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April 2017

In this issue of CASA/GAL News:

Member Survey to Help Us Serve You Better

If you did not already complete the Member Survey in tandem with your annual survey, please take a few minutes to complete it now. There are two versions of the Member Survey—one for state organizations and one for local programs. Both versions of the survey address your experience with the National CASA Association through ten brief questions. Data gathered from this survey will help National CASA understand in what areas we are doing well and identify areas where we can improve as a partner to our member programs. The survey data will also help us create individual state development and growth plans to strengthen and grow the CASA/GAL network.

The local program Member Survey includes an additional seven questions about their interactions with their state organization.

Individual responses will not be shared, and all responses are anonymous. You will not be asked for your program or organization information, and you do not need any login information to access the survey. Thank you in advance for your feedback so we can better serve you!

Marketing Tools and Resources

Take Action This Child Abuse Prevention Month

April is National Child Abuse Prevention Month. Here are some ways you can take action:

1. Use our Child Abuse Prevention Month toolkit to help you with outreach and engagement Encourage your volunteers to post the text and image below on Facebook, along with a link to your website:

Suggested Social Media Post for Volunteers
It’s Child Abuse Prevention Month. #Ivolunteer on behalf of a child who has experienced abuse or neglect. I am a caring, consistent adult in [HIS/HER] life. I am there so [HE/SHE] can heal and thrive. Many more children need an advocate so they can reach a safe, permanent home. Ask me about becoming a CASA volunteer. [LINK TO PROGRAM WEBSITE]

3. Share this press release and video from the National Council for Juvenile and Family Court Judges (NCJFCJ) press release, which calls CASA volunteers “the eyes and ears of the court” and tells the story of Susan, a CASA volunteer in Washoe County, Nevada.
4. Visit the Children’s Bureau’s outreach page for ideas to raise awareness and educate your community on how to prevent child abuse

National Volunteer Week Twitter Town Hall on April 14

National Volunteer Week is around the corner—April 23-29! Join us this Friday, April 14 at 12pm EDT for an hour-long Twitter Town Hall for CASA/GAL programs to discuss ideas for volunteer appreciation and retention, share plans for National Volunteer Week, and pose questions to National CASA and other programs. Participating is simple:
  1. Log on to Twitter sometime between 12 and 1pm
  2. Search for the hashtag #casagalvolunteers to follow the conversation as it develops
  3. Tweet @NationalCASA with a question, an idea, or your plans for National Volunteer Appreciation Week, or
  4. Sit back and get great ideas to engage and thank your volunteers from National CASA and other CASA/GAL programs.
Let’s share some ideas to support, engage, and thank the 77,000 volunteers who transform the lives of children who have been abused or neglected.

Looking Ahead: Mother’s Day and National Foster Care Month

Next month marks Mother’s Day and National Foster Care Month.

Similar to the year-end and Child Abuse Prevention Month toolkits, National CASA will distribute email collateral and social media images to help you fundraise around Mother’s Day. Those materials will be distributed next Friday, April 21.

For resources on National Foster Care Month, visit the Children’s Bureau website .

Upcoming Webinars

Register for Upcoming Standards and Quality Assurance Redesign Webinars

Program excellence and quality service to children who have been abused or neglected are essential to the continued effectiveness and growth of the CASA/GAL network. National CASA Standards for State and Local CASA/GAL Organizations are trusted by judges, practitioners, policymakers, and the families we serve.

National CASA is working to review and update those standards and the process by which compliance is measured. Throughout the past 18 months, National CASA has been reviewing our quality assurance (QA) process and gathering information from other national organizations and accrediting bodies on quality assurance innovations. We are committed to building a more robust and interactive process to effectively measure compliance with National CASA standards. We anticipate the implementation of this new QA process in 2018.

Network input has been—and will continue to be—integral to updating standards and developing a new QA process. To ensure your feedback is incorporated, we will engage the entire CASA/GAL network, particularly through the National Leadership Council, State Leadership Council, and four local program councils (Rural, Urban, Tribal and Suburban). To learn more, we invite you to register to participate in one of two webinars scheduled to discuss the plan and the process and to answer questions.

  • Friday, April 14, 2017 – 11:00am – 12:30pm PT ( Register )
  • Thursday, April 20, 2017 – 8:30am – 10:00am PT ( Register )
With questions, or for more information about the development of the new process and standards, please contact

Register for April 18 National CASA Storytelling Webinar

As we heard from professional storyteller Andy Goodman at the 2017 National CASA/GAL Conference, storytelling is the single most powerful communication tool available to us as ambassadors of the CASA/GAL movement. So how can you use the power of narrative to grow your program’s funds, volunteer base, and supporter list? What moves your stakeholders to action? What are the nuts and bolts of a compelling story about our work to support children who have been abused or neglected?

Join us on April 18 at 3pm EDT for an hour-long webinar introducing new National CASA storytelling tools, debuted at the 2017 conference, including a new National CASA Storyteller’s Handbook and card game called “Storyweaver.” These internal tools will help us develop a unified national voice and empower us all to tell impactful stories about our work to serve America’s most vulnerable children. Following the webinar, we will be soliciting your feedback on these materials.

Register for the webinar.

Register for Upcoming Webinar on Revised Training Curriculum

Are you interested in finding out more about the revision to the instructor-led pre-service volunteer curriculum? Please join us on April 28 at 1pm EDT to have your questions answered. Jennifer Valentine from CASA of Atlantic and Cape May Counties will share her experience as a pilot participant and as a member of the Curriculum Development Committee. The National CASA Training and Organizational Development team will highlight the new case based format and discuss the process and timeline for distribution. Pre-register for the webinar.

Welcome to New State Directors

National CASA is pleased to welcome new state organization leaders in Idaho and Wyoming, Natasha Lattin and Jennifer Childs. We look forward to working together to expand the impact of CASA programs in their states.

New to Idaho CASA: Natasha Lattin

The National CASA Association welcomes Natasha Lattin (pronounced like the language) to the CASA/GAL network. She became the State Director of the newly revitalized Idaho CASA state organization in mid-February. Natasha previously worked in the finance industry but has long been active in non-profit organizations, especially those whose mission is to help children.

She came to the CASA network through her service as a board member and later President of the Board of the 6th District CASA program in Pocatello, Idaho. Natasha and a fellow board member became heavily involved in the day-to-day running of the local program while covering an Executive Director transition and hiring a new director. Natasha found she really enjoyed the work and the collaboration with other directors in the Idaho CASA network. She hopes that, as the leader of ID CASA, she can help educate communities in the state about what CASA can do, especially working collaboratively with other service providers.

Natasha has lived in Idaho for over 20 years and received her Bachelor of Science degree from Idaho State University. She has an 11 year-old daughter and a 9 year-old son. Away from work, she is an Alpine ski coach and enjoys road biking. She can be reached at or 208.317.0369.

New to Wyoming CASA: Jennifer Childs

The National CASA Association also welcomes Jennifer Childs to the CASA/GAL network. She became the Executive Director of the newly incorporated Wyoming CASA Network on March 1st. Jennifer’s path to CASA was a winding one. After graduation from the University of Wyoming with a degree in Sociology, she went to work in a residential treatment setting. Her first case, a child tragically abused in foster care, made her decide to spend the rest of her career helping others. Jennifer broadened her skill set to include marketing and resource development, especially grant-writing.

In addition to working in various human services agencies, Jennifer chose to “give back” by writing grants at no cost for various Wyoming non-profits in her spare time. A local CASA Director who had worked with Jennifer encouraged her to apply for the state position. As Jennifer assumes her new role, she is excited to be moving back to her home state of Wyoming where she will work from a remote office. Her first year goal is to open a new program in the 8th Judicial District and expand the current volunteer base at each local program through a statewide initiative.

Jennifer is married and has two adult daughters. She is currently pursuing an additional degree in Legal Studies. In her spare time, she enjoys snow skiing. Jennifer can be reached at or 307.756.2892.

Program Resources

Check out these resources to enhance your program’s advocacy on behalf of America’s most vulnerable children:

  • A new resource guide from the National Research Center on Hispanic Children & Families to help community-based organizations better meet the needs of the diverse populations they serve.
  • The Coalition for Juvenile Justice, in partnership with National Network for Youth, and the National League of Cities' Institute for Youth, Education, and Families, has a new resource on youth homelessness and juvenile justice involvement. The report outlines ways to ensure that young people do not experience homelessness as a result of their involvement with the juvenile justice system, and that they likewise do not become involved with the justice system because of a lack of housing. The report also features a series of key resources that states and communities can use as they work to achieve these goals.
  • The National Council for Adoption has a new advocacy toolkit.

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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