The Court Appointed Special Advocates, or CASA, program that is now in the Waterbury and New Haven courts has been awarded a contract of $142,391 from ARPA and other funds and the goal is to grow and boost capacity, officials said.
The contract award, which is for the period from July 2022 through June 2023, is “a reflection of this (CASA) momentum, officials said in a statement. The award required participation in a “competitive process that included an extensive application, prescribed scoring criteria, data requirements, and letters of support from partner organizations,” according to CASA officials, and the funding comes from a federal Victims of Crime Act Assistance Grant of $72,223 and American Rescue Plan Act funds of $70,168.
The organization’s goal it to protect the “best interests of children who have experienced abuse or neglect—so every child can find a safe, permanent home to thrive,” the statement said.
“Those most vulnerable in our society—children—are best served by a team of caring adults. We remain appreciative of Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA), and their partnership to ensure the best interests of children and families remain at the forefront of all our efforts within local communities,” DCF Commissioner Vannessa Dorantes said in the statement.
Josiah H. Brown, Connecticut CASA’s executive director, said, also in the statement. “We are grateful to receive these federal funds through the State Judicial Branch. Our handful of professional staff support dedicated CASA volunteers, increasing their numbers and adhering to National CASA standards on behalf of children’s best interests.
“We encourage prospective volunteers of all backgrounds to join this movement,” he said. “CASA volunteers help identify safe, permanent homes where children can thrive, along with resources for them and their families. We are enthusiastic about making this proven volunteer-based approach more widely available.”