New Jersey – August 1, 2019 – Court Appointed Special Advocates of New Jersey, Inc. has been awarded a $35,000 Branding Campaign grant from the National Court Appointed Special Advocate/Guardian ad Litem (CASA/GAL) Association for Children. Funds will be used to tailor a national public awareness campaign about child abuse and neglect for local markets, and to distribute the campaign.
There are nearly 950 CASA/GAL programs nationwide, including 48 state offices, that recruit, train and support volunteers who advocate in court for the best interests of children who have experienced abuse or neglect. Their advocacy enables judges to make the most well-informed decisions for each child.
National CASA/GAL has developed a broad-based national campaign, “Change a Child’s StoryTM.” It is distinguished from other campaigns in that its messaging is told from the point of view of children who have experienced abuse or neglect. The campaign shows the importance to these children of having a volunteer by their side to advocate for their best interests.
In New Jersey, the campaign will run in newspapers and digital advertisements, and on radio and social media.
“Funding from the National CASA/GAL Branding Campaign grant will allow our organization to raise awareness of the need for individuals from across the state to step up and volunteer as Court Appointed Special Advocates.” said April Aaronson, Executive Director of CASA of New Jersey.
Over half of the 9,500 children from our state placed in foster care due to abuse and neglect at home are waiting for a caring adult to speak up for their best interests in court and in the community. Those interested in becoming a CASA volunteer can learn more at CASAforChildrenNJ.org.
The “Change a Child’s StoryTM campaign was developed with R&R Partners, a cause-driven marketing and advocacy agency that has worked on prominent social issues campaigns. R&R Partners conducted focus groups across the country to ensure the campaign would resonate with target audiences while being sensitive to the perceptions of those with experience growing up in foster care.
The federal grant funds distributed through National CASA/GAL 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. In 2018, National CASA was awarded nearly $10 million in federal grants.
About CASA of New Jersey
CASA volunteers work to ensure the safety and well-being of New Jersey’s most vulnerable citizens through one-on-one advocacy.
Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) of New Jersey supports a statewide network of CASA programs, with the goal of bringing CASA advocacy to all children in foster care.
CASA is a model “public-private partnership” that helps the state better protect abused and neglected children and, in doing so, reduces the state’s cost of caring for those children. CASA programs are authorized by N.J.S.A. 2A:4A-92. Our services help the Department of Children and Families (DCF) to ensure the safety, well-being, and permanency of these children, and assist the Judiciary in making the best decisions possible for them.