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October 11, 2017

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People News

Liza Kirschenbaum Honored
We’re very excited to share that Liza Kirschenbaum, associate director of CASA of New Jersey, has been selected as an Angels in Adoption® honoree by the 2017 Congressional Coalition on Adoption Institute (CCAI). Liza was nominated by U.S. Sen. Cory Booker.

Liza left her family law practice to launch CASA of New Jersey in 2000. By 2011, she had realized her vision to establish a CASA program in every county. In 2016, almost 2,000 CASA volunteers served 3,660 children. Of that number, 252 children were adopted.

CCAI is a non-profit organization that works to raise awareness about the needs of children without families and to remove policy barriers that hinder children from knowing the love and support a family provides. CCAI’s Angels in Adoption® Program provides members of Congress the opportunity to honor an individual, couple or organization from their district who have made an extraordinary contribution on behalf of children in need of homes.

Liza joined other honorees in traveling to Washington D.C. to participate in three days of events designed to train them in using their personal experience to affect change on behalf of children in need of homes while also celebrating their hard work and dedication to the issue.

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Take Action

Reminder: 2018 National Conference Workshop Proposals Due by Oct. 16
The National CASA Conference will take place in Boston, MA from March 10-13, 2018. A network announcement was distributed last week with initial details about the conference. This included a call for session proposals. We seek dynamic speakers with creative approaches to relevant topics that will inspire attendees and raise our conference to a new level. Presentations should be applicable across the spectrum of programs (state, urban, suburban, rural and tribal) and target intermediate to advanced skills and competencies. Breakout sessions will be 60 minutes in duration and should emphasize interactive engagement with the audience.

Submit proposals by Oct. 16 through this online link. We look forward to reviewing your ideas! Questions? Contact us through

Upcoming Logic Model Webinar Training
As a planning tool, the logic model is a roadmap for each organization to set goals along with milestones to help it measure progress. It also provides the vision for making course corrections or prompting growth as situations dictate. Logic models are increasingly becoming a requirement by numerous foundations and donors.

National CASA is also moving in this direction as part of becoming an evidence-based organization. States receiving grant funding are required to have a logic model.

To ensure all state organizations are making progress, we are offering a 90-minute webinar on constructing logic models. The webinars will focus on states that have not yet completed their logic model so they can meet the goal of completing one by the end of this year. But the session is open for all participants interested in learning more or sharpening their skills.

Options are:
  • 9-10:30 a.m. Oct. 23, PT
  • 9-10:30 a.m. Nov. 7, PT
  • 9-10:30 a.m. Nov. 16, PT
Please use this Doodle poll to select the session that works best for you. Based on interest, we will schedule the webinars and communicate the call-in/login information.

Standards and QA Comment Period Ends Oct. 20
A special announcement was sent out Sept. 20 about the opportunity to provide input into guiding documents that have been drafted to support the development of new state and local standards. Details, including the draft documents, are on the Standards and Quality Assurance webpage.

The comment period ends at 5 p.m. PT Oct. 20. Send questions and input to

Local Program Grant Applications Deadline: Oct. 31
A reminder that applications are due by 5 p.m. PT Oct. 31 for local programs grants. A full announcement was distributed last week. Grant and application details are on the National CASA Grants webpage.

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Advisory Councils

National CASA is Forming New External Advisory Councils
In addition to the Network Councils and Committees we formed in 2015 and in alignment with our strategic plan, National CASA will be establishing several external Councils in 2018. The councils will be committed to providing specialized advice and support to advance our work, while embracing the mission of National CASA and its strategic plan.
  • National Marketing Council: This council will provide support and guidance to advance National CASA’s marketing and branding goals. We are seeking senior-level marketing experts with advertising and brand management experience and a passion and interest in the CASA/GAL movement.
  • National Legislative Advisory Council: This council will support our legislative work on the federal level. We will be seeking individuals with experience and expertise working with members of Congress on appropriations, authorizations, and legislation impacting abused and neglected children, to inform and support our efforts in these areas.
  • National Judicial Leadership Council: We will soon be seeking nominations for active and retired judicial officers to serve. The purpose of the JLC is to strengthen and develop relationships between judicial officers and the CASA network in support of the CASA/GAL mission. The Judicial Leadership Council will consist of up to 15 judicial officers representing jurisdictions from multiple states, court structures, tribal courts, and rural, suburban, and urban communities, with varying tenure, experience and skills. Judicial officers include active and retired judges, presiding judges, appellate judges, commissioners, referees, or otherwise designated judicial officials exercising or having exercised jurisdiction over abused and neglected children in any court.
More information about these councils will be coming your way soon so you can help spread the word.

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Marketing, Communications & Fundraising

Year-End Fundraising Toolkits
The holidays are approaching, which means year-end fundraising season is almost here! National CASA’s “Give Hope” Toolkit remains available for use by state and local programs. In addition, we are developing a new year-end fundraising campaign and toolkit that will be available to the network in early November. The toolkit will include new digital assets, customizable email templates and content, social media images, a holiday card, and direct mail solicitation materials. With questions, please email

Significant Increases in Children Served & Volunteers: 2016 Local Survey Data Available
The results from the 2016 Annual Local Program Survey are now available for use in your communications efforts. Although we are still actively collecting survey data from some programs, the valid response rate this year for key indicator data was 90 percent.

In 2016, the CASA/GAL network consisted of 938 local and state programs; including 42 state organizations and 896 local programs. 2016 had significant changes in our two core variables; there was a 12 percent increase in children served and a 13 percent increase in active volunteers.

The findings illustrated by these survey results are critically important to tracking the growth and development among state organizations and local programs. Results also assist in securing federal funding and our legislative agenda as well as funding from a variety of diverse sources. These significant increases to volunteers and children served outpace trends in national volunteering and foster care, documenting true growth and expanding reach of our network.

Be sure to update your records and use these numbers on external opportunities to demonstrate the powerful impact of the CASA network. Local programs can access additional state-level CASA information through their state office as well as through National CASA.

Thank you to all organizations that responded to the survey this year to date. In addition to the ways you can use this data, our annual data collection helps National CASA to better serve state organizations and local programs. A reminder that submitting annual data is part of being in good standing as a member program and our federal funding is increased according to our ability to serve more children. CASA reauthorization will occur in 2018 and we need the support of the entire network. To this end, thank you in advance for your timely participation in the 2017 survey.

Membership Service and Resources

Membership Renewal
A reminder that membership invoices were emailed this year. All notices went out Sept. 29. Please let Member Services know if you did not receive your invoice or you have other questions: The renewal deadline is Dec. 31, 2017 at 11:59 p.m. PT.

In addition, Member Services will be reaching out individually to all member programs that have not submitted 2016 annual service data and statistics. Compliance with this local program standard is critical to the success of the work we do (see the above article on 2016 local survey data results).

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Also on the Member Portal

Hurricane Recovery Efforts

Latest Everyone Ready Training (membership benefit)

And here's a direct link to a free resource on the web: All-Children-All Families Webinars

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