The Colorado Springs Osteopathic Foundation awarded a grant of $50,000 per year for three years to support Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) of the Pikes Peak Region’s in a new capacity-building volunteer management initiative called the Peer Coordinator Model.
Last year, CASA served 443 abused and neglected children in the Dependency and Neglect program–this represents 44 percent of the nearly 1,000 child victims who could benefit from CASA advocacy services.
The grant will help CASA serve more children without hiring more staff, according to a press release. The launch of the new model will provide experienced long-term volunteers known as peer coordinators to support the newly trained advocates, adding another level of volunteer leadership to the organization.
“By 2020 we believe we will be able to serve all children in need of advocacy in our court system rather than the 44% we serve today,” said CASA Director Trudy Strewler Hodges.
Building capacity to serve all children in need in a cost-effective manner is the organization’s stated goal.
“Our partnership with the Osteopathic Foundation has evolved into a true strategic alliance,” said Hodges. “We are deeply grateful for this significant investment in local children.”
Doris Ralston, executive director of the Colorado Springs Osteopathic Foundation, said the Foundation board chose to back the project because CASA is the only nonprofit in the community that provides a voice in court for children who are victims of abuse, neglect or domestic conflict.
“Because CASA has a remarkable record of exceeding its goals, we believe their plan to eliminate waiting lists will be successful,” said Ralston.