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Events and News

Welcome New Executive Director

After a national search for a new Executive Director, our interview panel selected Cheryl White to lead the organization as we continue our important work to support children in our state. As an accomplished nonprofit executive, Cheryl brings diverse expertise in operational leadership, strategic planning, fund development, and a deep commitment to advancing diversity, equity, and inclusion especially as it relates to children and families. Cheryl was integral to opening the LifeChange for Women and Their Children Program in Beaverton, Oregon where families experiencing homelessness, domestic violence, and addiction could experience a safe, healing environment. Her own life experience led her to invest in the lives of children, youth, and families in both her professional and personal life ultimately bringing her to volunteer as a CASA in 2019 and later accepting a position as CASA Volunteer Program Manager with a local program in 2020. 

Cheryl's focus is on cultivating collaborative community relationships to support all programs working with children and families and overcoming barriers to successful outcomes. With her extensive experience, and her BS in Human Development, Cheryl aspires to continue her passion by working with and learning from CASA programs, volunteers, stakeholders, and other agencies as we continue to advocate for the best interest of the children we serve.

JEDI Workshops

Washington CASA Association is excited to announce the launching of a series of workshops about Justice, Equity, Diversity and Inclusion (JEDI), how it impacts our work in child welfare and best interest advocacy, and how we can incorporate JEDI into our everyday work.

Overview of JEDI Workshops

These workshops are expected to provide engaging, thoughtful, and interactive opportunities to advance understanding and knowledge about JEDI and to build capacity to address JEDI among the local CASA/GAL programs and other participating organizations, agencies, and stakeholders.

Tiered Workshops-the content builds on the previous sessions

The workshops are scaffolded into multiple sessions meaning the content builds and advances as one progresses through each session. The significant length of time devoted for each Workshop is intentional in order to provide adequate time to deliver the content, and allow participants opportunities to process their learning as a group, and to identify approaches to integrate learning into their own organizations’ internal processes and practices. ZOOM REGISTRATION IS BELOW

Sponsors of the JEDI Workshops

The JEDI Workshops Series is made possible through two generous grants awarded by the Charis Fund Foundation and Sound Credit Union.  Washington CASA Association is grateful for their partnership and commitment to Justice, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion in the child welfare system and helping us to improve our work.

Meet the Trainers

Sigrid Davison

Sigrid Davison provides strategic leadership and planning to promote and strengthen diversity and inclusiveness at Central Washington University (CWU), building professional success and effectiveness pathways, and cultivating belonging and community to foster affirmative experiences and retention of minoritized employees. Previously at CWU, she worked to improve institutional effectiveness through analytics and research of institutional data and surveys.  Ms Davison has over 25 years examining and tackling inequality and injustice. Prior to arriving at CWU in 2013, she managed the Intergroup Dialogue Program at Syracuse University, which followed the completion the national Multiversity Intergroup Dialogue Research Project (MIRP) administered through the University of Michigan. MIRP is the only national multi-university experimental research project evaluating social justice curriculum on 24 different educational outcomes, Ms Davison was the research coordinator for the Syracuse University site. She has over 12 years’ experience designing and teaching academic credit bearing courses in psychology, sociology and women and gender studies, as well as developing, implementing and evaluating programs and workshops grounded in substantiated research and best practices of social justice education.

Currently, Ms Davison is a doctoral student at Northeastern University in the College of Professional Studies Graduate School of Education’s Organizational Leadership Studies track and is anticipating graduation in 2021. She is ABD in Social Psychology and achieved a MS in Social Psychology at Syracuse University and a BA in Psychology at the University of Washington – Seattle. Additionally, Davison facilitates strategic planning development workshops for the Society for College and University Planning and is an evaluator for the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities.


Verónica Gómez-Vilchis

Verónica Gómez-Vilchis is the Diversity Advocate and Outreach Specialist at Central Washington University.  She provides collaborative leadership to build and execute strategies to attract and acquire talent for the sustainability of the university. She builds partnerships and generates cross campus cooperation with university leadership to implement substantiated approaches that reflect the highest standards of talent acquisition for diversity inclusion and belonging. Ms Gómez-Vilchis has been dedicated to social justice, equity, and diversity at CWU for over 20 years, by designing and implementing educational programs for human resources and student success. She extends her impact by consulting on initiatives and programming for equity, social justice and on workplace harassment prevention locally and internationally.

Currently, Ms Gómez-Vilchis is a graduate student at CWU in the College of Business’ Human Resources Management Professional Certification. Additionally, she holds a Master’s of Arts in Intercultural Communication and a Bachelor’s of Arts in Spanish from Central Washington University. She holds certifications in mediation, leadership development, intergroup dialogue, and workplace investigation.


Workshop Series #1

Building Blocks of a Dialogue: Communication for Equity and Inclusion

National CASA/GAL Continuing Education: 6 hours

Court Learning Education: 6 credits in Ethics and Professional Responsibility

Workshop Series #2

Whiteness: What is it, and why it matters.

National CASA/GAL Continuing Education: 8 hours

Court Learning Education: 8 credits in Ethics and Professional Responsibility

Workshop Series #3

Antiracism: Going Beyond Allyship

National CASA/GAL Continuing Education: 8 hours

Court Learning Education: 8 credits in Ethics and Professional Responsibility

Child Welfare in the News

Seattle, Wash., June 13, 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- On June 6, 2022, the National Court Appointed Special Advocate/Guardian ad Litem (CASA/GAL) Association for Children collaborated with Unbelievably Resilient to host the second annual CASA/GAL Volunteer’s Day to honor and thank CASA/GAL volunteers nationwide, who work hard to ensure children and youth in the child welfare system have their voices heard every day. Unbelievably Resilient is a nonprofit organization dedicated to changing the negative narrative surrounding foster care.

Leading child advocacy organization is celebrating 40 years of impact

Leading child advocacy organization is celebrating 40 years of impact

Leading child advocacy organization is celebrating 40 years of impact

Leading child advocacy organization is celebrating 40 years of impact

Local CASA/GAL programs across the country are galvanizing support nationwide to participate in this virtual unifying event, in support of children and families in the child welfare system.

Local CASA/GAL programs across the country are galvanizing support nationwide to participate in this virtual unifying event, in support of children and families in the child welfare system.

This brief presents findings from an exploratory impact evaluation of the New York City Performance Partnership Pilot (P3) program, which enhanced youth workforce services for young parents. We find that after leaving the program, NYC P3 enrollees had better outcomes than the comparison group in their occupational training participation rate, participation in other education and job-oriented services, high school equivalency credential attainment, and education/training enrollment and credential attainment. On average, NYC P3 participants earned high school equivalency credentials nearly four months sooner than comparison group members. We do not find significant impacts on employment or earnings. The brief concludes with recommendations for policy and practice.

Child care subsidies and other safety net programs are crucial for the well-being of families with low incomes, including parents’ economic stability and children’s development. But research has shown that policies and practices in the child care subsidy system can prevent families from accessing and keeping child care benefits that ensure their children receive care in stable, quality settings.

This fact sheet pulls out lessons from previous research on seven ways states can make child care more accessible and equitable for families and more efficient for agencies: (1) examine customer service flexibility, quality, and efficiency; (2) simplify application, reporting, and verification requirements; (3) change eligibility thresholds; (4) talk with parents, providers, and caseworkers to identify barriers to subsidy access and retention; (5) improve coordination across programs; (6) align and integrate policies and systems across programs; and (7) build data, information, and reporting capacity.

Millions of working parents qualify for food, medical, and child care assistance that can help them support their families. When parents receive these crucial supports, they are better able to stabilize their lives, advance their careers, and raise their children. But many eligible families do not receive the help they need, partly because of barriers in cumbersome state safety net benefit systems.

This fact sheet highlights lessons from previous research on how states can streamline their technology systems, policies, and business processes—and prioritize the customer’s point of view—to improve the customer experience, advance equity by expanding access to supports, and reduce programs’ administrative burden on states.

This report summarizes the latest decennial census data for the greater Washington, DC, (Greater DC) region, including the District of Columbia’s eight wards and 24 cities and counties in Maryland, Virginia, and West Virginia. The region grew from 5.6 to 6.4 million people between 2010 and 2020, an increase of 13.0 percent. Since 2000, the adult share of the region’s population has slowly increased while the share of children has decreased. The Greater DC region became more racially and ethnically diverse over the past decade, with large increases in both the Hispanic/Latinx and non-Hispanic/Latinx Asian and Pacific Islander populations. The District experienced the fourth-largest decade of population growth in its history, but the Black population continued a 50-year decline. The non-Hispanic/Latinx Black population became the largest group overall in the region’s five Maryland counties, surpassing the non-Hispanic/Latinx white population, with even larger growth for the Hispanic/Latinx population. Growth over the past decade in the Virginia counties and cities was driven largely by increases in the non-Hispanic/Latinx Asian and Pacific Islander populations and Hispanic/Latinx populations.

The report appendices include charts showing population changes for adults, children, and racial and ethnic groups for the District’s wards and the Maryland, Virginia, and West Virginia jurisdictions in the Greater DC region.

This technical report describes the steps taken to design and administer a survey of early educators employed in child care programs participating in Capital Quality, the District of Columbia’s quality rating and improvement system (QRIS). The survey collected data on a range of topics including the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on early educators’ employment and job earnings; perspectives toward Capital Quality; professional development and career plans; job qualifications, compensation, and employee benefits; work environment; physical and mental health; and demographics and financial well-being. The research team programmed the web survey in Qualtrics and administered it between February 24 and May 3, 2021. The report details survey response rates; the steps taken to clean, weight, and analyze the survey data; and characteristics of the study sample. A copy of the final survey instrument is appended to the report.

Research briefs presenting survey findings may be found on the project web page.

The District of Columbia rolled out a revamped quality rating and improvement system, Capital Quality, in 2016–18, in an effort to boost early care and education program quality. Although program directors are the primary target of Capital Quality’s technical assistance, understanding the experiences of early educators employed in their programs can yield insights on the system’s efficacy. We administered a survey of early educators working in Capital Quality–participating facilities in early 2021. We found that slightly more than half of respondents were aware of the new QRIS by name before receiving the survey. We also found that many, but not all, early educators had directly or indirectly interacted with their program’s quality facilitator, who supports program directors with designing and implementing a continuous quality improvement plan. Those familiar with components of Capital Quality generally felt positively about it and reported its benefits. These findings provide a picture of how well local early educators have received the new QRIS and opportunities for better informing and connecting with early educators who may be missing out.

This brief is a part of a series sharing findings from the 2021 DC Early Care and Education Workforce Survey. Research briefs and other study products may be found on the project web page. A technical report contains details on survey data collection methods, response rates, sampling weights, and characteristics of the survey sample, and includes a copy of the survey instrument.

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