Abington Journal

Lackawanna County Court Appointed Special Advocate receives national grant

SCRANTON — The Lackawanna County Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) was awarded a $30,000 grant from the National CASA Association. Funds will be used to recruit, screen and train more CASA volunteers from the community to serve children in foster care who have experienced abuse or neglect.

Lackawanna County CASA, a program of the Advocacy Alliance, is one of almost 1,000 CASA programs across the country that recruits, trains and supports 87,000 best-interest volunteers who help ensure that children who have entered the court and child welfare systems receive appropriate services, have a voice in determining their futures and, ultimately, find a safe, permanent home where they can thrive.

According to the association, a child enters the foster care system every two minutes in the United States and currently there are not enough CASA volunteers to serve every child. In Lackawanna County, about 20 percent of eligible children have a CASA volunteer.

Lackawanna County CASA is holding its next volunteer training this spring. For more information about becoming a best-interests volunteer or other ways to get involved in changing a child’s life, contact Joan Peterson at 570-558-3971 or email jp@theadvocacyalliance.org.

The federal grant funds distributed through the National CASA Association are provided by the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention, US Department of Justice, as authorized under the Victims of Child Abuse Act of 1990. They are awarded through a competitive process. In 2017, National CASA awarded over $4.6 million in federal grants.

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Next round of volunteer training begins this spring