Non-Profit Spotlight: CASA of Central Oregon

    We recently started a feature in our newsletter focused on how we truly take our core purpose – “To Better the Lives of Others” – seriously, and the impact some of those organizations we support are making. We’ve featured some great organizations already: New Each Morning, Hospice of RedmondHabitat for HumanityConvoy of HopeStone Soup Group, and Kid’s Lab. This month, we’d like to feature an organization that is dedicated to advocating for the best interests in children and youth in foster care: Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) of Central Oregon.

    Most children who enter the child welfare system do so because of alleged abuse or neglect by their primary caregiver. This situation frequently leaves children without a strong adult in their lives to make sure they are safe and their medical, educational, developmental and personal needs are met. This is where CASA comes in. CASA of Central Oregon believes every child who’s been abused or neglected deserves to have a dedicated advocate speaking up for their best interest in court, at school and in our community.

    According to CASA, each year in Central Oregon, there are over 2,000 reports of child abuse and neglect. There are 329 children currently in foster care. CASA volunteers are appointed by judges to watch over and advocate for abused and neglected children and make sure they don’t get lost in the overburdened child welfare system. Volunteers stay with each case until it is closed and the child is placed in a safe, permanent home. For many abused children, their CASA volunteer will be the one constant adult presence in their lives.

    CASA feels that every child needs an advocate. A child with a CASA volunteer is more likely to find a safe and permanent home, do better in school, be better represented in courts and more.

    Weston supports CASA of Central Oregon, but if you’re looking to support a CASA branch in your area, there are local programs all over the US with over 90,000 volunteers nationwide. If you live in Central Oregon, they’re holding a Casablanca-themed fund-raiser in May to support their fund-raising efforts.

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