INDIANAPOLIS, IN and SEATTLE, WA--(Marketwired - June 28, 2016) - Kappa Alpha Theta Fraternity announced that the organization's Foundation will work with local chapters to raise an unprecedented $1 million over the next three years to support the National Court Appointed Special Advocate Association (National CASA) in its launch of a rigorous performance measurement initiative. National CASA was presented an initial $200,000 gift at Kappa Alpha Theta's Grand Convention in Phoenix, Arizona, this past weekend. This groundbreaking investment sets National CASA on the path to becoming an evidence-based practice and generating new evidence-based knowledge about outcomes for youth in foster care and in the court system.
With financial backing from Kappa Alpha Theta Foundation, National CASA will create and distribute a new annual publication highlighting the most innovative and effective practices from its network of nearly 1,000 programs serving children in 49 states and from other leaders in the child welfare arena. The first-of-its-kind best practices guide will be a go-to resource for policymakers and practitioners to help generate better and more predictable outcomes for America's most vulnerable children.
"To lead the way in investing in CASA's impressive plan to become an evidence-based practice means Kappa Alpha Theta Foundation has the opportunity to make a difference in communities where Theta doesn't have chapters, groups or members, but where there are children who need our support," said Kappa Alpha Theta Foundation Executive Director Kristen Kaiser. "By supporting this national initiative, Thetas can work collectively to make an impact that will be a source of pride for our fraternity -- a lasting promise to the betterment of our communities and to our nation's most vulnerable children."
"We already know that Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) and guardian ad Litem (GAL) volunteers have a dramatically positive impact on the overburdened foster care and court system, and we are committed to ensuring that every abused or neglected child has a caring, consistent adult to advocate for his or her well-being," said National CASA Association Chief Executive Officer Tara Perry. "With Kappa Alpha Theta's support, we know a performance measurement system will bring our advocacy to new levels of effectiveness and help National CASA move the field of child welfare forward for the benefit of children who have experienced unspeakable trauma and tragedy."
Speaking up for abused and neglected children has long been a priority for Kappa Alpha Theta, which has more than 250,000 initiated members worldwide. Children in foster care are less likely to graduate from high school, more likely to be trafficked, and they experience higher rates of incarceration and homelessness as they enter adulthood. National CASA's local CASA and GAL member programs across the United States recruit, train and support volunteers who act as the eyes and ears of the judge, helping him or her make informed decisions about the best interests of these at-risk youth.
Last year, National CASA Association's network supported more than 76,000 highly trained adult volunteers and served more than 250,000 children, making National CASA uniquely qualified to learn more about what interventions matter most for children in foster care. With a state-of-the-art performance measurement system in place, National CASA will be able to identify trends and to better understand which interventions produce the best possible outcomes for these children, including safety, permanency and the opportunity to thrive.
With Kappa Alpha Theta's investment, the initiative will begin immediately and will span at least three years. National CASA has already assembled a team of experts on performance measurement and evaluation from leading research institutions and its own member programs. National CASA will continue to identify new partners to help improve outcomes for children in need of a champion.
About the Partnership
Since 1989, the Leading Women of Kappa Alpha Theta have contributed millions of dollars to the National CASA Association and its member programs. Extending beyond dollars, Kappa Alpha Theta's more than 350 college and alumnae chapters and groups have formed close relationships with CASA/GAL programs in their local communities. Theta's members serve as court-appointed volunteers, donors, staff members, board members and champions for a cause that has captured the hearts of Thetas everywhere. Together, Kappa Alpha Theta and the National CASA Association have been a powerful voice for children in communities nationwide.
About the Kappa Alpha Theta Foundation
Kappa Alpha Theta Foundation is a 501(c)(3) organization whose mission is to secure and manage resources for the educational, leadership, and philanthropic programs of Kappa Alpha Theta Fraternity, founded in 1870 as the first Greek-letter fraternity for women. The Foundation also supports the scholastic, professional, and service pursuits of its members to help them reach their fullest potential and make a difference in the world. Theta Foundation grants more than $1.1 million annually in support of Theta women and chapters, Kappa Alpha Theta Fraternity, and other community organizations. For more information, visit www.KappaAlphaThetaFoundation.org.
About the National CASA Association
The National Court Appointed Special Advocate Association, together with its state and local member programs, supports and promotes court-appointed volunteer advocacy so every abused or neglected child in the United States can be safe, have a permanent home and the opportunity to thrive. Today, more than 76,000 CASA and GAL volunteers serve more than 250,000 children, but approximately 400,000 children are without an advocate. National CASA Association is working in partnership with its state and local programs in 49 states to close that gap to ensure the highest quality advocacy on behalf of America's most vulnerable children. For more information, visit www.CASAforChildren.org.