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Indiana GAL/CASA program gets national grant

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Indiana’s State Office of the GAL/CASA has been awarded a $40,000 grant from the National Court Appointed Special Advocate Association. The money will be used to support local programs that provide volunteer advocacy for abused and neglected children in Indiana.

The National CASA is distributing $1.2 million in federal grants this year to 32 programs. The money is provided by the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention, U.S. Department of Justice.

In 1989, the Indiana General Assembly established the office of Guardian Ad Litem and Court Appointed Special Advocates, with services to be administered through the Division of State Court Administration. Through the program, counties can be certified to be eligible to receive matching grants administered by the division and disbursed pursuant to a statutory formula. The state office also provides training and support for local programs.

There are certified GAL/CASA volunteer programs in 72 of Indiana’s counties. Last year, 3,300 GAL/CASA trained volunteers advocated for abused and neglected children in the state. Volunteers donated more than 414,000 hours in 2011, saving the state an estimated $21 million.

“CASA programs continue to face deep budget cuts as a result of the still-struggling economy," said Michael Piraino, CEO of the National CASA Association. “National CASA grants provide strength and stability to our network, ensuring we continue to support the children who need help the most.”

For more information about serving as a volunteer CASA or guardian ad litem, contact Leslie Dunn at 317-232-2542 or at leslie.dunn@.courts.IN.gov.

 

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  1. Frankly, it is tragic that you are even considering going to an expensive, unaccredited "law school." It is extremely difficult to get a job with a degree from a real school. If you are going to make the investment of time, money, and tears into law school, it should not be to a place that won't actually enable you to practice law when you graduate.

  2. As a lawyer who grew up in Fort Wayne (but went to a real law school), it is not that hard to find a mentor in the legal community without your school's assistance. One does not need to pay tens of thousands of dollars to go to an unaccredited legal diploma mill to get a mentor. Having a mentor means precisely nothing if you cannot get a job upon graduation, and considering that the legal job market is utterly terrible, these students from Indiana Tech are going to be adrift after graduation.

  3. 700,000 to 800,000 Americans are arrested for marijuana possession each year in the US. Do we need a new justice center if we decriminalize marijuana by having the City Council enact a $100 fine for marijuana possession and have the money go towards road repair?

  4. I am sorry to hear this.

  5. I tried a case in Judge Barker's court many years ago and I recall it vividly as a highlight of my career. I don't get in federal court very often but found myself back there again last Summer. We had both aged a bit but I must say she was just as I had remembered her. Authoritative, organized and yes, human ...with a good sense of humor. I also appreciated that even though we were dealing with difficult criminal cases, she treated my clients with dignity and understanding. My clients certainly respected her. Thanks for this nice article. Congratulations to Judge Barker for reaching another milestone in a remarkable career.

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