CASA of Gila County gets Victims of Crime Act Funds

PAYSON — CASA of Gila County has been named a recipient of a VOCA grant from Arizona Department of Public Safety’s Crime Victim Services Unit.  

The award will run from October 1, 2017 to September 30, 2020. These VOCA funds will be used in Southern Gila County to recruit, screen, train, and manage CASA volunteers who advocate for children who have been removed from home due to abuse or neglect. 

Arizona DPS provides funding under the federal Victims of Crime Act (VOCA).  

Each year, millions of dollars are deposited into this fund from criminal fines, forfeited bail bonds, penalty fees and special assessments collected by the US Attorney’s Offices, US Courts and the Bureau of Prisons. These dollars all come from offenders convicted of federal crimes. 

Direct services to help crime victims achieve positive outcomes in the four basic need areas supported by VOCA: Healing, Safety, Justice and Economic Re-stabilization. 

CASA of Southern Gila County needs to maintain their volunteer base so more child abuse victims can be directly served. 

Providing professional training to the advocates  and continuing the program’s  recruitment efforts will enable CASA volunteers to give more child abuse victims a voice, to give them a voice is to give them hope, and to give them hope is to give them life! 

Having a CASA volunteer can mean the difference between a child languishing in foster care or having a safe, permanent home. 

A national study found that children with a advocate are substantially less likely to spend time in long-term foster care; more likely to receive needed services; more likely to have their cases permanently closed, and never return to the Department of Child Safety system. Child abuse victims in Southern Gila County are currently underserved due to a shortage of CASA volunteers.

Anyone interested in becoming an advocate for these vulnerable children, should contact Emily Leverance at 928-402-4427 or visit the website at

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