National Grant Awarded
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.