We’ve been working hard to help the abused and neglected youth in our community find safe, permanent homes. Here’s what we’ve been up to lately:
The need for volunteers - Montana CASA
Missoula, Montana – July 24, 2020
Montana CASA/GAL Association has been awarded a grant from the Montana Police Protective Association.
“We are so thankful for this support, our missions to be well aligned and the Montana Police Protective Association (MPPA) is providing critical support for our program during this pandemic” shared April Sommers, MT CASA Executive Director.
The Montana CASA/GAL Association was established in 2016 and its mission is to support and promote local CASA/GAL programs in providing court appointed volunteer advocacy so every abused and neglected child in Montana can be safe, have a permanent home and the opportunity to thrive. The MPPA was established in 1930 and advocates for Montana police officers and supports a variety of nonprofits as well as, families of officers injured or killed.
“The MPPA and its members of 21 agencies across Montana are committed to ensuring the safety of our Montana children” stated Dan Smith, MPPA Executive Director.
The funds from MPPA will be used to support outreach and direct support to local programs to understand their needs during COVID-19 pandemic and deliver technical training and other services through webinars and other appropriate platforms. “We know that many children are at greater risk during times of social distancing and isolation and we want to ensure our advocates are able to support kids in foster care” shared Ms. Sommers.
Child abuse and neglect is a growing problem in Montana. The number of children in the care of the Montana Child and Family Service Division (CFSD) more than doubled in the last 10 years. In 2019 over 1,700 abused and neglected Montanan children received volunteer CASA services. These services were supported through 15 local CASA programs across the state. However, over 1,500 children in 2019 were in need of advocates and did not receive support because a CASA program did not currently exist in their community or have the capacity to provide support. “We are working to fill that gap and meet our mission that every child in foster care in Montana has a CASA advocate” Sommers shared.
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National Grant Awarded
Montana CASA/GAL Association receives national grant to raise awareness of Montana’s most vulnerable children
Missoula, Montana – July, 2019 –Montana CASA/GAL Association has been awarded a $10,000 Branding Campaign grant from the National Court Appointed Special Advocate/Guardian ad Litem (CASA/GAL) Association for Children. Funds will be used to tailor a national public awareness campaign about child abuse and neglect for local markets, and to distribute the campaign.
There are nearly 950 CASA/GAL programs nationwide, including 48 state offices, that recruit, train and support volunteers who advocate in court for the best interests of children who have experienced abuse or neglect. Their advocacy enables judges to make the most well-informed decisions for each child.
National CASA/GAL has developed a broad-based national campaign, “Change a Child’s StoryTM.” It is distinguished from other campaigns in that its messaging is told from the point of view of children who have experienced abuse or neglect. The campaign shows the importance of having a volunteer by their side to advocate for their best interests.
In Montana, the campaign will support awareness programs of the 15 Montana CASA/GAL Local Programs. Child abuse and neglect is a growing problem in Montana. The number of children in the care of the Montana Child and Family Service Division (CFSD) more than doubled in the last 10 years. In 2018 over 3,950 children were in care due to abuse or neglect.
“Funds from these grants will help to significantly increase Montanans’ awareness of CASA/GAL’s mission and increase the number of advocates through volunteer recruitment all across the state. “The grant will assist in attaining our goal of providing every Montana child in foster care with a CASA/GAL advocate” said April Sommers, Executive Director of Montana CASA/GAL Association.
The Montana CASA/GAL Association was established in 2016 and its mission is to support and promote local CASA/GAL programs in providing court appointed volunteer advocacy so every abused and neglected child in Montana can be safe, have a permanent home and the opportunity to thrive. The Montana CASA/GAL Association provides technical assistance, training for program staff, volunteers, and stakeholders, and works at the state level through legislative and policy work.
2019 National CASA Conference
Montana delegation to Atlanta. An inspiring week learning, networking and building effective CASA programs across the US.
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