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Call to Action

CASA Funding Depends on YOU!

Act Now to Restore State Budget Funding for CASA

CASA relies on strong support from both the public and private sectors. A critical component of public sector support is funding for CASA in the NJ State Budget. In FY16, which ends June 30, 2016, CASA’s State Budget appropriation is $2 million – this helps to fund every CASA program in the state. The Budget Proposal for next fiscal year (FY17) had CASA’s State Budget appropriation at $1,150,000 – a significant reduction.

Fortunately, CASA’s appropriation was restored to $2 million in the budget bill.  However, Governor Christie can still issue a line-item veto and undo that restoration. We need EVERYONE to reach out to Gov. Christie and Lt. Gov. Guadagno immediately in order to keep our funding at $2 million and continue serving the state's most vulnerable children!

We need everyone to do three things: email letters to Gov. Christie and Lt. Gov. Guadagno, post on Facebook, and Tweet. Follow the step-by-step directions below for each type of outreach.

Email Letter Writing

Write to Governor Christie:

• Go to the Governor’s website at http://www.state.nj.us/governor/contact/ and send him an e-mail in the form of the sample letter below. Just click on the link above and fill in the boxes:
o Choose "Children & Families” as the topic and "Abuse” as the sub-topic
o Subject line should read "Keep $2M CASA Funding in FY17 Budget”
o Then copy and paste the text from the bottom of this page or from the attached sample e-mail into the message box and send. 
o Volunteers should feel free to add a line or two in the beginning about how they personally made a difference for their assigned child(ren)


E-mail Lt. Governor Guadagno:

• Use the text at the bottom of the page or in the sample e-mail below to e-mail Lt. Governor Guadagno at Lt.governor@gov.state.nj.us
o Subject line should read "Keep $2M CASA Funding in FY17 Budget” 
o Volunteers should feel free to add a line or two in the beginning about how they personally made a difference for their assigned child(ren)

 
Facebook

Write a post on Facebook - one on your CASA program’s Facebook page and one on your personal page:

• (For CASA programs) CASA funding depends on YOU! Support restored CASA funding in the FY17 State Budget by following the Call to Action at our website. It takes just a few minutes and could make all the difference. CASA funding depends on YOU! http://www.casaofnj.org/urgent-call-to-action

• (For CASA supporter/volunteer/trustee/staff personal pages) Join me in supporting restored CASA funding in the FY17 State Budget by following the Call to Action on their website. CASA is near and dear to my heart, and by taking action, you could make all the difference! http://www.casaofnj.org/urgent-call-to-action

Twitter

If you have a Twitter account, please tweet the following at various intervals until you receive notice to stop (be sure to copy/paste each tweet verbatim so that all tags are captured).  Please be sure to re-tweet any other messages of support: 

• For kids in foster care, CASAs are often the only constant in their lives. Tell @GovChristie to keep CASA funding at $2M in FY17 budget! #FundCASANJ
• For kids in foster care, CASAs are often the only constant in their lives. @KimGuadagnoNJ please keep CASA funding in FY17 budget! #FundCASANJ 
• Every child deserves an advocate. @GovChristie please restore CASA funding in FY17 budget because CASAs are for the child! #FundCASANJ
•  Every child deserves an advocate. @KimGuadagnoNJ please support CASA funding at $2M in FY17 budget because CASA's for the child! #FundCASANJ
• CASAs benefit kids in foster care. Ask @GovChristie to maintain FY17 CASA State Budget funding at $2M! #FundCASANJ
• CASAs benefit kids in foster care. Ask @KimGuadagnoNJ to maintain FY17 CASA State Budget funding at $2M! #FundCASANJ
• CASAs stand up for society’s most vulnerable children. @KimGuadagnoNJ, please support CASA funding at $2M in FY17 budget! #FundCASANJ
• Less than $5/day funds a CASA volunteer. Tell @GovChristie to #FundCASANJ in FY17 because it's a wise investment for kids in foster care!
• CASAs served 3,500 kids last year in NJ. Keep CASA funding at $2M in FY17 budget @GovChristie, and help us expand advocacy! #FundCASANJ
@KimGuadagnoNJ: CASAs help reduce NJ's cost of care for kids in care. Please support CASA funding in FY17 budget at $2M! #FundCASANJ
@GovChristie: CASAs help reduce NJ's cost of care for kids in care. Please support CASA funding in FY17 budget at $2M! #FundCASANJ
@GovChristie: CASAs are unique because they represent the child's best interest. Please keep restored CASA funding in FY17 budget! #FundCASANJ
@KimGuadagnoNJ: CASAs are unique - they represent the child's best interest. Please keep CASA funding at $2M in FY17 budget! #FundCASANJ 
• Tell @GovChristie to keep CASA funding at $2M in FY17 budget because CASAs speak up for society's most vulnerable kids in court! #FundCASANJ
• CASAs make an incalculable difference for kids and save money for NJ. @KimGuadagnoNJ support CASA restoration in FY17 Budget #FundCASANJ 
• CASAs make an incalculable difference for kids and save money for NJ. @GovChristie support CASA restoration in FY17 Budget #FundCASANJ 
• CASAs perform a critical state function for NJ's most vulnerable. @GovChristie keep CASA restoration in FY17 Budget #FundCASANJ

Please act on this request immediately – we need to be sure that the Governor and Lt. Governor hear from at least 1,000 of us and it must be done IMMEDIATELY! As soon as the bill is sent to Governor Christie, he will begin his line-item vetoes. As such, he needs to hear from us NOW if we want to keep the increase!

Sample Message to Governor

Dear Governor Christie,

I am writing with a request on behalf of Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) programs statewide. We understand that the FY17 budget bill in the legislature includes restoration of funding for CASA to the FY15/FY16 amount of $2 million. We urge you to maintain this funding -- it is urgently needed and represents a wise investment of state dollars.

The restored appropriation amount of $2 million is well-justified. While CASA programs raise the vast majority of needed funds from private sources, State Funding of $2 million in FY15 and FY16 has allowed us to start serving a greater percentage of the children in placement (over 26%). This, in turn, yields greater benefits to the State. Not only does the work of our 1,600+ CASA volunteers reduce the cost of caring for children in placement by millions of dollars each year (over $3.5 million in just 6 cases), it also creates an opportunity for Federal reimbursement through Title IV-E claiming. As such, CASA represents a cost-effective public-private partnership which is of incalculable value to the lives of New Jersey’s most vulnerable children. The $2 million contemplated in the FY17 budget bill would mean that the State of New Jersey is paying a reasonable share – close to 1/3 -- of the cost of that partnership.  

It is critical to maintain the $2 million level of CASA State Funding in FY17 in order to maintain the gains that have been made for children during FY15 and FY16. This includes CASA serving 600 additional children while meeting the mandates of the revised state standards for CASA programs and volunteers. Absent the restoration, hundreds of children will lose CASA advocacy.

As such, we respectfully urge you to maintain this restored CASA funding of $2 million in the budget you ultimately approve for FY17, and thereby enable us to continue to provide advocacy for at least the same 
number of New Jersey’s most vulnerable children.   

On behalf of the entire CASA network – including the more than 1,600 volunteers who served 3,500 children 
last year, thank you for your support and your commitment to doing the right thing for children!

Respectfully, ______ name, CASA program & title

Sample Letter to Lt Governor:

Dear Lieutenant Governor Guadagno, 

Thank you for your consistent support of Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA). I am writing to request your assistance with regard to the FY17 budget bill, which restores CASA state funding to the FY15/FY16 level of $2 million. However, we are all concerned about that restoration being maintained in the final budget signed by Governor Christie.

As you know, the restored appropriation amount of $2 million is well-justified. While CASA programs raise the vast majority of needed funds from private sources, State Funding of $2 million in FY15 and FY16 has allowed us to start serving a greater percentage of the children in placement (over 26%). This, in turn, yields greater benefits to the State -- not only does the work of our 1,600+ CASA volunteers reduce the cost of caring for children in placement by millions of dollars each year, it also creates an opportunity for Federal reimbursement through Title IV-E claiming. As such, CASA represents a cost-effective public-private partnership which is of incalculable value to the lives of New Jersey’s most vulnerable children. The $2 million contemplated in the FY17 budget bill would mean that the State of New Jersey is paying a reasonable share – close to 1/3 -- of the cost of that partnership.  

It is critical to maintain the $2 million level of CASA State Funding in FY17 in order to maintain the gains that have been made for children during FY15 and FY16. This includes CASA serving 600 additional children while meeting the new mandates of the revised state standards for CASA programs and volunteers. Absent the restoration, hundreds of children will lose CASA advocacy.

As such, we respectfully request your assistance in ensuring that the restored CASA appropriation of $2 million is maintained in the budget ultimately signed by Governor Christie. Please urge Governor Christie to maintain the restored funding for CASA so that we can continue to provide advocacy for at least the same number of New Jersey’s most vulnerable children.

CASA programs throughout the State of NJ would be grateful for your assistance in ensuring that the State Appropriation of $2 million is ultimately approved by Governor Christie as part of his final FY17 State Budget.
On behalf of the entire CASA network -- including the more than 1,600 volunteers who served 3,500 we served children last year, thank you once again for your strong, consistent support and your commitment to doing the right thing for children!

Respectfully, __________name, CASA program, and title

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