For Immediate Release
May 8, 2015
Rep. Loudenbeck Votes to Protect Most Vulnerable
Three proposal supporting children, sexual assault victims pass JFC
Madison – Yesterday, the Joint Committee on Finance voted in favor of making investments in programs for our most vulnerable populations. The committee approved an additional funding of $100,000 to the Sexual Assault Victim Services (SAVS) grant program at the Department of Justice. In addition, the committee approved a motion authored by Rep. Loudenbeck which allocates $80,000 per year for two years to support the Wisconsin Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) association. The committee also voted to restore funding for child advocacy centers across the state.
“Protecting our most vulnerable populations should be a priority even in a tight budget year, and I am proud to support these three proposals. I authored the motion to provide state funding to CASA because the program gives a voice to abused and neglected children who are in our court system. Child Advocacy Centers provide a safe child-friendly environment where law enforcement, child protective services, prosecution and medical and mental health professionals may share information in cases involving a child. SAVS funding will help victims of sexual assault with services and support,” said Rep. Loudenbeck.
CASA volunteers are appointed by judges to advocate for the best interests of abused and neglected children in court and other settings. The primary responsibilities of a CASA volunteer are to:
- Gather information by meeting with the child and family members, reviewing records, and meeting with professionals who have contact with the child
- Document findings to the court
- Appear in court and advocate for the child
- Explain to the child what is happening throughout the court process
- Seek cooperative solutions among individuals and organizations for the best interests of the child
- Recommend services
- Monitor case plans and court orders
- Keep the court informed on any updates to the child’s situation
SAVS funding is used for:
- Advocacy and counseling services
- Crisis telephone services 24/7
- Professional intervention and prevention education
- Services for victims with special needs or that are hard to reach such as rural residents, men, children, elderly, disabled, and other underserved groups
A child advocacy center is the only non-profit to serve as the first stop for children entering the justice system because of suspected sexual abuse, severe physical abuse, and those who have witnessed a violent crime. Last year, over 7,000 children received critical services at Wisconsin’s child advocacy centers.
Link to SAVS motion: http://legis.wisconsin.gov/eupdates/asm89/Motion239.pdf
Link to CASA motion: http://legis.wisconsin.gov/eupdates/asm89/Motion246.pdf
Link to State Justice Assistance Grants motion: http://legis.wisconsin.gov/eupdates/asm89/Motion200.pdf