MEDFORD, Ore. — Court appointed advocates for children are in short supply in Southern Oregon. Now, the CASA offices in Jackson and Josephine counties are combining their efforts to help children in need.
Court appointed special advocates help neglected or abused children in the child welfare system, but they have not been immune to the continued financial struggles across Southern Oregon counties.
Josephine County in particular has been affected and now Josephine and Jackson counties are teaming up. Budget cuts in Josephine County forced CASA to cut back to one permanent staff member, in addition to its casa volunteers.
Right now, hundreds of children in Josephine County are on the casa waiting list. Jackson County transitioned from a county-funded program to a non-profit several years ago, and is now helping Josephine County do the same.
Staff members in Jackson County are taking up more of the administrative load and are allowing Josephine County’s program manager to focus on helping children. Something she says is the top priority.
“They’re the most vulnerable in Josephine County, and they’re the ones that will slip through the cracks without the persistent advocacy that CASA brings into court,” said Sadie Emmons, with Josephine County CASA.
As Josephine County CASA begins transitioning to a non-profit status, they’re also asking for the public’s help to keep their doors open. This Sunday, Dutch Brothers locations in Josephine County will donate their proceeds to benefit Josephine County CASA.