Berks County CASA Receives Grant and Partners with RACC to Improve Support for Children

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CASA of Berks County received a $22,000 Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) grant from the Association for the Children of the Special Advocate/Ad Litem Guardian (CASA/GAL) appointed by the National Court. CASA of Berks County recruits, trains and supports volunteers who advocate for the best interests of child victims of abuse or neglect. National CASA/GAL DEI grants support state organizations and local programs with the recruitment of volunteers from target populations reflecting the communities and children served, DEI initiatives that create a culture of inclusion and equitable practices, and the building of a more culturally competent workforce, including DEI training opportunity provision.

The CASA/GAL DEI National Grant will enable CASA of Berks County to partner with Reading Area Community College (RACC) to provide awareness and cultural sensitivity training to adults working with children affected by the child protection system. ‘childhood.

“Reading Area Community College is competent to provide cultural awareness training to hospitals and schools. We look forward to partnering with CASA Berks to do the same for adults in the child welfare system,” said Auria Bradley, Reading Area Community College Associate Vice President, Workforce and Continuing Education. .

“CASA has nearly 60 court attorneys who work with foster children. With 46% of the approximately 400 Hispanic children in foster care, this training will allow CASA to serve additional children. In addition, it will allow us to provide cultural awareness training to court staff and others who interact with children in child protection services. Thus, improving communication and understanding throughout the system. said Nancy McCullar, executive director, CASA Berks County.

There are 950 state CASA/GAL organizations and local programs operating in 49 states and the District of Columbia. This funding is provided under the OJJDP FY2021 VOCA National Child Advocacy Sub-Grant Program (CFDA #16.756) to administer a national grant program on behalf of the Office of Juvenile Justice and Prevention of Delinquency (OJJDP) of the U.S. Department of Justice, primarily to increase the number of volunteer Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA)/Guardians Ad Litem (GAL) to advocate for the best interests of children who have been abused or neglected and are the subject of civil child abuse and neglect proceedings. National CASA/GAL administers the grant program under a cooperative agreement with the OJJDP that is authorized under the Victims of Child Abuse Act, 34 USC §20323.

Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) Berks is a non-profit organization that trains and supports volunteer citizens who advocate for children in foster care to ensure their well-being. More information about CASA is available at: www.casaberks.org or by e-mail [email protected]

The Association for the Children of the National Court Appointed Special Advocate/Guardian (CASA/GAL), along with its 950 state programs and local members, supports and promotes the advocacy of court-appointed volunteers to that every child who has been abused or neglected in the United States can be safe, have a permanent home, and have the opportunity to thrive. National CASA/GAL provides leadership and support to the network of programs and directs its continued growth. CASA/GAL volunteers and staff work every day to defend the interests of children, young people and families. To learn more, visit nationalcasagal.org.

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