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National CASA/GAL launches poverty learning series

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September 22, 2021

National CASA/GAL launches poverty learning series


SEATTLE, Washington–The National CASA/GAL Association for Children, which serves more young people in the child welfare system than any other national organization, is launching its poverty learning series–a new initiative aimed at educating its nationwide network of program staff and volunteers to better inform them how to advocate on behalf of children and youth impacted by poverty.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention CDC, rates of child abuse and neglect are five times higher for children in families with low socioeconomic status compared to children in families with higher socioeconomic status. Beginning this fall, the National CASA/GAL Poverty Learning Series will feature resources and learning opportunities for 950 state organizations and local programs about the relationship between poverty and child abuse and neglect.

The series will feature:

  • Poverty Learning Center. An online repository for CASA/GAL network employees and volunteers comprised of poverty-related resources such as podcasts, movies/documentaries, and relevant reading materials.
  • Change Leaders Speaker Sessions. Thought and change leaders on poverty will share their vision and work, bringing the topic of poverty to life through real world examples. The first speaker is Michael Tubbs, former mayor of Stockton, special advisor for economic mobility and opportunity for the state of California, and senior fellow for the Rosenberg Foundation.
  • National CASA/GAL Book Club: The Subject of Poverty. A curated selection of readings focused on the topic of poverty. The first reading is “Poorly Understood: What America Gets Wrong about Poverty” by Mark Robert Rank, Lawrence M. Eppard, and Heather E. Bullock.
  • Poverty Simulation. CASA/GAL staff and volunteers will participate in virtual poverty simulations – to walk a mile in someone’s shoes who is living in poverty.
  • Webinar Series. Exploring several topics related to poverty including the connection between the potential to reduce child welfare system involvement through the implementation of poverty-reduction strategies; trends in poverty and child maltreatment over time; and the latest theoretical and empirical evidence on the subject.
  • Advocacy in Action. A “meeting in a box” toolkit for local programs to use to facilitate conversations and education with their volunteer advocates and staff.

The National CASA/GAL Poverty Learning Series is just one of many transformative initiatives sustaining its unwavering support to creating a culture of learning, by providing ongoing training for CASA/GAL staff and volunteers. Last summer, the organization launched its learning center on diversity, equity and inclusion, featured a book club and live discussions with renowned authors, such as Richard Rothstein and Ta-Nehisi Coates.