Why do Well-being Assessments Matter?
CASA volunteers are very familiar with logging contacts, visits and court reports into Optima. This information provides local programs, state CASA organizations, and even National CASA Association with many outputs and data points but doesn’t get to the outcomes and value of the impact a CASA volunteer has on a vulnerable child seeking a safe and permanent home. In a Child Trends report to National CASA this was stated, “A good way of thinking of the difference between outputs and outcomes is outputs are what we do— activities and participation; describing and counting. Outcomes are “what difference is there?”—or the impact thought of as short, medium and long-term.”
Well-being is a multi-dimensional concept that includes a variety of domains that cover the child’s physical, mental, educational, and behavioral health indicators. These are important indicators to measure because trauma and maltreatment can have both short and long term impacts on a child. By completing the quarterly well-being assessments, you as the CASA volunteer are able to measure your impact on both short and long term success of the child(ren) on your caseload.
Well-being assessments equip the work of CASA volunteers and CASA staff. Well-being assessments:
- Provide the CASA volunteer with opportunities to assess the need for resources or referrals
- Enable the CASA volunteer to recognize gaps or delays in services
- Help the CASA volunteer recognize patterns in behaviors, placements, and services
- Equips the CASA volunteer to track the progression of well-being indicators over time
- Provide CASA staff with deeper understanding of the needs and progress toward permanency of the child
- Enable CASA staff to track and address gaps in community services/resources
- Support CASA staff in identifying training opportunities for CASA volunteers
- Communicate current community needs and the collective impact of CASA volunteers to potential volunteers,
- Enables staff to demonstrate program effectiveness and impact when recruiting volunteers and funders partners.
Thank you for the time, commitment, and dedication you put into changing the futures for abused and neglected children! We appreciate your support and the time it takes every quarter to complete these valuable assessments.