For the first time in its 30 years, Richland County’s child advocacy program received a perfect assessment from its national association.
Richland County Court Appointed Special Advocates (RC CASA) scored 100 percent in each of 14 different quality-assurance categories, setting a shining example of its efforts to provide the County’s neglected children with safe, permanent homes.
“The National CASA quality assurance process is very rigorous, and reflects our commitment to ensure every child we serve has the most powerful volunteer advocate working on their behalf,” said Michael Piraino, chief executive officer of the National CASA Association. “This certification says Richland County CASA has demonstrated to us a strong capacity to provide excellent services to the abused and neglected children within their community.”
RC CASA recruits, screens, trains and provides legal representation for Guardians ad Litem that are appointed through Family Court. These volunteers speak for the best interests of children in court and help ensure they live in safe and loving environments. Presently, the County has 500 CASA volunteers.
“Going through the accreditation process is very involved,” said Paige Greene, RC CASA executive director. “The CASA team collectively spent over 60 work hours to complete all the necessary standards of accreditation. Receiving the 100 percent score made it all worth it. I’m blessed to work alongside such strong child advocates and volunteers.”
The National CASA Association noted the following points of excellence in its recent assessment of Richland County:
· Program’s efforts regarding the diversification of its employees and volunteers to reflect the diversity of the children
· Program’s crisis management plan format is concise and the plan offers well-defined management
techniques for addressing identified crises
· Program’s grievance policy is comprehensive and provides clearly defined procedures for addressing complaints
“Each year, RC CASA volunteers advocate on behalf of over 1,000 maltreated children,” Greene said. “The number of children in need of a CASA volunteer continues to grow and the need for additional volunteers has never been greater."
For more information about RC CASA, visit www.rccasa.org or call (803) 576-1735.