I am for supporting permanent solutions for children.Children with a CASA volunteer are substantially less likely to spend time in long-term foster care, defined as more than three years in care: 13.3% for CASA cases versus 27.0% of all children in foster care.*
Cases involving a CASA volunteer are more likely to be "permanently closed," i.e., the children are less likely to reenter the child welfare system than cases where a CASA volunteer is not involved. Just 9% of CASA children reenter the system. This is in contrast to 16% not served by a volunteer.*
(costs associated with the immediate needs of abused or neglected children)**
|Services||Estimated Annual Direct Cost|
|Mental Health Care System||$1,080,706,049|
|Child Welfare Services System||$25,361,329,051|
|Total Direct Cost||$33,101,302,133|
(costs associated with long-term and secondary effects of child abuse and neglect)**
|Services||Estimated Annual Indirect Cost|
|Mental Health and Health Care||$67,863,457|
|Adult Criminal Justice System||$27,979,811,982|
|Lost Productivity to Society||$33,019,919,544|
|Total Indirect Cost||$70,652,715,359|
Data shows that having a CASA volunteer involved with a child's case helps reduce not only the child's time in care, but also the likelihood of his or her reentry into the system. It stands to reason then that supporting CASA programs is an investment that doesn't just benefit the child; it also can yield huge savings. Certainly the most important thing about helping a child find permanence is that it is what's best for that child. However, another important fact is that lessening a child's time in foster care also reduces child welfare costs. During 2009, 700,000 children spent time in foster care resulting in an estimated annual direct cost to Americans of $33 billion. If the median length of stay in foster care (15.4 months) was shortened by just one month for every child in foster care, the resultant savings would be about $2.75 billion!
With your support, things can turn out differently.Donate: At CASA of Mendocino & Lake Counties, we subscribe to the Statement of Purpose of the National CASA Association:
compassionate adult will fight for and protect a child's right to be safe, to be treated with dignity and
respect and to learn and grow in the safe embrace of a loving family."
It is thanks to the generous support of our community that we are able to continue to do the work that needs to be done on behalf of the children who need a CASA advocate most. Your donation, no matter what the amount or whether it is one-time, on-going, or part of your estate planning, is critical to our continued operation. You can donate online, or by sending your check or money order payable to CASA to 327 North State Street, Suite 204, Ukiah, CA 95482. Either way your contributions are secure and, because CASA of Mendocino & Lake Counties is a private 501(c)(3) non-profit, may be considered as a charitable donation on your taxes (Tax I.D. #68-0322512).
- A Court Appointed Special Advocate - Click here to jump to our "Volunteering" page for more information about what it takes and what it means to be a CASA volunteer advocate.
- A member of CASA's Board of Directors - CASA of Mendocino & Lake Counties has an active group of community members who make up its Board. The role of the Board of Directors is to oversee the program through monitoring and policy management; to help promote the CASA program through community interactions and fundraising; and to create a vision and plan for the future of the program. To request more information about volunteering on the CASA Board, please contact Tanya Ridino at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- A member of the CASA Advisory Council - This group is in its beginning stages of organization. The goal of this team of energetic volunteers will be to work together with the CASA Board Fundraising Committee to create and facilitate at least one large-scale annual fundraising event. The only limit will be the energy and imagination of its members. For more information, email Sheryn Hildebrand at email@example.com or call her at 707-463-6503, ext. 13.
- A Special Projects Volunteer - CASA often has special events such as fundraisers and conferences that require extra help. These types of volunteer opportunities usually involve a limited time commitment. To be added to the Special Projects Volunteer List, email CASA staff at firstname.lastname@example.org or call them at 707-463-6503.
* 2006, US Department of Justice Office of the Inspector General (OIG) audit of the National CASA Association, as required by Congress.
** Prevent Child Abuse America. (2007). Total Estimated Cost of Child Abuse & Neglect In the United States. preventchildabuse.org