered to attend the 2015 National CASA Conference. Information about exciting keynote speakers, workshops, and hotel options is all available in the conference section of Online registration continues through May 15. Register soon if you want to join us in New Orleans!

Reminder: Vote for the 2015 Member-Elected Trustees

Each year, the members of the National CASA Association are invited to participate in the process of electing new members to the Association Board of Trustees. This year, the election of Member-Elected Trustees for National CASA’s Board will be conducted online. Three (3) Member-Elected Trustee positions are open this year. Review this year’s candidates and cast your vote. Read More.

Congratulations to the 2015 Awards of Excellence Honorees

This year’s luncheon for the National CASA Awards of Excellence will take place on Monday, June 1. The awards are a chance to honor and celebrate those dedicated volunteers, board members, staff, judges and programs who help abused and neglected children every day, all around the country.
Read about this year’s honorees.

Update on Federal Funding

The collaboration between our state and local programs and National CASA on the campaign to increase federal funding for the entire CASA/GAL network has been tremendous. Our combined efforts are producing excellent progress. Read more.

Please share your stories and photos of Michael Piraino

The National CASA Conference in New Orleans this year will also serve as the site for our final official farewell (we know we never really say “goodbye”) to National CASA CEO Michael Piraino. In recognition of this occasion, we are putting together several pieces (in both print and video) to commemorate and honor Michael’s years of dedicated service.

To have these pieces truly reflect the depth of Michael’s connection to the CASA/GAL network, we need your help.

Any interested programs are encouraged to send in one or two items that represent all that Michael has done over the last 20+ years. Please email photos, scanned hand-written notes, personal stories or other items you would like to share. For photos, please include a brief, one sentence caption naming the other people, the occasion and year.

Please submit these to the National CASA Marketing Team by April 30.

Administration for Children and Families Removes CAPTA Regulations

On March 30, the federal Administration for Children and Families (ACF) announced that the Regulations associated with the Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act (CAPTA) would be removed in their entirety from the Federal Register as of June 30, 2015. This means that after June 30 of this year, the Regulations will no longer apply. Since 1974, CAPTA has required the appointment of a guardian ad litem in cases of abuse and neglect. Read More.

May is Foster Care Month – Foster Care Alumni Walks

Foster Care Alumni of America (FCAA) began organizing Foster Walks in May 2014 to draw attention to the issues facing current and former foster youth and urge foster care alumni and the greater community to get involved in helping improve the foster care system.

To celebrate National Foster Care Month this year, Foster Care Alumni of America is again holding awareness-building walks in many communities. View a pamphlet provided by FCAA with more information, including links to fundraising efforts and information about a virtual walk.

Any programs who are interested in otherwise supporting FCAA in its efforts to connect alumni from care and help change and improve how foster care works, please get in touch with Steve Rideout at FCAA.

Resources for CASA/GAL Members

Please keep in mind these important resources as you advance your work in local communities and states across the country.

Child Abuse Registry Check Resource

A child abuse registry (CAR) check is required as part of the screening for CASA/GAL volunteers, staff and board members. National CASA has compiled an updated list of state by state contact information for obtaining a CAR check. Follow this link for the updated list.

Our appreciation to CASA of Travis County, Texas, and Virginia CASA/Department of Criminal Justice Services for providing contact information included in the list.

Ready, Set, Raise Toolkit

April showers may bring May flowers but for non-profit CASA and GAL programs, April often kicks off the season of major fundraisers. Outdoor events from garden tours to golf tournaments and runs to rodeos are in the offing. Do you need some tips about holding a successful special event? What about help in making the case statement for CASA? Not sure about proper logo use on that banner? All these questions and many more are answered in National CASA’s Ready, Set Raise! Toolkit (program login required). Check out the customizable infographic that tells the CASA/GAL story in a way everyone can understand.

Record Retention and Destruction

National CASA Standards for Local CASA/GAL Programs require that a “program has written operational procedures, consistent with legal requirements and with the policy on confidential information governing the retention, maintenance, protection, destruction and return of case files when the case is closed.”

Please ensure that your policy for record destruction includes the shredding of confidential and other sensitive information.

Sample records retention policies can be found with our sample Indicators of Compliance.

Please contact or 855-691-6317 for further information about any of the resources listed.

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