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Need remains for GAL/CASA help in Indiana

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While more than 4,000 Indiana children remain on a waiting list for advocates in cases that involve abuse and neglect, Guardian Ad Litem/Court Appointed Special Advocates programs recruited and trained 911 new volunteers, a 50 percent increase from 2007, according to the 2008 statewide Court Appointed Special Advocates statistics made available today.

CASA program directors from counties around Indiana met with their local representatives at the Statehouse today to share the statewide statistics and discuss their local issues and achievements, and to thank them for their support of local CASA programs.

Other statistics for Indiana GAL/CASA in 2008:

- 65 counties had certified GAL/CASA programs and received matching grants from the Indiana Supreme Court;

- 2,498 GAL/CASA volunteers advocated for abused and neglected children;

- GAL/CASA volunteers provided a voice for 14,004 children in abuse/neglect cases, and for 2,897 children in termination of parental rights cases;

- volunteers donated 422,841 hours advocating for Indiana's children, and saved the state of Indiana at least $21 million.

A more in-depth look at what specific GAL/CASA programs reported to their legislators will be in the April 15-28, 2009, edition of Indiana Lawyer.

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