Better Outcomes for Children Proven
Low CASA caseloads means that the courts can make better decisions for children. CASA volunteers handle just 1 or 2 cases at a time, so that they can give each child’s case the sustained, personal attention he or she deserves.
Children with CASA volunteers spend less time in long-term foster care, experience fewer out of home placements, and have significantly improved educational performance.
More than 90% of children with CASA volunteers never re-enter the child welfare system, a significant difference compared to 87% of the general foster care population. This outcome also results in significant savings in child welfare expenses.
Complex cases receive more attention so they can move forward in a timely way. CASA volunteers are typically appointed to the more complex children’s cases – those where there are multiple risk factors, which must be fully understood in order to make a placement decision that will be in the child’s best interests.
Child Abuse and Foster Care Statistics
In 2012, Child Protective Services (CPS) received 3.4
million referrals involving the alleged maltreatment of
6.3 million children. More than 2 million referrals were
screened in for a response by CPS.
1,640 children died as a result of abuse or neglect; of
those, 70% died before reaching their 3rd birthday.
Throughout 2012, approximately 638,000 children
were placed outside their homes for their safety.
The mean time in foster care is 20.4 months. The
median time in foster care is 13.4 months.
Direct costs for services to abused children total over
$33 billion annually. Indirect costs are an additional
The Center for Disease Control estimates the cost at
$210,000 per child, totaling as much as $124 billion for
all children each year.
National CASA Statistics
CASA volunteers make sure that the abuse and
neglect that the children originally suffered at home
doesn’t continue as abuse and neglect at the hands of
There are 951 CASA/GAL programs in 49 states and
the District of Columbia.
An estimated 238,000 children were served by local
CASA/GAL programs in 2013.
In 2013, CASA/GAL programs had almost 75,000
volunteers donate more than 5.75 million hours to
making a lifelong difference in the lives of abused and
neglected children. (Worth nearly $290 million if our
volunteers had been compensated for their services).
Nationally, federal support for CASA programs makes
up only a portion of needed support. Programs
leverage the federal investment to attract a greater
percentage of state, private and court funding to
support advocacy within their local communities.
Cost Effectiveness, High Quality Advocacy
CASA volunteers save tens of millions of dollars in child welfare costs alone. Just 12% of children assigned a CASA volunteer remain in long-term foster care, compared to 16% of the general foster care population.
The child welfare system could not afford to provide a comparable level of advocacy through non-volunteer approaches. In 2013, CASA volunteers contributed 5.75 million advocacy hours, equivalent to almost $290 million in taxpayer dollars if compensated for their service.
By reducing long-term placements, subsequent victimization, and reentry into the foster care system, CASA substantially reduces foster care costs.
75 to 1 return on investment. Federal funding for one staff supervisory position within a local CASA program supports up to 30 trained volunteer workers, assigned to as many as 75 children within a year.
High Quality Advocacy
Judges assign CASA/GAL volunteers to 36% of abuse and neglect cases before them. They express a great need for more volunteers for their cases.
CASA volunteers ensure that the court and child welfare systems remain focused on the specific needs of individual children, so that these needs, including their need for safety and permanency, are addressed expeditiously.
Judges, attorneys, child welfare workers, and parents overwhelmingly report that CASA volunteers make a difference with the children they serve.
With a limited number of available volunteers, judges assign CASA/GAL volunteers to their most difficult and complex cases: those with prior maltreatment or contact with child welfare, cases of extreme neglect, physical or sexual abuse, and those where children have a great level of risk.
CASA volunteers are far more likely than paid attorneys to visit children in their homes, and more likely to investigate whether there are appropriate services for the child or family, and to monitor delivery of services.
Child Maltreatment 2012: https://www.acf.hhs.gov/cb/resource/child-maltreatment-2012
The AFCARS 2012 Report: https://www.acf.hhs.gov/cb/resource/afcars-report-20