WORCESTER, Mass. - CASA Project Worcester County is receiving at $50,000 grant after being named a Bank of America 2022 'Neighborhood Champion.'

Bank of America said the nonprofit has helped remove barriers and advance economic opportunity throughout Worcester County. CASA trains volunteers to become court-appointed advocates for abused and neglected children.

CASA plans to use the funding to expand services and address the hardships experienced by children in foster care during the pandemic. Executive director Julie Bowditch said it will allow them to help and support more foster children throughout Worcester County.

"This grant will enable us in the coming months and years to have a more comprehensive approach and to accept even more cases," Bowditch said. "Knowing that, we can really stretch this funding to go a very long way to help the children of our future in our community."

CASA is one of 42 organizations nationwide to receive the grant and the only one in the Worcester region.