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CASA DC receives national grant to raise awareness of DC’s most vulnerable children

Washington DC – January, 2020 –CASA DC has been awarded a $50,000 Recruitment and Awareness 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 45 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 DC, the campaign will run on strategically located ride share stations and bus lines, to attract diverse audiences, in addition to airing local radio sports.

“We are so grateful for this opportunity to expand our recruitment efforts to target specially-identified populations for the strongest possible support to our youth. With the support of National CASA, we will be increasing recruitment of volunteers that more closely align with the demographics and lived experiences of our youth, with a special focus on those with expertise in education and mental health, who can provide strengthened support and advocacy for our youth with the greatest needs in these areas; volunteers with experience in law and forensics to support our growing work with Juvenile Justice and survivors of sexual violence; and most importantly, individuals from our youths home communities, to encourage strong role models who understand the experiences of our youth,” said Arika Orozco, Executive Director of CASA for Children of DC.

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 2019, National CASA was awarded nearly $10.7 million in federal grants.


About: CASA for Children of DC is a leading voice in advocacy for court-involved youth in the District of Columbia. CASA DC connects specially-trained volunteer Court Appointed Special Advocates to support vulnerable and at-risk youth in foster care and the juvenile justice system. CASAs develop a mentor-like relationship with their youth and advocate for their youth’s best interests in Court, promoting greater outcomes and the opportunity to thrive. For more information, visit


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