Child Advocates of Fort Bend has been awarded an $80,000 Mentoring Grant from the National Court Appointed Special Advocate/Guardian ad Litem Association for Children.

Funds will be used to recruit, train and assign new volunteers to represent the best interests of children who have experienced abuse or neglect. Work done under the mentoring grant will target key populations such as American Indian/Alaska Native, rural and opioid-impacted youth. Funds from the grant will be distributed over a two-year period.

There are nearly 950 CASA/Gal programs nationwide, including 49 state offices, supporting volunteers who work on behalf of children in the child welfare system. Their advocacy enables judges to make the most well-informed decisions for each child.

The mentoring grant will enable Child Advocates of Fort Bend to focus on advocating for the needs of at risk and underserved youth. Volunteers will also mentor youth, helping them increase their level of connectivity with community and family, improve educational outcomes and reach stable placements.

“We have developed a successful WINGS life skills program for youth aging out of foster care and have seen high school graduation rates climb from 25% when we started the program in 2005 to 100%. This grant will enable us to build on our current program, provide more extensive training for advocates to mentor transitioning youth and lead to even better outcomes,” stated Ruthanne Mefford, CEO of Child Advocates of Fort Bend.

The federal grant funds distributed through National CASA/Gal are provided by the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention, US Department of Justice, as authorized under the Victims of Child Abuse Act of 1990. In 2019, National CASA/GAL was awarded nearly $7 million in federal grants.

About Child Advocates of Fort Bend:

Child Advocates of Fort Bend is a non-profit agency dedicated to ending child abuse by providing a voice, healing the hurt, and breaking the cycle of child abuse in Fort Bend County. Through its Court Appointed Special Advocates Program (CASATM), Children’s Advocacy Center (CAC) and more than 200 trained community volunteer advocates, Child Advocates of Fort Bend improves the lives of more than 400 children each month and has served more than 17,0000 children since opening its doors in 1991. The agency is hosting a Transforming Lives Summer Soiree at its new campus to save on expenses and provide guests a clearer picture of the work that they do. Guests will have a great, distanced-friendly time while raising much needed funds to support abused and neglected children with immediate and long-term sustainability of the agency’s programs. For reservations, to sponsor or for more information on the Summer Soiree, contact Lisa Moore at Lmoore@cafb.org. For more information on Child Advocates of Fort Bend go to www.cafb.org.

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