OVERLAND PARK, Kan. and SEATTLE, Wash.–The WellSky Foundation, a nonprofit dedicated to removing socioeconomic barriers to health and improving the quality of life for vulnerable populations, today announced a donation of $100,000 to the National CASA/GAL Association. The organization trains and supports court-appointed special advocates (CASA) and guardian ad litem (GAL) volunteers to advocate for children’s best interests once a child who has experienced abuse or neglect has been placed in foster care.
With the contribution from the WellSky Foundation, National CASA/GAL will recruit and train additional child advocates, leading to more children being placed in safe, permanent homes and with their families of origin whenever safely possible. The grant will also provide funding for CASA of Johnson & Wyandotte Counties (Kansas).
“When children don’t have safety, security, and life’s most basic needs, their chances of thriving in childhood and adulthood are significantly diminished. While we currently serve 242,000 children nationally, there are over 100,000 who still need the powerful voice of a CASA/GAL volunteer to advocate for their best interests. The support from the WellSky Foundation helps us not only continue to provide pre-service and in-service training of volunteers and staff but helps recruit more volunteers,” said Tara Lisa Perry, Chief Executive Officer for National CASA/GAL.
In the U.S., more than 390,000 children are in foster care on any given day. Volunteers through the national CASA/GAL network serve as a consistent presence in a child’s life, routinely meeting with the child’s family, foster parents, teachers, doctors, therapists, social workers, and attorneys to understand what is needed to support the child during an uncertain and challenging time. Judges depend on CASA/GAL volunteers for critical information to help them make the most well-informed decisions.
“Aligned with the WellSky Foundation’s mission, this grant will play a pivotal role in expanding the CASA and GAL advocate network, ensuring that more passionate individuals can contribute to our shared goal of providing every child with a safe and nurturing home,” said Brett Fuller, executive director of the WellSky Foundation. “Together with the National CASA/GAL Association for Children, we are expanding a foundation of support and amplifying the voices of vulnerable children who are unable to speak for themselves.”
The WellSky Foundation has donated $1.7 million to over 36 organizations since 2019. To learn more about the foundation and its initiatives, please visit wellskyfoundation.org.
About the National CASA/GAL Association for Children
The National Court Appointed Special Advocate/Guardian ad Litem (CASA/GAL) Association for Children, together with its 939 state organization and local program members, supports and promotes court-appointed volunteer advocacy so that every child who has experienced abuse or neglect in the United States can be safe, have a permanent home and the opportunity to thrive. National CASA/GAL offers leadership and support to the network of programs and leads its continued growth. To learn more, visit nationalcasagal.org or follow National CASA/GAL on Facebook, Instagram or X (formerly Twitter).
About CASA of Johnson and Wyandotte Counties (Kansas)
The mission of CASA of Johnson and Wyandotte Counties (Kansas) is to provide a meaningful voice and connection that instills hope and builds resilience for children who have experienced abuse and neglect. Visit casajwc.org to learn more, donate or become a volunteer.
About the WellSky® Foundation
The WellSky Foundation is a nonprofit dedicated to improving the quality of life for vulnerable populations by removing social barriers to health, recovery, and lasting wellness. The WellSky Foundation is an engine for change, financially supporting organizations that enable care and healing for people, regardless of their socioeconomic status. With a deep understanding of the social determinants of health, the WellSky Foundation partners with community organizations that are boldly addressing the top four socioeconomic factors affecting long-term wellness — housing, food insecurity, transportation, and isolation. The WellSky Foundation is committed to funding and supporting organizations that protect the people and communities they serve and create better outcomes for people in need. Together with our community partners, the WellSky Foundation is breaking down social barriers to health and wellness to build thriving communities. To learn more about the WellSky Foundation, visit wellskyfoundation.org.