COURT APPOINTED SPECIAL ADVOCATES (CASA) OF LEXINGTON
1155 Harry Sykes Way
Lexington KY 40504
Contact Information
Nonprofit COURT APPOINTED SPECIAL ADVOCATES (CASA) OF LEXINGTON
Address 1155 Harry Sykes Way
Lexington, KY 40504
Phone (859) 246-4313
Fax 859 246-4346
Contact Name Melynda Jamison
Web and Social Media
2013 CASA Superhero Run
At A Glance
IRS Ruling Year 2004
Other ways to donate, support, or volunteer
If you are interested in supporting CASA of Lexington, donations can also be mailed to: CASA of Lexington 1155 Harry Sykes Way Lexington, KY 40504.  We also provide trainings throughout the year for those interested in becoming a court appointed special advocate.  For more information contact Mary Elizabeth at mbivins@lexingtonky.gov or call (859) 246-4320.
Other Documents
Financial Summary
Revenue vs Expenses - All Years
Expense Breakdown - Recent Year
Statements
Mission Statement
Through the power of volunteer advocacy, CASA of Lexington works to ensure that all victims of child abuse and neglect are given a chance to thrive in a safe, permanent home.  CASA's trained and supervised volunteers provide an independent voice for children, one child at a time, by speaking for their best interests in the family court system.
Background Statement

In 1976, Superior Court Judge David Soukup of Seattle, Washington saw a recurring problem in his courtroom: 

"In criminal and civil cases, even though there were always many different points of view, you walked out of the courthouse at the end of the day and you said, 'I've done my best; I can live with this decision,' he explains.  But when you're involved with a child and you're trying to decide what to do to facilitate that child's growth into a mature and happy adult, you don't feel like you have sufficient information to allow you to make the right decision. You can't walk away and leave them at the courthouse at 4 o'clock. You wonder, 'Do I really know everything I should? Have I really been told all of the different things? Is this really right?'"

To ensure he was getting all the facts and the long-term welfare of each child was being represented, the Seattle judge came up with an idea that would change America's judicial procedure and the lives of over a million children. He obtained funding to recruit and train community volunteers to step into courtrooms on behalf of the children: Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) volunteers.


A pilot program began in Seattle in 1977. Its success led to adoption by other jurisdictions. The National CASA Association was formed in 1982, opened its national headquarters in Seattle in 1984, and launched a membership and fundraising drive.

 

In 1986 District Court Judge Don Paris attended the National Judicial College and participated in a workshop on CASA.   He returned to Lexington determined to develop a program.  Working with Sue Timmons, Dependency Coordinator for Juvenile Court Services, the two developed the CASA Project of Lexington. In 1990, the program adopted the Friend of Court Model, which utilizes the CASA as an impartial observer to serve as the eyes and ears of the court.


CASA of Lexington operated solely as a project of Lexington-Fayette Urban County Government’s Department of Social Services until May 2003, when we incorporated as a nonprofit organization. This allowed us to pursue various funding sources in order to grow the program. The program is currently funded by grants, donations, fundraising, and continued support of local government.  In 2017 the program expanded services to Bourbon County.

Impact Statement
Accomplishments: 1. Advocates volunteered 5,168 hours of services to children that if a program had paid for the service would have cost approximately $87,856.   2.  Provided advocacy services for 398 abused/neglected children.  3. Average amount of time advocate volunteers monthly case work= 2 years.
Goals:  1.  Resource/fund developement  2.  Increase number of and diversity of advocate pool   3. Increase services to more children
Needs Statement
1.  Funding to provide for immediate program needs and increase our capacity to engage in long term strategic budget planning/sustainability.
2. Increase community awareness of CASA and how real the need for services are in the community. 
3. Increase volunteer pool to permit increased services to children.
4. Diversification of advocacy pool.
CEO/Executive Director Statement
CASA provides an unduplicated service by giving an independent voice for children, one child at a time and focuses solely on what is best for the child or children.  The CASA volunteer also provides vital information in addition to case worker files to help judges make the most informed decision possible.  We make real impacts on the children we serve.  The effectiveness and impact of CASA has been measured, tracked and demonstrated positive results for kids.  Children in the foster care system who have a CASA volunteer assigned to them receive necessary services sooner, for a longer duration and more consistently than those children without a CASA.  Judges have observed that CASA advocated children have a better chance of finding a permanent home, spend 7.5 months less in foster care, experience fewer out of home placements and have significantly improved educational performance.  Together we can change the staggering statistics of child abuse and neglect in Kentucky and Fayette and Bourbon Counties! 
Board Chair Statement After my first experience with observing family court, I was shocked by the horrible situations the children had experienced, but also by the number of children before the court.  I could not help but think there had to be a better way.  I firmly believe CASA can make a difference and help improve an overburdened system.  Working to ensure children end up in a safe, permanent home and thrive.

Our program currently serves only a fraction of the children in the court system.  This is what keeps me working tirelessly to raise funds for the program, to ensure every child that needs a voice receives one through CASA.  I invite you to join me through the donation of your time or resources to work towards this goal.

Service Categories
Secondary Organization Category Civil Rights, Social Action, Advocacy / Children's Rights
Tertiary Organization Category Human Services / Children's and Youth Services
Geographic Areas Served
Areas
Fayette County
Bourbon County
Children we serve are primarily from Fayette and Bourbon counties however, once removed from their homes, they are placed both within and out of these counties. Usually, but not exclusively, they are placed in the state of Kentucky.  Currently we have children placed in 36 counties throughout the state.
Board Chair
Board Chair Ms. Bryanna Carroll
Company Affiliation Kentucky League of Cities
Term June 2015 to June 2018
Board Members
NameAffiliationStatus
Ms. Heather Barron Ball HomesVoting
Ms. Bryanna Carroll Kentucky League of CitiesVoting
Mrs. Amy Len Dailey Community Trust BankVoting
Ms. Thomasena Grider LFUCG Division of Police-DetectiveExofficio
Mr. Greg Hamlin KEMIVoting
Ms. Amanda Henson Community VolunteerVoting
Ms. Stephanie Hong LFUCG Director of Youth ServicesExofficio
Mr. Christopher Hoskins JDJackson Kelly, PLLCVoting
Mr. Tom Kim LexmarkVoting
Mrs. Carolyn Looff Community VolunteerVoting
Mrs. Libby McCarty Riley Oil
Ms. Libby Messer JDFayette County Attorney's OfficeExofficio
Mr. Anthony Perkins CPAPrice, Stagner & Co. PLLCVoting
Mrs. Barbie Pickett Pickett HomesVoting
Mr. Timothy E. Schuler Traditional Bank, Inc.Voting
Mr. Fred Seitz Brookdale FarmsVoting
Ms. Morgain Sprague JDKentucky State PoliceVoting
Mr. Jason Wright Messer ConstructionVoting
Ms. Miranda Wyles Owner-Edward JonesVoting
Mrs. Kay Yates KCTCSVoting
Board Demographics - Ethnicity
African American/Black 1
Asian American/Pacific Islander 2
Caucasian 17
Hispanic/Latino 0
Native American/American Indian 0
Other 0 0
Board Demographics - Gender
Male 7
Female 13
Unspecified 0
Governance
Board Term Lengths 2
Board Term Limits 2
Board Meeting Attendance % 88%
Written Board Selection Criteria? Yes
Written Conflict of Interest Policy? Yes
Percentage Making Monetary Contributions 100%
Percentage Making In-Kind Contributions 100%
Number of Full Board Meetings Annually 4
Standing Committees
Executive
Finance
Development / Fund Development / Fund Raising / Grant Writing / Major Gifts
Nominating
Community Outreach / Community Relations
CEO/Executive Director
Executive Director Melynda Milburn Jamison MPA
Term Start May 2013
Email mjamison@lexingtonky.gov
Experience Melynda graduated from the University of Kentucky in 2004 with a BA in Political Science and Integrated Strategic Communications with an emphasis on Public Relations.  Upon completion of her undergraduate work Melynda served as a Hall Director for the University of Kentucky and earned a Masters of Public Administration from the Martin School in 2006.  Since then she has served as a Legislative Aide for the Lexington Fayette Urban County Government City Council and Executive Director of another CASA program.  She joined CASA of Lexington as the Executive Director in May 2013. 
Co-CEO
Experience 2015
Staff
Full Time Staff 10
Part Time Staff 1
Volunteers 139
Contractors 0
Retention Rate 83%
Management Reports to Board? Yes
Staff Demographics - Ethnicity
African American/Black 2
Asian American/Pacific Islander 0
Caucasian 9
Hispanic/Latino 0
Native American/American Indian 0
Other 0 0
Staff Demographics - Gender
Male 0
Female 11
Unspecified 0
Former CEOs
NameTerm
Ms. Rebecca Cornette MSW 1999 - July 2004
Deborah King MSW -
Senior Staff
Title Volunteer Manager
Title VOCA Volunteer Manager
Experience/Biography

Jenifer is a graduate of the University of Kentucky where she earned a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science. She is a native Kentuckian who was born in Louisville but chose Lexington as her home after college.Previously, Jenifer has worked for Girls on the Run Central Kentucky focusing on instilling healthy lifestyle habits in elementary and middle school aged girls.She came to CASA in November of 2014. 

Title Administrative Specialist
Experience/Biography

Mare is currently attending the University of Kentucky, and will graduate with her Bachelors of Social Work in May of 2015. She is then set to attend graduate school at the University of Kentucky to obtain her Masters of Social Work degree.

She began at CASA as a practicum student in 2013, then went through training to become a CASA Volunteer Advocate and took on a case. After being with CASA over a year, she became a staff member and now holds the position of the Administrative Specialist.



Title Office Manager
Title Bourbon County Volunteer Manager
Title Volunteer Manager
Title Volunteer Manager
Title Volunteer Manager
Formal Evaluations
CEO Formal Evaluation Yes
CEO/Executive Formal Evaluation Frequency Annually
Senior Management Formal Evaluation Yes
Senior Management Formal Evaluation Frequency Annually
NonManagement Formal Evaluation Yes
Non Management Formal Evaluation Frequency Annually
Description
CASA of Lexington recruits community volunteers to become advocates for abused and neglected children. Upon recruitment, applicants are screened through an interview process; undergo background checks including criminal, abuse registry and sexual offender and must provide references. Once volunteers complete a 30 hour training course and court observation, they are sworn in by a judge and appointed to a case involving an abused or neglected child or sibling set.  Advocates serve as the eyes and ears of the judge, working with the child, family, schools, health providers, therapists, social workers, attorneys and others involved getting to know the child they advocate for. They provide court reports including recommendations on the best interest of the child to the court. CASA's follow a case throughout a child's stay in care.  Changes such as where the child goes to school, changes in social workers, teachers and friends, as well as the uncertainty of what life holds, can be very overwhelming for these children.  The CASA is there to help recognize what the child needs and work to minimize these detrimental changes and advocate for positive changes for the child's future. They are often the only stability in the child's life as placements and service providers change. This stability is critical for the child's well being. Our program not only makes a lasting difference in the lives of children but is also cost effective as it is volunteer driven.
Budget 369,215.00
Category Human Services, General/Other Children & Youth Services
Population Served Children and Youth (0 - 19 years), Victims,
Program Short Term Success
In the short-term we hope to be able to serve more children in the Fayette County family court system by providing them with a CASA volunteer. 
Program Long term Success
We want every child that needs a CASA volunteer to have one and hope as more children receive CASA's the rate of child abuse and neglect in Fayette County and Kentucky will decrease.  Kentucky has consistently been among the top states, if not the top state, for child abuse and neglect and we want to see this change!  We desire for every child to grow up in a safe, loving and permanent home.  Together we can break the vicious cycle of child abuse and neglect! 
Program Success Monitored By
A software program called ETO is used to collect data on the children we serve, our cases and our volunteers. 
Examples of Program Success
Each year our program expands and is able to serve more children.  In 2011 CASA of Lexington served 120 children, in 2012 we served 143 and the numbers for 2013 will be even higher.  For the first time in our program's history we will add a third Volunteer Manager in early 2014 allowing us to expand our services by 30 more volunteers and cases and serve more children!
Program Comments
CEO Comments
CASA of Lexington is blessed to have a program and be able to serve children in Fayette and Bourbon counties.  In 2016, local CASA volunteers gave 398 children a voice in court, a cause for celebration!  Yet sadly, 979 more children in our community are in need of our help! These children, too, urgently need a voice in court, a CASA voice. 
 
CASA of Lexington receives funding through grants, private donations, business and organization donations and funds raised through events.  In 2016, CASA of Lexington hosted the CASA Superhero Run and saw great success and raised over $35,000 for the program.  In 2017, CASA of Lexington hosted the fourth annual Bourbon and the Bayou, a Fat Friday event with Kentucky flair. This event was also successful and raised over $60,000 for the program.
Plans & Policies
Organization has a Fundraising Plan? Yes
Organization has a Strategic Plan? Yes
Years Strategic Plan Considers 3
Date Strategic Plan Adopted Jan 2015
Management Succession Plan? Yes
Organization Policy and Procedures Yes
Nondiscrimination Policy Yes
Whistleblower Policy Yes
Document Destruction Policy Yes
Collaborations
Cabinet for Health & Family Services, University of Kentucky, Fayette County Schools, Partners for Youth, LFUCG, Bluegrass Domestic Violence Program (GreenHouse17), Chrysalis House
Affiliations
AffiliationYear
National CASA1986
External Assessments and Accreditations
Assessment/AccreditationYear
Council on Accreditation (COA) [for Children and Family Services] - Accreditation2010
Awards
Awards
Award/RecognitionOrganizationYear
Community Organization AwardPartners for Youth2008
Government Licenses
Is your organization licensed by the Government? No
Financials
Revenue vs Expenses - All Years
Expense Breakdown - Recent Year
Fiscal Year
Fiscal Year Start July 01, 2017
Fiscal Year End June 30, 2018
Projected Revenue $493,647.00
Projected Expenses $492,075.00
Endowment Value $10,400.00
Detailed Financials
Revenue SourcesHelpThe financial analysis involves a comparison of the IRS Form 990 and the audit report (when available). Revenue from foundations and corporations may be included in individual contributions when not itemized separately.
Fiscal Year201620152014
Foundation and
Corporation Contributions
$23,344$38,800$38,200
Government Contributions$0$0$0
Federal------
State------
Local------
Unspecified------
Individual Contributions$239,862$214,959$180,171
$17,731$23,967--
------
Investment Income, Net of Losses--$12$13
Membership Dues------
Special Events$104,316$69,405$61,421
Revenue In-Kind------
Other$23$752$40
Expense Allocation
Fiscal Year201620152014
Program Expense$306,403$272,447$186,987
Administration Expense$9,574$9,082$13,368
Fundraising Expense------
Payments to Affiliates------
Total Revenue/Total Expenses0.821.241.40
Program Expense/Total Expenses80%97%93%
Fundraising Expense/Contributed Revenue0%0%0%
Assets and Liabilities
Fiscal Year201620152014
Total Assets$314,723$250,041$176,831
Current Assets$314,723$250,041$176,831
Long-Term Liabilities------
Current Liabilities$4,851$9,468$2,624
Total Net Assets$309,872$240,573$174,207
Capital Campaign
Currently in a Capital Campaign? No
State Registration Yes
Address 1155 Harry Sykes Way
Lexington, KY 40504
Primary Phone 859 246-4313
Contact Email mjamison@lexingtonky.gov
CEO/Executive Director Melynda Milburn Jamison MPA
Board Chair Ms. Bryanna Carroll
Board Chair Company Affiliation Kentucky League of Cities