The Colorado Springs Osteopathic Foundation awarded a multi-year grant of $50,000 per year for three years in support of CASA of the Pikes Peak Region’s new capacity-building volunteer management initiative called the Peer Coordinator Model.
Last year, CASA served 443 abused and neglected children in the Dependency and Neglect (child abuse) program; this represents only 44% of the nearly 1,000 child victims who could benefit from CASA advocacy services.
The Peer Coordinator model will help CASA serve more children without the expense of hiring numerous paid staff. The launch of the new model will provide experienced long-term volunteers known as Peer Coordinators (PCs) to support the newly trained advocates, adding another level of volunteer leadership to the organization. PCs take on the role of coach and mentor to the new volunteer advocates, while staff members support the Peer Coordinators.
CASA’s goal is to double the volunteer base over the next six years in order to provide services to more children. “By the year 2020 we believe we will be able to serve all children in need of advocacy in our court system rather than the 44% we serve today,” said CASA Director Trudy Strewler Hodges. “This model builds in efficiencies so our cost per child will actually decrease because of the larger number of children served,” said Hodges.
Building capacity to serve all children in need, in a cost effective manner is the ultimate goal. “Our partnership with the Osteopathic Foundation has evolved into a true strategic alliance and we are deeply grateful for this significant investment in local children,” said Hodges.
Doris Ralston, executive director of the Colorado Springs Osteopathic Foundation said the Foundation board chose to back the project because CASA is the only nonprofit in our community that provides a voice in court for children who are victims of abuse, neglect or domestic conflict, and every child in this situation deserves a voice. “Because CASA has a remarkable record of exceeding its goals we believe that their plan to eliminate waiting lists will be successful. It is sad that CASA is needed however we are fortunate that CASA is here for those children,” said Ralston.