Date of Award

5-1-2005

Degree Type

Thesis

University or Center

Clark Atlanta University(CAU)

School

School of Social Work

Degree Name

M.S.W.

First Advisor

Dr. Sarita Davis

Abstract

This study evaluated the efforts of the Fulton County Court Appointed Special Advocate (FCCASA) Program and its effectiveness in permanency planning. Permanency planning refers to efforts to move children through the court system in a timely and efficient manner. Fulton county Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) volunteers collaborate with parties who have a legal interest to children involved in deprivation and neglect proceedings. The outcome of permanency is measured by the following outcome indicators: average number of months (in the past year) children in the CASA program are under court jurisdiction; percent of CASA children dismissed from court custody at six, twelve, and eighteen months after being assigned a CASA; and percent of CASA cases that experienced case closure with the court during the past 12 months. A sample of 25 children having a CASA ordered and assigned to their case was compared with a sample of 25 children who had no CASA assigned to their case. A chi-squared test, t-test, and ANOVA were used to interpret the frequency data collected on child outcomes variables related to time spent under court jurisdiction.

The use of the ecological model allows for cases to be looked at individually, while also providing a holistic view of the interconnected and inseparable relationship of which individuals are a part. This scientific and systematic approach provides better insight in to why CASA volunteers are more effective in promoting permanency for children involved in deprivation and neglect proceedings in the Fulton County Juvenile Court. A brief narrative hignlights the findings and results of the study. Finally, this evaluation provides implications for social work practice that assess the strengths and weaknesses of having a volunteer program such as Fulton County CASA advocate for abused and neglected children involved in deprivation cases.

Signature Location_Supplemental file.pdf (45 kB)
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