State CASA Association Receives National Grant to Benefit More Abused, Neglected Children in Maryland

TOWSON, MDMaryland CASA Association has been awarded its second consecutive $50,000 Capacity Building Grant from the National Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) Association to expand its services on behalf of abused and neglected children.

Funds will be used by Maryland CASA to implement the second phase of its capacity building project to increase the number of children in foster care who have CASA volunteers helping them find safe, permanent homes; the organization will work with at least three of fifteen local CASA programs throughout the state to build their capacity to serve more children.

“We are thrilled to have been awarded another capacity building grant, which will allow us to build upon the growth generated in Phase I of the project and help us reach more children in the state,” said Ed Kilcullen, Maryland CASA’s state director.

The federal grant funds distributed through National CASA are provided by the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP), US Department of Justice, as authorized under the Victims of Child Abuse Act of 1990; they are awarded through a highly competitive process.

“The capacity building grants that National CASA provides to state and local programs are key components to their long-term growth plans,” said Tara Perry, chief executive officer of National CASA. “And Maryland CASA is well poised to grow its statewide CASA network and help recruit more volunteers to ensure that children throughout the region can benefit from the services of a best-interest advocate.”

Today in Maryland, there are nearly 5,000 abused and neglected children in the foster care system as a result of abuse and neglect and an additional 3,000 at-risk children receiving comprehensive in-home services. Those interested in learning more about Maryland CASA, or becoming a CASA volunteer, are urged to contact 410-828-6761 or visit www.marylandcasa.org for more information.

About Maryland CASA Association:
Maryland (Court Appointed Special Advocates) CASA Association is the statewide organization for 15 local CASA programs that recruit and train volunteers to advocate for children in the child protection system. Last year, 1,371 CASA volunteers served 1,589 children in 21 of Maryland’s 24 jurisdictions. Maryland CASA supports the local CASA programs by providing training and technical assistance to program staff, board, and volunteers, as well as promoting public awareness of CASA and assisting with program development.