Court Appointed Special Advocates of Cherokee County, a program of The Children’s Haven, received the 2019 Innovative Program Award of Excellence from Georgia CASA for innovative practices in volunteer recruitment, retention and appreciation. The CASA program received the award at the Georgia CASA State Conference held in Atlanta on Aug. 3.
With a recent growth grant from Georgia CASA, CASA of Cherokee County launched intensive volunteer recruitment and engagement efforts. The program leveraged volunteer and board member connections to diversify awareness and recruitment efforts. Target groups were identified while board members, volunteers and staff developed attainable recruitment activities and goals. The campaign was a success with a 30% increase in volunteers resulting in 131 active CASA volunteers.
After building up the volunteer base, CASA of Cherokee County turned its focus to volunteer engagement and commitment. CASA of Cherokee County incorporated tours of local group homes and service providers in addition to intimate conversations between CASA volunteers and community leaders.
“The Children’s Haven is proud of the advocacy CASA of Cherokee County provides children in our community so they are happy, healthy and have they support they need at home,” said Marcie Smith, executive director of The Children’s Haven. “Thanks to the commitment of our dedicated volunteers, about 70% of Cherokee County’s children in foster care in 2018 had an assigned CASA volunteer, making Cherokee the county with the second-most assigned CASAs in the state.”