The state's highest court announced Wednesday that the Guardian Ad Litem/Court Appointed Special Advocate (GAL/CASA) Program is receiving $49,000 from the National CASA Association.
Formed in 1990, the state court's program was the first in the nation last year to be certified for meeting standards. It also offers training and support for about 65 counties across the state - one of the largest networks in the nation. More than 2,000 volunteers spoke for nearly 13,000 children in new or ongoing CHINS cases, and donated more than 340,000 hours of services, according to the Supreme Court's Division of State Court Administration.
Aside from the national grant, state legislative support continues growing for this program, as well. The Indiana General Assembly recently raised the program budget from $800,000 to $2.9 million, specifically because of changes in state law that require a CASA volunteer be assigned to every child in a CHINS case.