Indiana Forms Win-Win Partnerships to Promote CASA Programs and Help Kids

At the State Office in Indiana, we have formed several partnerships that have proved invaluable to both local programs and abused and neglected children. Most recently, the Indiana CASA office is collaborating with The Justice Project, a non-profit whose mission is to be a pro-active platform for just causes. One of the programs of The Justice Project, called, “A Book of My Own,” donates new books with nameplates in them to CASA children, to encourage a love of reading. The Justice Project and the Indiana State CASA Office partnered to distribute books to abused and neglected children through CASA programs.

In the most recent “A Book of My Own” event in Fort Wayne, Indiana, 300 books were donated by The Justice Project and distributed to children through the local CASA program, Allen County CASA. The event was held in the Courthouse Atrium and local judges, as well as the Mayor, county commissioners, the State CASA Directors, the State Superintendent of Schools, and the Executive Director of The Justice Project, Noah benShea, attended and spoke to the crowd.

Local foster children attended and were given the opportunity to pick out age appropriate books. The event was well attended by the community and resulted in several great news stories that included positive press for CASA programs.

A similar event was held in Indianapolis several months earlier, in which the books were presented to the juvenile judge in the courtroom, also resulting in good news coverage for the CASA program. The Indiana State CASA Office has also arranged for The Justice Project’s Executive Director Noah benShea to be the keynote speaker at the Indiana CASA Conference. The speaker fee will be donated to The Justice Project and will be used to provide more books to more Indiana children through additional “A Book of My Own” events with local CASA programs.

I believe that forming mutually beneficial partnerships with key partners is extremely beneficial for local CASA programs and the children they serve. The Indiana State Office has a history of developing unique partnerships that assist both the State Office and local programs with raising public awareness of our mission, recruiting and training volunteers and fundraising.

We have collaborated with the Indiana Retired Teachers Association to recruit more retired teachers to be CASA volunteers, a relationship that has resulted in an addition of over 200 retired teacher volunteers over the last several years.

The State Office has also partnered with the Fraternal Order of the Eagles, which chose CASA as their philanthropy project for the year and raised over $85,000 for the CASA network in Indiana. Finally, we also partnered with the Department of Education, Youth Law TEAM of Indiana and the CIP project to develop an educational advocacy manual and to provide training to CASA volunteers, foster parents and child welfare professionals across the state.

For more information about any of these projects, please contact me at Leslie.Dunn@courts.in.gov.

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