The mission of the Children in Placement, Connecticut's State CASA program, is to support and promote volunteer Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASAs) so that every child in Connecticut can live free from abuse & neglect, have a safe & permanent home, and have the opportunity to truly thrive.
in 1979, Children in Placement/CT CASA (CIP) is a 501(c)(3)
non-profit organization that began as a pilot program to help abused and
neglected children move from Connecticut’s court system into safe and permanent
homes. In 1995, CIP became the Connecticut state affiliate of the National
Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) Association. Following the National
CASA model, our employees recruit, specially screen, train, and support local
volunteers from all walks of life to provide in-court advocacy for abused and
neglected children in their own communities. Our CASA/GAL (court appointed
special advocate/guardian ad litem) volunteers work with each child on a
one-to-one basis. They advocate for the child’s best interest at court
hearings, connect children & their families to community resources, and help children move from the
court system into safe and permanent homes, where they can thrive at home, at school, and in life.
1. In FY 2015-16,
Children in Placement/CT CASA (CIP) provided over 4800 hours of advocacy by 198
volunteer CASA/GALs (Court Appointed Special Advocates/Guardians ad Litem) who
advocated for approximately 300 abused and neglected children in child
protection cases in Connecticut's Juvenile Superior and Children's Probate
Courts. Our CASA/GAL volunteers provide advocacy & support for children by
independently investigating into the specific needs of each child, providing
written court reports & testimony at court hearings, meeting face-to-face
with each child monthly, and recommending services the child may need,
including: social services, legal services, after-school programs, mental and
physical healthcare, and other community resources and basic needs.
2. In 2016, Children in Placement gave two 40-hour Pre-Service GAL Trainings for 12 new community volunteers. Each training session provided volunteers with intense advocacy instruction based on The National Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) Association's volunteer training curriculum. This year, our twelve new volunteers have already begun to provide critical advocacy for abused & neglected children all over the state, supporting our current programming at courts we serve like Bridgeport, Hartford, Middletown, New Britain, New Haven, Rockville, Torrington, Waterbury, Waterford, Willimantic and others.
3. CIP provided at least 20 hours of in-service training to existing volunteers in 2016. CIP offered Flex Learning courses that combine both in-person and online delivery of training material, on topics including Fostering Futures (focusing on older youth in foster care), Planning & Placement (practical tools for serving children in foster care), and Trauma & Attachment. All of CIP's trainings were developed to give CASA/GAL volunteers the tools they need to provide the best advocacy for children and to help children move quickly through the court system to safe and permanent homes, where they can thrive.
1.With CT’s debt, it is
increasingly precarious to rely on the State to provide a large portion of our
operating funds. Our most pressing need is to increase outside funding sources.
Without the funds to operate, CIP is be unable to meet the needs of abused
& neglected children languishing in foster care with an advocate.
2.New Haven has many large NPOs and educational institutions, which creates a challenge to competitively compensate a high-quality Fund Developer. CIP has traditionally employed a part-time Fund Developer and, for the past several years, CIP has hired Fund Developers, only for them to leave in about a year’s to accept full-time employment elsewhere.
3.Last year CIP was locked out from making changes to our website. A website is the face of one’s organization, and having a defunct/poorly-designed website can be very damaging, turning away prospective volunteers, employees & donors. Funds to complete our new website is a primary need.
4.Board development is a pressing need. The Board Members we have are of exceptional caliber, but it would be very beneficial to increase the size and strength of our Board.
5.Since January 1, 2017, CIP has a new Interim Executive Director, Lindsey Price Jackson. As a new Director, Lindsey welcomes as much support as possible.
CIP’s volunteer CASA/GAL
program aims to provide abused & neglected children who have juvenile and
probate court cases in Connecticut with advocacy and support, helping them move
quickly through the court system and into safe, permanent homes where they can
thrive. In FY 2015-16, 198 CIP volunteers provided over 4800 hours of service
advocating for nearly 300 children by investigating each child’s living
situation/conditions and providing accurate and timely reports on the child’s best
interest at court hearings. CIP trains new GALs each year via intensive 40-hour
CIP’s volunteers provide the court with clear recommendations to help children make positive progress away from trauma and towards permanency. At court hearings, CIP CASA/GALs often recommend that the court link children to social services, legal services, mental & physical healthcare, parent aid providers and other community resources.
100% of children with a CIP GAL, and who have a child protection case in the State's juvenile and probate courts, will be provided at least 8 hours of advocacy, with one face-to-face meeting with the GAL each month, resulting in accurate court reporting in the best interest of the child.
95% of new CIP GAL volunteers will complete 40 hours of pre-service training and will be appointed a child protection court case by Connecticut’s juvenile and probate courts. CIP plans to train at least 25 new GAL’s in FY 2015-16 and will provide at least four 3-hour sessions of in-service training for active GAL's.
In a recent court appointed case in New Haven, Children
in Placement’s GAL volunteer met
with the mother and grandparent to reach a solution for visitation with the child. Prior to this, the grandparent and mother could not agree on visitation. The mother was working toward reunification with the child and her visits often didn't well into the child's schedule. The mother and the child’s
grandfather had been unable to come to agreement on the terms of the
visitation. The CIP GAL volunteer noticed that the
young child was very adept at using her iPad. The GAL suggested the mother use
video-conferencing (Skype) as a way of visitation. All parties agreed this was good solution.
The child agreed and Skype visits were recommended in the court hearing. The final resolution was in the child’s best interest, and
helped create more peaceful communications within the family.
Indirect Public Support HelpIndirect public support represents revenue received through solicitation campaigns. This includes funding United Way and other federated fundraising organizations, but does not include donor designated contributions.
Earned Revenue HelpEarned revenue represents income generated in direct exchange for a product or service.Earned income includes income from government contracts.
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