Anne Arundel County Casa, Inc. Court Appointed Special Advocates

I am for the child

Annapolis, MD   |  http://www.aacasa.org

Mission

To advocate for and support abused and neglected children who are involved in juvenile Court proceedings to ensure their right to safe, stable, permanent homes. AACCASA achieves this mission through the work of CASA volunteers. CASA is central to fulfilling society’s most fundamental obligation by making sure a qualified, compassionate adult will fight for and protect a child’s right to be safe, to be treated with dignity and respect, and to learn and grow in the security of a loving family.

Ruling year info

1994

Executive Director

Ms. Rebecca J Tingle

Main address

8 Church Circle Suite H-103

Annapolis, MD 21401 USA

Show more contact info

EIN

52-1885500

NTEE code info

Foster Care (P32)

Alliance/Advocacy Organizations (O01)

Alliance/Advocacy Organizations (W01)

IRS filing requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

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Communication

Programs and results

What we aim to solve

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Child maltreatment is an epidemic. Daily 1,900 children become victims, and four die. Over 700,000 children are in foster care, 4,900 in MD. Anne Arundel County (AACO) is ranked fourth in MD for child maltreatment reports. Despite AACO's wealth, 33,851 are below the federal poverty level; 10,000 are children. There are 31,377 single parent households of which 20.4% are below poverty. Northern AACO has the highest percent distribution of children entering care and living in poverty; 83% of the children entering care are from single mother households. Poverty is the single best predictor for child abuse/neglect; children in poverty experience maltreatment five times more than the norm. The child welfare system designed to protect these children is overburdened, and children languish in the system with little progress toward a permanent, loving home.
When the State intervenes for a child, the judge can appoint a CASA to provide independent advocacy.

Our programs

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

Court Appointed Special Advocates

AACCASA’s core program activities center on the recruitment, screening, and training of new CASA volunteers as well as the provision of supervision and case planning to volunteers who are appointed to a child. In order to become a CASA volunteer, the interested party (21 years or older) must complete the application process consisting of an interview and thorough background investigation, attend the 35-hour pre-service training program, and be sworn in by a Judge. Pre-service training is scheduled at least two times per year and each training class typically graduates anywhere from 10 to 20 new CASA volunteers. Participants learn about all aspects of the child welfare system and the CASA model of intervention so that they can be effective advocates. Volunteers are obligated to serve as a CASA for a minimum of 12 months, but the average length is 30 months. In addition, CASA volunteers are required to complete 12 hours of continuing education during the year which is offered by the program.
The Court, on behalf of one child or a sibling group, appoints a CASA volunteer to provide factual, objective information to assist the Court in making decisions that are in the child’s best interest. The CASA is considered an "Officer of the Court”, and ensures that needed services are delivered to families and children in a timely and effective manner. Child advocates keep children from "falling through the cracks”, and work diligently to ensure that each child will have the opportunity to live in a safe, stable, permanent home. To fulfill this role, CASA volunteers make a long-term commitment to perform the following: conduct an independent, comprehensive study of the child’s situation; maintain contact with parents, foster parents, attorneys, teachers, therapists and social workers; monitor the child’s living situation by visiting regularly; write formal Court reports with recommendations and provide direct testimony to the Court; continuously advocate for the child’s developmental, educational, and psychological needs. The CASA often serves as a role model and mentor to the child/family, and frequently develops a bonded, healthy relationship with the child that lasts long after the Court case closes.

Population(s) Served
Children and youth
At-risk youth

Where we work

Accreditations

National CASA Association 2018

Awards

Independent Charities of America 2005

Best in America Charities Seal

Affiliations & memberships

National CASA 1997

Our results

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

How does this organization measure their results? It's a hard question but an important one.

Number of new advocates recruited

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Women and girls, Men and boys, Children and youth

Related Program

Court Appointed Special Advocates

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

21 years or older, complete the application process consisting of an interview and thorough background investigation, attend the 35-hour pre-service training program, and be sworn in by a Judge.

Number of children in foster care who have stable placements

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Women and girls, Men and boys, Children and youth

Related Program

Court Appointed Special Advocates

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

Comprehensive study of the child’s situation; contact with all significant parties; monitor the child’s living situation; write formal Court reports; provide direct testimony; advocate for all needs.

Number of children ages 24 months or older entering foster care achieving permanency in 12 months

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Women and girls, Men and boys, Children and youth

Related Program

Court Appointed Special Advocates

Type of Metric

Outcome - describing the effects on people or issues

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

The number of children served who will be living in a permanent home at case closure.

Number of volunteers

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Women and girls, Men and boys, Children and youth

Related Program

Court Appointed Special Advocates

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

The number of CASA volunteers who were assigned to children.

Number of training workshops

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Women and girls, Men and boys, Children and youth

Related Program

Court Appointed Special Advocates

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

The number of 35 hour, required, pre-service training sessions held for new CASA volunteers.

Hours of expertise provided

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Women and girls, Men and boys, Children and youth

Related Program

Court Appointed Special Advocates

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

AACCASA volunteers contributed 8,773 advocacy hours, equivalent to $231,695 in taxpayer dollars if compensated for their service ($26.41 for Maryland for 2014 as determined by Independent Sector).

Number of reports written/published

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Women and girls, Men and boys, Children and youth

Related Program

Court Appointed Special Advocates

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

The number of court reports submitted and accepted by the court. All reports submitted were accepted. 100% acceptance rate.

Number of eligible clients who report having access to an adequate array of services and supports

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Women and girls, Men and boys, Children and youth

Related Program

Court Appointed Special Advocates

Type of Metric

Outcome - describing the effects on people or issues

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

100% of the Judges reported that the CASAs increased their ability to make well-informed decisions by providing verbal testimony and thorough, unbiased written court reports.

Number of new clients within the past 12 months

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Women and girls, Men and boys, Children and youth

Related Program

Court Appointed Special Advocates

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

The number of new court orders received and the number of children who were appointed to a CASA Volunteer.

Number of phone calls/inquiries

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Women and girls, Men and boys, Children and youth

Related Program

Court Appointed Special Advocates

Type of Metric

Input - describing resources we use

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

Total number of prospective volunteers who heard about CASA through multiple sources.

Number of CASA Volunteer Applications Received.

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Women and girls, Men and boys, Children and youth

Related Program

Court Appointed Special Advocates

Type of Metric

Input - describing resources we use

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

Total number of volunteer inquires who went to the next step and submitted an application.

Number of meetings with policymakers or candidates

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Women and girls, Men and boys, Children and youth

Related Program

Court Appointed Special Advocates

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

The total number of individuals or groups that AACCASA presented to.

Goals & Strategy

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn about the organization's key goals, strategies, capabilities, and progress.

Charting impact

Four powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

1. Meet the needs of the children in the child welfare system.
2. Train high quality CASA volunteers.
3. Meet the Court's needs.
4. Collaborate with other organizations inside and outside the jurisdictions to achieve good results for children.
5. Provide a committed, caring presence for each child and ensure that children receive needed services.
6. Advocate for children to reach permanency.
7. Heighten public awareness of the needs of the children in the child welfare system.
8. Maintain a high quality program structure.
9. Demonstrate organizational efforts to be culturally competent and sensitive.
10. Follow the standards for local CASA programs established by the National CASA Association.

1. To serve approximately 130 abused and neglected children.
2. 50 CASA applications will be received, two 35-hour pre-service training sessions will be held, 20 new CASAs will be trained & 24 hrs of in-service will be provided.
3. 100% of Judges who hear CINA cases will report that CASAs increased their ability to make well-informed decisions about the children present before them.
4. 85% of the CASA court reports will be accepted by the court & 75% of the recommendations (educational, medical, psychological, familial, etc.) will be ordered by the court for the child and family.
5. 95% of children served will receive advocacy services that respond to their physical, cognitive, emotional, and permanency needs.
6. 85% of the children served will be living in a permanent home at case closure.
7. 140 requests for information, three fundraising events - Annual Gala, Barristers' Ball & Golf Tournament, 15 presentations to organizations and 30,000 website hits.
8. Some of AACCASA's recent programmatic accomplishments include the “Incredible Award" from Next Gen of Anne Arundel County given to Rebecca Tingle, Executive Director, in acknowledgment of her leadership and entrepreneurial spirit in leading AACCASA. As a result of this accomplishment, AACCASA was awarded $5,000. AACCASA receives recertification by NCASAA every four years through the demonstration of quality program management. AACCASA has been awarded the Best of Annapolis for Child Advocacy; Ravens Community Quarterback Award; Annapolis & Anne Arundel County Chamber of Commerce: Community Outreach Award; Governor's Victim Assistance Award and the Best in America Charity Seal of Approval. AACCASA has been named the favorite charity by the readers of the Chesapeake Family Magazine.
9. AACCASA is dedicated to ensuring that members of the Board, its employees and CASA volunteers reflect the diversity of the community and the children served, be culturally competent and sensitive to their differences. They are selected in accordance with the following principles: uphold a strong commitment to children; responsive to children's and family's needs; possess a desire to work within the child welfare system while abiding by the rules and regulations of AACCASA.
10. National CASA Standards Self-Assessment submitted December 2013. Scored an average of 99% across all compliance indicators. Certificate of compliance granted through February 2022.

CASA programs are authorized to operate in Maryland subject to approved Rules and Guidelines, by Courts and Judicial Proceedings Article, §3-830. This legislation defined the role of a CASA, and established an "Officer of the Court" relationship between CASA and the Court. AACCASA operates under a Memorandum of Understanding and has maintained the strong support of the Circuit Court for AACO who provides in-kind office space at an annual value of $66,312. AACCASA is a member of Juvenile CINA Interdisciplinary Team, and participates in the quarterly meetings sponsored by the Juvenile Court. AACCASA's Executive Director and staff collaborate regularly with the three CINA Magistrates, the Legal Aid Bureau, and the administrators/caseworkers at the Department of Social Services (DSS) to address case related needs. Magistrate Cynthia Ferris and DSS Deputy Director Sharon Hargrove train new CASA volunteers. There is not a similar program in the County. AACCASA is strictly local and independent, having no direct national or state administration, however, AACCASA follows the rules and guidelines set forth by the State of Maryland, Administrative Office of the Courts.
In 2006, AACCASA engaged in strategic planning to sustain long-term stability and to maximize its potential in meeting goals. This has allowed AACCASA to identify critical issues, establish measurable objectives, review and amend timelines, and prioritize strategies for achieving AACCASA's vision of meeting the needs of abused/neglected children. It has enabled AACCASA to create a process for evaluation/adaptive management, and has assisted in building a solid infrastructure to support programmatic goals. Furthermore, it has provided board members and staff with a plan of action to ensure continued progress toward serving all children in foster care.
AACCASA is governed by a 10 member Board of Directors and is administered by a full-time Executive Director. The staff includes a full-time Training Coordinator/Child Advocate Specialist (FTE:1.0), a full-time Administrative/Volunteer Coordinator (FTE: 1.0), and three part-time Child Advocate Specialists (FTE: 1.2) who supervise the CASA volunteers, based on the ratio of 30 volunteers to 1 full-time case supervisor. AACCASA has a team of well-educated and highly skilled program staff who, collectively, has over 90 years of experience in the human services field. Their role is to provide CASA volunteers with professional supervision so that they can effectively advocate for their CASA child.
Volunteers are the cornerstone and foundation of the CASA program. Without a CASA, many of these children would be completely unprepared to manage the “outside" world and the cycle of abuse, neglect and poverty would continue. In FY17, AACCASA volunteers contributed 9,794 advocacy hours, equivalent to $262,381 in taxpayer dollars if compensated for their service ($26.79 for Maryland for 2016 as determined by Independent Sector).

1. FY21: 99 CASAs advocated for 146 children.
2. FY21: 42 CASA applications received, 46 potential CASAs were interviewed, two pre-service training sessions were held, 36 new CASAs were trained, & 82 hours of in-service was provided.
3. FY21: 100% of the Judges reported that the CASAs increased their ability to make well-informed decisions by providing verbal testimony and thorough, unbiased written court reports.
4. FY21: 100% of the court reports were accepted and 78% of the recommendations were ordered.
5. FY21: 100% of the children received CASA advocacy services from their CASAs that responded to their overall needs.
6. FY21: Of the 33 children whose cases closed, 97% were living in safe, stable permanent homes.
7. FY21: 91 CASA volunteer inquiries; Fundraising Events Held: At Home Virtual Gala - 11/7/20, 124,349 website hits, and 5,948 contacts in donor database. Marketing campaigns: email, website, radio, TV and print media
8. Some of AACCASA's recent programmatic accomplishments include the “Incredible Award" from Next Gen of Anne Arundel County given to Rebecca Tingle, Executive Director, in acknowledgment of her leadership and entrepreneurial spirit in leading AACCASA. As a result of this accomplishment, AACCASA was awarded $5,000. AACCASA receives recertification by NCASAA every four years through the demonstration of quality program management. AACCASA has been awarded the Best of Annapolis for Child Advocacy; Ravens Community Quarterback Award; Annapolis & Anne Arundel County Chamber of Commerce: Community Outreach Award; Governor's Victim Assistance Award and the Best in America Charity Seal of Approval. AACCASA has been named the favorite charity by the readers of the Chesapeake Family Magazine.
9. AACCASA is dedicated to ensuring that members of the Board, its employees and CASA volunteers reflect the diversity of the community and the children served, be culturally competent and sensitive to their differences. They are selected in accordance with the following principles: uphold a strong commitment to children; responsive to children's and family's needs; possess a desire to work within the child welfare system while abiding by the rules and regulations of AACCASA.
10. National CASA Standards Self-Assessment submitted December 2013. Scored an average of 99% across all compliance indicators. Certificate of compliance granted through February 2018.

Financials

Anne Arundel County Casa, Inc. Court Appointed Special Advocates
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Operations

The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

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Anne Arundel County Casa, Inc. Court Appointed Special Advocates

Board of directors
as of 1/20/2022
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board chair

Jean Sovinski

Studio 343

Term: 2019 - 2025

Christopher Buck

Frost Tax Law

Shawn Schoene

First National Bank

Tara Dulaney Ritsko

ASRC Federal InuTeq

Jeff Ostenso

Ironmark

Alvin Collins

ACCExplorations, LLC

Rachel Frentsos

Annapolis Fine Homes of Long & Foster Real Estate, Inc.

Jean Sovinski

Studio 343

Cindy Barbieri

Merrill Lynch

Liz Torres

DR Horton

Ellen Shiery

Merrill Lynch

Board leadership practices

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section.

  • Board orientation and education
    Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations? Yes
  • CEO oversight
    Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year ? Yes
  • Ethics and transparency
    Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year? Yes
  • Board composition
    Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership? Yes
  • Board performance
    Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years? Yes

Organizational demographics

SOURCE: Self-reported; last updated 10/08/2020

Who works and leads organizations that serve our diverse communities? GuideStar partnered on this section with CHANGE Philanthropy and Equity in the Center.

Leadership

The organization's leader identifies as:

Race & ethnicity
White/Caucasian/European
Gender identity
Female, Not transgender (cisgender)
Sexual orientation
Heterosexual or Straight
Disability status
Person without a disability

Race & ethnicity

Gender identity

 

Sexual orientation

Disability

We do not display disability information for organizations with fewer than 15 staff.