Grant Amount: $55,826
Bitterroot Court Appointed Special Advocates (BCASA) will provide well trained and supported advocate volunteers to connect with and speak for the best interests of children under the jurisdiction of 21st District Court. BCASA currently represents 81 children removed from their homes due to abuse and neglect, and the number of children they serve has more than doubled over the past 18 months. BCASA will strengthen its program and partnerships to meet the advocacy and permanency needs of every abused and neglected child in Ravalli County. The funding will provide an increase in the program director hours, increasing the director’s capacity to recruit, train, and manage advocate volunteers. Through the active partnerships with the 21st District Court, Family Social Services, and the National CASA program, they will provide in-service training and support volunteer advocates as they care for children and navigate the complex issues and multiple causes of child maltreatment. Bitterroot CASA will facilitate 12 presentations in 7 communities to recruit at least 20 new advocates. The overall goal of the project is to increase awareness of abuse and neglect to decrease the number of incidences in Ravalli County.