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CASA Sees Major Increase in Services

EUGENE, Ore. — Court Appointed Special Advocates in Lane County has over 160 volunteers who serve as a powerful voice for abused and neglected students.

The volunteers at CASA work with children of all ages who currently live in foster homes. They make recommendations to judges in order to move the kids through the legal system with the ultimate aim of finding a permanent and safe home for them.

Two years ago the group started a new system in which experienced volunteer advocates train new ones, and now the results are paying off.

In the last fiscal year, which ended June 30, CASA now reports a 20-percent increase in the number of cases its volunteers handled.

For the first time, the organization was there for more than 300 cases, hitting 337. CASA leaders say they’re excited by the new numbers because it means fewer kids on the waiting list. They say the future looks even brighter.

“This is going to allow us to grow each year. And from here on out, each year, we’ll be able to serve exponentially more until we’re able to serve all 700 who need a court appointed special advocate,” said Sarah-Kate Sharkey, Associate Director of CASA.

Some experienced advocates have been trained to handle two cases, which also adds efficiency.

Half of the children CASA serves are under the age of 6.

CASA gets 90 percent of its funding from private donations. On Sept. 13, it will hold its annual 100-hole golf marathon at the Emerald Valley Resort. To find out how to get involved, click here.

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  1. Laurie Kast-Klein says:

    I feel this is a battle of good versus evil. Not that every foster home is evil, but the possibility is there. I hope that with the increase in cases and volunteers that the standards will remain high.

    I can’t even begin to imagine having a CASA when I was in foster care. Oh, the possibilities!!!

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