CASA/GAL - State News New Governance Initiative | Call for Videos | Grant Awards Announced
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February 2017

In this issue of CASA/GAL News:

2016 Annual State and Local Program Surveys due March 31

It is once again time for state and local CASA/GAL organizations to complete the National CASA Association annual survey. The surveys for state organizations and local programs will be available beginning February 21. The deadline for completion is March 31, 2017, with no extensions.

Information from state organizations and local programs is essential to understanding the nationwide impact of state and local CASA/GAL members. The survey findings help us track growth, development and trends among state organizations and local programs, which helps National CASA better serve our program members. The results from the annual survey are also critical in making the case to Congress as well as to national foundations and corporations for continued funding. Members may use the final report to assess how your program compares to others across the country. Read more about this year’s annual survey process.

It’s Not Too Late to Register for the 2017 National CASA/GAL Conference

The 2017 National CASA/GAL Conference is just around the corner, but it’s not too late to claim your spot! Attendees at this year’s conference in Seattle March 11-14 will hear from an incredible lineup of keynote speakers, including HLN’s Michaela Pereira, bestselling author J.D. Vance and founder of the CASA movement, Judge David Soukup. Former foster youth and international speaker Giovan Bazan will share his story, and Andy Goodman will equip members of our network with the skills to tell your own CASA/GAL story.

Choose from more than 100 workshops on everything from organizational management to volunteer skill-building. Register for this year’s conference by the online deadline of February 27, and learn how we can build brighter futures for America’s abused and neglected children.

Robust State Director Track Planned for 2017 CASA/GAL Conference

The CASA/GAL state organization workshop track at the annual National CASA/GAL Conference is designed to meet the unique and varied needs of National CASA’s state organization partners. Workshop ideas are solicited from state directors, the most frequently mentioned topics are selected and leaders in each of those fields are recruited to present. This year’s state organization track features experts on topics ranging from leadership management to government relations to governance and volunteerism.

Learn more about this year’s workshop track for state directors.

National CASA Launching Dynamic State Organization Governance Excellence Initiative

Highly effective state organizations that provide strong support to local CASA/GAL programs are essential to expanding the impact of the CASA/GAL network. National CASA continues our commitment to investing in a strong state organization in every state to accomplish our mission.

Governance effectiveness is central to our strategy and is at the foundation of our strategic framework. We are delighted to announce a comprehensive Governance Initiative that will support all state organizations in assessing their governance and developing strategies and plans to strengthen governance effectiveness.

Through this Governance Initiative, National CASA is partnering with BoardSource – the nation’s leading organization focusing on leadership and governance in the non-profit sector. There will also be a local CASA/GAL program component to the Initiative, and information about this local program component will be available soon.

Learn more about the pilot program and see the states selected to participate.

Update on 2016 Local Grants Program Awards

National CASA is pleased to announce the state and local programs selected to receive 2016 Local Program Growth and Capacity-Building Grants. This competitive grants process for more than $1.2 million in combined funding from the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP) and Jewelers for Children (JFC) was open to local CASA/GAL programs and state CASA/GAL organizations directly serving abused and neglected children with volunteer advocates who met eligibility requirements. Applications were each reviewed by a panel, consisting of two external grant reviewers and one National CASA staff person.

There was an overwhelming response to the call for applications. Of the 110 applications received, National CASA awarded funding to 28 applicants to train and activate more than 900 new volunteers and serve 2,200 children this calendar year. Grantees are located in 18 states and the District of Columbia. View the list of recipients.

2017 Akerman Scholarship Application Open until March 3

Akerman LLP and National CASA are excited to announce the application for the second annual Akerman Academic Excellence Scholarship Award is open until Friday, March 3 at 5 p.m. PT.

As part of Akerman's $1 million pledge to National CASA, an endowment fund was created to support the Akerman Academic Excellence Scholarship. This program is designed to help young adults who have spent time in foster care pursue a post-secondary education through an accredited institution of higher learning such as a university, career college, or technical school.

The deadline for submission is Friday, March 3, 2017, by 5 p.m. (PT). The scholarship recipient will be announced May 5, 2017. Read additional application materials and other guidelines.

Call for Videos to be shown at Approaching National CASA/GAL Conference

Did your program make a new video this year to recruit volunteers or raise awareness about the CASA/GAL mission? Would you like to be featured in a series of National CASA videos highlighting trends, hopes and major themes for 2017? See below for two categories of video submissions.

Share Your Program’s Video
If you have a new video that you think makes an effective case for supporting your CASA/GAL program or to recruit new volunteers, submit it for consideration to be shown at the 2017 CASA/GAL Conference. All video submissions must be under five minutes in length.

Be Part of the Conversation
Film your executive director, one of your program’s staff members or a volunteer answering one of the following prompts:

  • What are you most looking forward to in 2017?
  • What issues are most pressing to the children served in your community?
  • Why do you believe in the CASA/GAL program model?
  • CASA/GAL programs deserve support because…

Your program may submit responses to all four prompts, but they must be in separate video files. Each video responding to a question must be no longer than 30 seconds total, and the shorter, the better! We are looking for compelling and concise responses to take the “pulse” of the CASA/GAL network on expectations for 2017. Videos shot on smartphones are acceptable.

Those wishing to submit videos in either category should send a link with your downloadable video(s) to All videos must be in compliance with National CASA branding standards and include all necessary permissions for National CASA to showcase the content. Video submissions will be accepted until Friday, February 24.

Congratulations to 2017 National CASA/GAL Conference Scholarship Recipients

Each year, the National CASA Association offers a scholarship program to provide assistance for staff and volunteers planning to attend the annual conference. Recipients serve as volunteers throughout the conference and ambassadors of National CASA. This year, National CASA received 123 applications and awarded 40 scholarships. Congratulations to the 2017 National CASA/GAL Conference scholarship recipients.

Remembering CASA/GAL Friends and Family

As a time-honored tradition of the annual national conference, we will take a moment to recognize members of the network that have passed since our last meeting. If you know someone that should be recognized, please complete the online submission form. Please submit any information you have by Friday, February 24, 2017. If you have any questions, please email

WEBINAR: Go on a Hardware Safari with Idealware, TechSoup, and National CASA

Despite the exciting and amazing advancements of the Internet and cloud computing over the past several years, information technology (IT) still involves a lot of…stuff. Personal computers, laptops, printers, routers, switches, servers, and on and on.

On February 16, 2017 from 11 a.m. – 12 p.m. PT, National CASA’s Information Technology Officer David Forrester will be joining Idealware’s Karen Graham to help you start getting a handle on your technology infrastructure. Learn the first steps in assessing your organization’s technology needs and get started on your overall tactical technology plan. In this 60-minute technology audit overview, we will provide you with the information you need to be able to spot, identify, and document what hardware your organization uses. The webinar will provide useful tips on next steps to complete a full assessment of your IT infrastructure.

The session is sponsored by TechSoup and is free to attend. For more information and to register, please visit the webinar signup page.

Toolkit Planned for Child Abuse Prevention Month

Child Abuse Prevention Month—April—is around the corner! To assist with your planning, National CASA will be developing a toolkit akin to the year-end fundraising campaign to help your program raise funds and recruit new volunteers during Child Abuse Prevention Month. The toolkit will include sample outreach materials, marketing collateral and more. Additional details will be available soon.

If you have a question, want clarification on anything written in the CASA/GAL News, have story ideas, or need additional information, please contact

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