MONTGOMERY, Ala. – Gov. Kay Ivey has awarded a $3.35 million grant to support advocacy services for abused, abandoned and neglected children in Alabama.
The grant to Alabama Court Appointed Special Advocates, or CASA Network Inc., will provide trained, caring volunteers to advocate for a child’s best interests in court proceedings. The advocates work with judges, attorneys and social workers to ensure the child receives appropriate care and support while in foster care.
“No child should ever be unsafe at home, but when those situations unfortunately occur and the child enters the foster care system, they need a caring person to advocate for their best interests,” Ivey said. “I commend the Alabama CASA Network for serving and supporting children in need.”
The advocates conduct independent, objective investigations into the life of the child and interview adults and those involved with the case. That information, along with legal, medical and psychological records, provides the means to make recommendations to the court until the child can be placed in a safe, permanent home.
The nonprofit organization serves 34 counties: Autauga, Baldwin, Calhoun, Chambers, Chilton, Coffee, Colbert, Cullman, Dale, Dallas, DeKalb, Elmore, Escambia, Etowah, Geneva, Henry, Houston, Jackson, Jefferson, Lauderdale, Lee, Limestone, Madison, Marshall, Mobile, Montgomery, Morgan, Randolph, Russell, St. Clair, Talladega, Tallapoosa, Tuscaloosa and Walker.
The Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs is administering the grant from funds made available by the U.S. Department of Justice.
“ADECA joins Gov. Ivey in commending the Alabama CASA Network and supporting their efforts to ensure that children receive advocacy and other important support services during very difficult circumstances,” ADECA Director Kenneth Boswell said.
Along with grants, many nonprofit agencies rely on private donations to ensure that their services remain readily available throughout the year.