From Governor’s Office:
Gov. Kay Ivey has awarded a $1.3 million grant to help a nonprofit organization to enhance the quality of 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 hearings. The advocates work with judges, attorneys and social workers to ensure the child receives appropriate care and support while in the foster care system.
“When a child is no longer safe at home and must enter foster care, they need a caring person there to advocate for their best interests,” Ivey said. “I commend this organization and the services they provide for 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 Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs is administering the grant from funds made available to the state by the U.S. Department of Justice. ADECA administers a wide range of programs that support law enforcement, economic development, energy conservation, water resource management and recreation.
“Gov. Ivey understands the importance of surrounding children in the foster system with compassionate professional care like that provided by the CASA Network,” ADECA Director Kenneth Boswell said. “ADECA is pleased to join the governor in supporting CASA Network efforts to ensure that children are able to receive advocacy and other important support services during very difficult circumstances.”
Along with grants, many nonprofit agencies rely on private donations to ensure that their services remain readily available.
Ivey notified Lisa Stone, the organization’s vice president, that the grant had been approved. Matching funds of $325,000 will supplement the award.