The Nerdery - Overnight Website Challenge

Chicago 2012, November 17-18

CASA of Cook County

CASA of Cook County is the only program of its kind in Cook County and has an exclusive position within the Cook County Child Protection Division . What makes CASA of Cook County a unique entity is that unlike Guardians Ad Litem and caseworkers, CASA Volunteer Advocates handle only one case at a time and are able to give each child the proper amount of time and dedication they deserve. Each Volunteer Advocate forms a one-to-one caring relationship with a child; determines that child's unique situation, needs, and interests; conveys those observations to the Court; and verifies the child receives the services he needs. CASA of Cook County is introduced to a family when a judge in the CPD of the Cook County Juvenile Court appoints CASA to that family's case. Judges rely on the information that CASA Advocates provide. Judges are assured that CASA Advocates do not present a legal position; instead the Advocate's sole motivation is the best interest of the child in need.

CASA of Cook County's Child Advocacy Program works to diminish the challenges faced by children in foster care by recruiting, training and supervising community volunteers who advocate for the best interests of children in court. Because each case and each child is unique, the CASA volunteer provides individual attention and focuses on one case at a time. The CASA Volunteer Advocates does not argue a legal opinion, but speaks up for and on behalf of the child; who often are afraid to speak up.

tl;dr we help children and youth in the foster care system find a safe, permanent home

What new functionality we are looking for

OMG!!! Have you seen our website? It's a health hazard!

We need the new website to be more functional, to have database capacity-collect volunteer info.

We need it to look pretty not just a flat white screen with a huge video.

It needs to serve a purpose not just for the sake of having a site, but to convey a message and promote awareness.

Right now it is all over the place, the layout doesn't make sense. Hard to find the right tabs to get info on us.

Please, please, please for the love of God can be it something else than EE! How about Word Press? Let's keep it simple.

How the new functionality will help

People leave our site because it is too busy. We have great content but the layout/function is a turnoff. If more people are on our site more people will learn about the amazing work we do which can translate into $$$$!


How our organization will use the technology

Who will use the technology

21 Messages from Supporters

2012-09-20 19:37:21 UTC

No organization can survive anymore, let alone thrive, without a web site that is both effective for the user and the organization. Organizations like CASA help serve our most valuable asset- children! But they must compete with lots of other organizations for resources. Please help CASA's website stand out and make it easier for people to support this fantastic organiztion!

2012-09-20 17:19:07 UTC

CASA needs a new website. It is so difficult to manuever. So many people depend on CASA's services. It is awful that the website is so difficult!

2012-09-20 17:20:53 UTC

CASA of Cook County does amazing work, yet you cannot tell what they do based on their website. Please pick them!!!

2012-09-20 17:52:54 UTC

This organization is soooo important to the community and of course to the foster kids they serve and they really need help with their website. It's hard to find info on there... I really hope you can help!

2012-09-20 18:24:52 UTC

Our website is currently not user-friendly, and it's messy and difficult to navigate. This makes it hard for future volunteers, board members, and the general public to get a better idea of the important work that we do.

2012-09-20 18:27:33 UTC
Kyle Westbrook

The CASA site does not provide much insight into what CASA does nor the larger policy issues affecting the children that it serves. More could be done to establish a social media presence as well. Visually the site alternates between distracting (background image) and boring (most content areas). Overall the site is byzantine in its navigation and could benefit from being simplified to let the work take center stage.

2012-09-20 19:42:13 UTC
Loving CASA

Please, please, please, please - pick CASA. Have you ever came across an organization that gives so much and don't require anything in return? Well it's CASA. CASA gives back to the community by advocating on behalf of children who don't have a voice. They are not asking for a lot, just a new and updated website so they can reach more children and obtain additional volunteers. The world needs to know about CASA of Cook County, so please help them. Give them a new website...

Not only is the organization wonderful but the volunteers rock.

2012-09-20 19:43:15 UTC

CASA is such a wonderful organization and they do such amazing work on behalf of abused and neglected children. However, it is so difficult to navigate their current site, learn of the great work that they do and the wonderful volunteers that they work with. PLEASE help to provide a site that would let the public know about CASA and the effects it has on the community here in Chicago.

2012-09-20 21:24:09 UTC
CASA Rocks!

Dear Webgods,

Please save us from our old, tired and sad website. We need a lot of help. I know you can save us.
We have faith!

2012-09-21 13:22:27 UTC
Lisa Kalell

Having a user friendly, informative website not only serves a critical function for providing awareness of CASA of Cook County and the many services they provide, the website must also allow those interested to DONATE, VOLUNTEER and SUPPORT the organization.

2012-09-21 13:47:32 UTC

With your help we could do so much more.

2012-09-24 14:11:16 UTC

CASA needs a site that is fully functional just like the organization. This is one foundation that is out there for our youth and being able to access information quickly and clearly is very important. Please pick CASA and make the work you do be worth more than pretty pictures and fonts but work that cam help people and even save lives :-)

2012-09-25 18:23:00 UTC
Shannon Hodge

I am the office manager for CASA of Cook County. Almost every week I get a call complaining about some facet of our web site or another. So here is my wish list.

We need our website to:
1. Be easy to navigate in order to tell people what we do and who we are and do so in an attractive,professional and engaging way.
2. Have donation information on as many pages as possible making it easier for people to donate whenever the spirit moves them. Also explain the donation options.
3. Have a volunteer application that is a fill-in .pdf. At the same time keep track of who has downloaded the application.
4. Have room to have more than one event at a time be prominent. At the same time have an archive for events.
5. Same as #4 but for news.
6. Have a page for our active volunteers where they can access forms and information that is geared toward them.
7. Have a place to post pictures, webcasts, pod casts and so forth. Not the current “movie” that’s running in the background.
8. Be easily updated by staff. We need to keep the web site fresh.

Thank you for your consideration.

2012-10-04 17:03:05 UTC
Director of Development

Where do I begin?!

First, CASA of Cook County is truly a unique and amazing organization that deserves a working website.

Today I logged on to try to update our "supporters" page and I couldn't make it work. We use the supporters page to thank our sponsors and donors. Without their support we would have to close our doors.

As a part of sponsoring our event at a certain level, a company's logo will be added to our site. Can't do it. EE is all bugged out! This looks terrible to our sponsors!

So please!!! Pick CASA of Cook County! We need a functioning website desperately!

2012-10-18 12:41:45 UTC
Save Our Website

We have faith that you can take our old, outdated website and make it shiny and new.....which will help us reach more people so that we can serve more children in Cook County.
We need you and the children of Cook County need CASA!

2012-10-19 03:24:41 UTC

CASA of Cook County serves one child at a time with Advocates who volunteer their time to ensure children are placed in safe, permanent homes. To continue supporting our Advocates and the work of CASA, we need a new website to take us into this era of intranet technology. Today, we cannot easily post information about our events, make updates, allow for people to make donations or register for events. The coding is antiquated and it takes a genius to figure out how to make any changes to the our site without breaking it.

With CASA being a non-profit, and no government support, we are at the mercy of those who support our cause and want to help our children. Please help us help the children by grant CASA of Cook County a new website. Thank you for your support and consideration to make an impact our community!

2012-10-19 10:00:46 UTC
Samantha Hoffman

CASA is exceptional at helping abused and neglected kids but not so great at creating a website. Their work is vital to these kids and a new website would go a long way to reaching more people and helping more kids. Don't leave those kids behind.
Please help!

2012-10-19 10:34:54 UTC
Scott Stringer

Having a great website that our donors and volunteers can access is crucial to our success. We would benefit greatly by facilitating donations which are sorely needed as our services are being demanded even more by the courts. please help us to help the children of Cook County.

2012-10-19 15:40:09 UTC
Siobhan Sanders

CASA of Cook County is an organization that is vital to providing services to abused and neglected children. In order to continue to provide these services, volunteers and funding is always needed. Having a user friendly and eye-catching website can help with obtaining these things. So please help us and make our website a top notch website so that we can recruit additional voluteers and increase our funding.

2012-10-19 16:41:15 UTC
Do it for the Children of Cook County

Pleas help CASA of Cook County to be able to better reach the community of Chicago by providing them with a more user-friendly website. A new website will help ensure that CASA can continue to provide the necessary services to abused and neglected children.

2012-10-19 21:00:20 UTC
Please select CASA of Cook County

CASA of Cook County would greatly benefit from a new website. At this time, we are unable to revise or update various pages which prohibits us from conducting outreach to the community and spreading the word about CASA's services. In addition, we have had potential donors let us know that they could not donate on the website. Also, the website is not easy to navigate and current and potential volunteers, Board members, sponsors, foundations, donors, etc., are unable to learn about the extent of the organization's services. A new website would help us ensure that CASA can continue its great work of advocating for abused and neglected children and ensuring that they live in safe, permanent homes. Please select CASA of Cook County for the Nerdery Overnight Website Challenge.

Our Mission

CASA of Cook County’s mission is to speak up in court for abused and neglected children and ensures that children live in safe, permanent homes. CASA of Cook County’s trained volunteers research cases and communicate with children to provide valuable information to the court. Judges rely on this additional information to make the best decisions about children’s futures. CASA of Cook County was established in 1986 under the auspices of Illinois Action for Children (not related to the current IAFC) as the first CASA program in Illinois, and became an independent 501(c) (3) organization in August 2001. Operating in the second most populous county in the United States, CASA of Cook County is the largest of 34 CASA programs in the State of Illinois