National Court–Appointed Special Advocate Program

Audit Report 07-04
December 2006
Office of the Inspector General


Appendix III
OJP Response to the Draft Report






December 15, 2006



TO: Glenn A. Fine
Inspector General
United States Department of Justice
 
THROUGH: Guy K. Zimmerman
Assistant Inspector General for Audit
Office of the Inspector General
United States Department of Justice
 
FROM: Regina B. Schofield
Assistant Attorney General
 
SUBJECT: Response to Draft Audit Report National Court-Appointed Special Advocate Program
 

This memorandum provides a response to the Office of the Inspector General’s (OIG’s) draft audit report entitled, “National Court-Appointed Special Advocate Program.” The Office of Justice Programs’ (OJP’s) National Court-Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) Program is administered by the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP) and the Office for Victims of Crime (OVC).

The draft report contains two recommendations and no questioned costs directed to the OJP. For ease of review, the draft report recommendations are restated in bold and are followed by OJP’s response.

  1. Ensure that NCASAA establishes a methodology for allocating indirect costs so that federal funds are not charged to unallowable cost categories.

    • The Office of Justice Programs agrees with the recommendation. The Office of Justice Programs will work with the National Court-Appointed Special Advocate Association (NCASAA) to enhance its procedures to ensure that indirect costs are properly allocated in its accounting records and that unallowable cost categories are not charged to Federal funds.

  2. Develop outcome-based performance measures for the CASA grant programs to determine the effectiveness of the programs in meeting the needs of children in the CWS. As appropriate, these outcome measures should correspond to the data required by HHS for and local CPS agencies, so that OJP has a basis for comparing the effectiveness of its CASA grant programs.

    • The Office of Justice Programs agrees with the recommendation. As noted in the draft report, the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention and the Office for Victims of Crime have developed outcome measures for the CASA grant programs administered by their offices. Attachments 1 (OJJDP) and 2 (OVC) contains a list of the outcome performance measures identified for these programs.

      In March 2006, OJJDP initiated a working relationship with the Administration of Children and Families (ACF) to enhance the performance measurement systems for both AFC’s and OJJDP’s programs that address similar issues. The Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention anticipates that this joint effort will lead to improved assessments of outcomes for children served by the National CASA program. In addition, the NCASAA has indicated their willingness to assist with the effort to improve performance measurement for its CASA grant program and its Training and Technical Assistance grant program.

Thank you for your continued cooperation. If you have any questions regarding this response, please contact LeToya Johnson, Director, Program Review Office, on 202-514-0692.

cc: Beth McGarry
Deputy Assistant Attorney General
  for Operations and Management

J. Robert Flores, Administrator
Office of Juvenile Justice and
  Delinquency Prevention

John W. Gillis, Director
Office for Victims of Crime

LeToya A. Johnson, Director
Program Review Office

Richard P. Theis
Audit Liaison
Department of Justice



ATTACHMENT 1





Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention

Performance Measures for Court-Appointed Special Advocate Grant Program

In accordance with the Government Performance and Results Act (Public Law 103-62), the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP) developed performance measures for its National Court-Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) grant program, which were included in the grant program solicitation guidelines. Specifically, OJJDP required the grantees to provide information regarding:

  • Number of new volunteers trained and recruited
  • Number of new children served by the CASA program
  • Number of new staff trained by the CASA program
  • Progress reports identifying steps taken to address specific goals and objectives identified by the program

In the Fiscal Year 2007 National CASA grant program continuation solicitation guidelines, OJJDP will require grantees to provide information regarding:

Program Goals/
Objectives
Performance
Measures
Data to be
Reported

To increase the number of children receiving services under the CASA Program.

Percentage of new children receiving CASA volunteer advocacy services.

Number of new children being served by state and local CASA programs from local program surveys, compared with data from previous year.

To increase the number of advocate volunteers serving children under the CASA Program.

Percentage of advocate volunteers serving children.

Number of volunteers providing services to children from local program surveys compared with data from previous year.

To enhance the matching of children to volunteer advocates, by increasing the percentage of volunteer advocates recruited and trained who have ethnic, cultural and racial backgrounds that are similar to the children served by the CASA program.

Percentage of volunteer advocates recruited and completing training who have ethnic, cultural and/or racial backgrounds that are similar to the children served by the CASA program.

Number of volunteer advocates recruited and completing training who have ethnic, cultural and/or racial backgrounds that are similar to the children served by the CASA program, compared with number of volunteer advocates recruited and completing training.

To increase recruitment of advocate volunteers under the CASA program.

Percentage of new volunteer advocates recruited.

Number of new volunteer advocates recruited, compared with number from local program survey for previous year.





ATTACHMENT 2





Office for Victims of Crime

Performance Measures for Court-Appointed Special Advocate Grant Program

In accordance with the Government Performance and Results Act (Public Law 103-62), the Office for Victims of Crime (OVC) developed performance measures for its National Court-Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) grant program, which were included in the grant program solicitation guidelines. Specifically, OVC required the grantees to provide information regarding:

  • Number of new volunteers trained and recruited
  • Number of victims of child abuse in Indian Country assisted by CASA volunteers
  • Number of new tribal CASA programs
  • Training and Technical Assistance curriculum adapted for use in Indian Country
  • Progress reports identifying steps taken to address specific goals and objectives identified by the program

In addition, in the Fiscal Year 2007 National CASA grant program continuation solicitation guidelines, OVC will require grantees to provide information regarding:

Program Goals/
Objectives
Performance
Measures
Data to be
Reported

To improve the capacity of the tribal court CASA program to provide well trained advocates for abused children in tribal courts. The goal is to continue to improve the capacity of the tribal court CASA to provide a multidisciplinary, cooperative team approach that ensures child victims of crime receive culturally relevant services that address their needs.

To assist American Indian/ Alaska Native communities in providing advocacy to child victims involve in tribal court cases. This advocacy will improve the overall handling of cases of child abuse, child sexual abuse, and severe physical abuse, in a manner that increases support for and lessens additional trauma to the child victim.

Outcomes:
Percent increase in number of identified services to child abuse/sexual abuse victims to improve the investigation, prosecution, and overall handling of cases of child sexual abuse and severe child abuse.

Percent increase in number of victims identified and served.

Outputs:
Percent increase in the number of child abuse/sexual abuse prosecutions.

Percent increase in the number of established tribal court CASA programs.

Percent increase in the number of trained staff and advocates.

Percent increase in the number of child protection teams (CPTs) established and/or trained.

Number of identified services available at the beginning and end of the reporting period.

Number of victims identified and served at the beginning and end of the reporting period.

Number of prosecutions at the beginning and end of the reporting period.

Number of staff and advocates trained and available to provide advocacy/services at the beginning and end of the reporting period.

Number of CPTs established/trained at the beginning and end of the reporting period.






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