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

The purpose of this evaluation was to conduct a needs assessment for the DeKalb County Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) Program, which utilizes volunteers to advocate for the best interest of abused and neglected children who are in foster care. This assessment assisted the staff in developing a recruitment strategy targeting retired adults. This assessment evaluated the dependability, health and income of retired adults. For the purpose ofthis study dependability was measured by: (a) the number of hours volunteers spent on assigned cases per month, (b) the number of hearings attended and (c) the number of monthly advocacy reports that were completed and sent to volunteer’s advocacy supervisors between September 2004 and November 2004. Six, current, retired adult volunteers participated in the study. A convenience sample of six non-retired volunteers was used to compare dependability findings with those of retired adult volunteers. Income and health were qualitatively analyzed. Descriptive analysis was used describe dependability and volunteer demographics. This evaluation was relevant to DeKalb CASA because, as a program that is dependent upon volunteers to for its success, it is vital that the most advantageous volunteer be recruited and retained. Thus, this evaluation allowed staff to identify the benefit of recruiting this target population in regards to their level of dependabifity compared to non-retired volunteers, as well as, the potential challenges experienced by retired adults in regards to health related illnesses and limited income. Findings from this study concluded that retired adult volunteers are more dependable than non-retired volunteers. In addition, volunteering did contribute to increased feelings of better mental and physical health. Moreover, their limited income did not restrict their ability to volunteer.

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