CASA-Voices for Children
Child Advocates Collaborate Virtually Anywhere with Cloud-Based Tools
As part of the national CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocate) organization, CASA-Voices for Children is a three-employee nonprofit organization based in Oregon. It trains and supervises volunteer child advocates to represent children who are victims of abuse, neglect, and domestic conflict. The organization currently has 45 advocates for children in foster care or juvenile court proceedings in Benton County, Oregon. The staff members document the children's needs and conditions, manage complex court documents, interact with judges and social workers, and keep detailed records. They also manage complex projects, such as fundraising, board management, and the Juvenile Court Improvement Project.
Emails weren't robust enough for these needs, and the staff struggled to organize documents. They needed a cloud-based collaboration tool. Kari Rieck, who runs CASA-Voices for Children, requested a donation of Huddle through TechSoup. She quickly realized that Huddle could do more than help share large documents. Rieck organized groups to collaborate and share information, such as the Juvenile Court Improvement Project. Here the district attorney's office, child welfare case workers, and members of a citizens review board, jointly identify problems and propose solutions for improving the Benton County juvenile justice system. The group uses Huddle to schedule meetings and to develop documents. Rieck particularly likes the version-control features of Huddle, something difficult to achieve with email.
The staff also used Huddle to organize CASA's annual fundraiser. Huddle helped committee members build a project schedule with milestones and built-in task reminders. It helped create a master project calendar, schedule meetings, and create documents.
Rieck plans to use Huddle to communicate with volunteer advocates and to keep track of complex cases, which in the long run will allow this organization to do more good in their community.