Henrico CASA is a nonprofit organization committed to advocating for the best interests of children involved in the Juvenile and Domestic Relations District Court process. The CASA program recruits, screens, trains, and supervises competent volunteers dedicated to representing the needs of abused and neglected children, as well as other children in juvenile dependency proceedings. CASA promotes safe, permanent homes for all children and seeks to educate the community concerning the needs of abused and neglected children.
Henrico CASA’s recent strategic plan supports the agency’s overriding goal of reducing abuse and neglect in Henrico County. To accomplish our goal, Henrico CASA is committed to serving all children who are referred to us for court advocacy. This goal has been met with the assistance of up to 118 CASA volunteers who have served up to 400 children and 6 talented and passionate staff who are all supported by a 12-member board of directors. CASA uses highly trained volunteers to consistently accomplish its secondary goals. These goals include:
I know that I can rely on CASA if I need help because they have given me excellent CASA workers. It does not bother me talking to someone I know I can trust. I think CASA is perfect. They are there for me and watch out for me and help me if I need help. (Child - 11)
Our professional staff provides excellent program services, and assesses needs to ensure the program addresses current and future community needs. Our volunteer CASA advocates provide unparalleled services through the court system, ensuring that each child does not get lost in an overburdened legal system or languish in an inappropriate foster or group home setting.
The volunteer Board of Directors and Advisory Members are comprised of community leaders who serve in governance roles and assist in raising needed funds. By identifying and cultivating partnerships with foundations, individuals and corporations willing to fund this valuable service, the board facilitates financial stability for Henrico CASA. Each gift remains in Henrico County working for the children who most need CASA’s help, specifically, the children of our community who have experienced severe neglect, abuse and those children who find themselves in juvenile dependency proceedings in Juvenile and Domestic Relations District Court.
Our greatest challenge on the Board of Directors is to recruit new donors and leaders who are passionate about the Henrico CASA mission. We seek people who will not only be a voice for the children who cannot speak for themselves, but who will introduce others to our missions. I’m excited to lead the Board as they focus on building lasting relationships for CASA, which will ultimately lead to an increase in our individual donor base.
YOU have the power to make a difference and know that a child’s life will be enriched. We invite you to join Henrico CASA in changing a child’s life with your leadership and support.
Mario Chambers, Board Chair
Henrico CASA is currently governed by a 13-member volunteer Board of Directors and Advisory Council from a variety of communities in the metro-Richmond area who represent diverse backgrounds, interests, and talents. The board’s goal is to have its membership reflect the demographics of the community served. Since 1994, the CASA Board of Directors has provided the stability, oversight and financial support essential to the achievement of the organization's mission and responsible growth. During the last year, the Board renewed a commitment to the organization’s mission and developed a plan to support and expand that mission in the following ways: (a) to maximize the program's ability to serve all abused and neglected children referred by the Court by securing adequate financial resources to support staff and volunteer activities; (b) to support and maintain the integrity of the organization and the CASA program by adhering to established program policies and providing consistent quality oversight of the organization and the program; (c) to increase the knowledge of CASA's mission in the community and to educate the community about the problems of abused, neglected and endangered children through community education and outreach efforts such as public speaking engagements and a newsletter; and (d) to develop an action plan from their newly developed 2014 Strategic Plan ensuring that they are ready to better support current fund development efforts.
The Board updated the agency's Strategic Plan during their FY14 retreat. The Board identified guiding goals and objectives for Henrico CASA for the next five years. For accountability, each objective and/or each activity will be assigned to a specific committee or to staff. The Annual Action Plan will be derived from the strategic plan goals and objectives during the coming year.
Barbara Herzog became the Executive Director of Henrico CASA in 2008. She was promoted from Volunteer Coordinator to Program Director in 2004. Prior to joining staff, Barbara served as a volunteer Court Appointed Special Advocate with Henrico CASA for seven years. Barbara has been active in child related issues for her entire adult life. She has worked with high-risk children as a daycare provider for low-income parents, peer counselor, parenting mentor, respite provider, and foster parent. Barbara has also been involved in direct fundraising and Department of Social Services grant reviews and was a member of the Governor’s Advisory Board on Abuse and Neglect. She is currently a member of the Children First Committee created by the Virginia Supreme Court Improvement process and trains new judges on CASA in Virginia. Barbara joined the Virginia Department of Social Services team in 2014 to help develop guidance for their diversion practice in cases of abuse and neglect. She was a member of the inaugural class of the Emerging Nonprofit Leadership program in 2008. Barbara graduated with a BFA from Parsons School of Design, New York.
Henrico CASA recognizes that partnerships between those serving abused and neglected children are vital to providing the best service possible especially in these challenging economic times. Through a layering of community partnerships, Henrico CASA continues to collaborate with a large percentage of our colleagues for volunteer training and our court kiosk and resource guide projects. Based on the newly forged relationships and ongoing relationships with our colleagues, several of our community partners completed continuing education opportunities for our volunteers during the last year. These seminars included....
-Statewide CASA Partnership Conference, Department of Criminal Justice Services (DCJS)
-What Happens After Parental Rights Are Terminated? Jim Carey, Supervisor, Henrico Department of Social Services
-Understanding Community Resources for Families and Children, Henrico Department of Social Services
-K.L Randis, author of Spilled Milk, the best-selling novel of the author’s true story of child abuse
-State of Poverty in Greater Richmond, Christie Marra, Esquire, Virginia Poverty Law Center
-Understanding Child Advocacy Centers, Ian Danielsen, LCSW, Greater Richmond SCAN
-Domestic Violence and Its Effects of Children, Carolina Velez-Rendon, Consultant
-Understanding Opiate Addiction and Its Effects on Families, Charles Adcock, LCSW, Program Director with Family Center for Counseling and Recovery
-Poverty Simulation: A Day In Their Shoes, Chesterfield, Goochland, Hanover, and City of Richmond CASA Programs
Kiosk and Program Partner Organizations: The Commonwealth Mediation Group, SCAN/FAM, Commonwealth Parenting, ChildSavers, Safe Harbor, St. Joseph's Villa, Commonwealth Catholic Charities, Clinical Alternatives, Moore Academy, Adoptions from the Heart, The Fatherhood Support Group, Lutheran Family Services, Institute for Family Centered Services, Prevent Child Abuse Virginia, Fan Free Clinic, Salvation Army, Back 2 Basics. The Henrico Department of Social Services, Victim Witness, Not With These Hands.org, Henrico's Domestic Violence Task Force, Family Lifeline, United Methodist Family Services, Metropolitan Richmond Women's Bar Association, U. S. Department of Health & Human Services, VA State Bar, National Institutes of Health, Office of National Drug Control Policy, and United Way of Greater Richmond & Petersburg
Henrico County Court Appointed Special Advocates, Inc. is a 501(c)3 nonprofit child advocacy organization implemented through training and development of community volunteers, for the sole purpose of providing comprehensive advocacy services for every child victim in Henrico County. The final goal is to improve the quality of life of these children and ensure that they are eventually placed in safe, permanent homes. A CASA volunteer provides a judge with a carefully researched background of the child to help the court make a sound decision about that child’s future. Each case is as unique as the child involved. The CASA evaluates if it is in the child’s best interest to stay with his or her parents or guardians, be placed in foster care, or be freed for adoption. The CASA makes recommendations to the judge and follows through on the case until it is permanently resolved. CASA volunteers offer children trust and advocacy during complex legal proceedings. They explain to the child the events that are happening, the reasons they are in court, and the roles the judge, lawyers, and social workers play. CASA volunteers also encourage the child to express his or her own opinions and hopes, while remaining objective observers. CASA has been endorsed by the American Bar Association, the National Council of Juvenile and Family Court judges, the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention of the U.S. Department of Justice.
Henrico CASA primarily uses volunteer resources to make an independent assessment of abused and neglected children who are referred to the court. CASA volunteers typically spend more time with the child and collaterals than any other entity serving the family. This time is the most important element required to ensure a proper assessment of the child’s situation. The strengths and weaknesses of a family can only be ascertained through observation. Volunteers also assess the child’s and family’s responses to services provided by the system. CASA volunteers commit to following the child’s case from beginning to end and are often involved for up to two years or more. This long term commitment helps to ensure that the best permanency situation is achieved. The holistic approach of the CASA volunteer has been proven to be one of the most successful strategies in a successful outcome for neglected and abused children. Positive outcomes for the community and the child are: shorter length of time spent in foster care which allows the child a continued parental bond, less repeated abuse to the child, less school disruptions, and better service provision to the child and caregivers all of which save the Commonwealth financial resources now and in the future.
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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