U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government, Department of Justice.

NCJRS Virtual Library

The Virtual Library houses over 235,000 criminal justice resources, including all known OJP works.
Click here to search the NCJRS Virtual Library

Measuring Child-Outcomes: A Guide to Determining CASA Effectiveness

NCJ Number
Pat Litzelfelner M.S.W; Tom McDonald Ph.D.; John Poertner D.S.W
Date Published
69 pages
This document provides an easy to use system for tracking information necessary to evaluate the effectiveness of Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) programs.
This manual provides information on how to write and measure child outcomes and process goals; ways to track volunteer and program activities; tracking forms that allow easy tools for collecting information; sample surveys; and instruction on how to use the information for writing reports. Child outcome goals reflect what the program hopes to achieve for the children they are serving. They focus on the placement of children in safe, permanent family homes. The measures are the number and percent of children served that experienced recurrence of abuse/neglect; and the number of children that re-enter the court system 6 months or more after case closure with the court. Volunteer activity goals are the advocacy activities volunteers engage in to serve children. These goals are based on frequent contacts with children and families; attendance of all court hearings and child welfare case review meetings; and completion of monthly reports and court reports in a timely manner. Measurements include the results from the Children’s Survey and the Parent or Caregiver Survey. The purposes of the CASA Volunteer Tracking Form, the Child Exit Form, the Supervisor’s Tracking Form, and the Director’s Tracking Form are described. Some tips for surveys include stating in the cover letter the desired return data, including self-addressed envelopes, following up mailed surveys, and calculating mean/average scores to questions and percentage answering each response. Reports should contain descriptive information, evaluation of program goals, time comparison, and feedback from surveys.