Dallas CASA recently held an African American-targeted recruitment event in an effort to increase the African American makeup of their volunteer base. Currently the makeup of children served by Dallas CASA is 40% African American, while only 18% of their volunteers are African American. It’s important that CASA volunteers reflect the diversity of the children we serve, so that they can form deeper, more trusting relationships with them. Though all CASA volunteers are equipped to serve any child, it’s best when advocates can fully grasp the experiences of the children they are serving and have conversations with them related to their identity.
With more than 50 people in attendance at the event, Dallas CASA educated many community members on how they could volunteer as a CASA advocate for a child in the foster care system. Dallas CASA was able to bring together so many people thanks to the networks and relationships they have built within their own volunteer base and community.
By asking their African American volunteers, board and staff to share the event among their friends and family, Dallas CASA was able to spread the news about the event to the African American community. In addition, they utilized connections they have within African American churches, contacted their corporate supporters that have Employee Resource Groups and shared information about the event on their social media, pushing their efforts even more.
Dallas CASA utilized every relevant contact and relationship they had to create their amazing turnout. We encourage other CASA programs to consider how they can best utilize existing connections and networks to contribute to the success of recruitment efforts.
For more resources and tips on recruitment, check out:
- our handouts on community mapping,
- our story on working with Black congregations, and
- our story on another local program’s diversity efforts.