News

Pull out your party masks for CASA fundraiser

By From page A3 | October 18, 2017

Tickets are still available for Casablanca in the Hills — Child Advocates El Dorado County’s annual dinner auction to be held Saturday, Nov. 4, in El Dorado Hills.

Each year more than 400 children in El Dorado County are removed from their homes and placed in foster care because of abuse or neglect. Approximately 300 of these children are matched with their own court appointed special advocate (CASA), specially trained community volunteers who are often the only voice a foster child has. They look out for the child/children’s best interest, advocating on their behalf to make sure services, including medical and dental, are not overlooked. A CASA even has the authority to talk to teachers and doctors on behalf of the children. CASAs spend approximately one hour a week with the child or children with whom they have been matched.

Reunification with the family is the CASA program’s goal, but if that’s not possible, advocates can recommend adoption, care with another relative or other placement alternatives to best suit the needs of the child.

“We know 70 percent of the prison population is from foster care,” CASA El Dorado Executive Director John Adams said. “We know what happens when we do nothing. We want to see better outcomes for those kids.”

Based on a national audit of CASA programs mandated by Congress and carried out by the Department of Justice, the CASA El Dorado site states the following:

We know that the following outcomes are possible when a CASA advocate is involved in the life of a foster child:

  •  More services: Foster children who are served by a CASA advocate receive more services to help them recover from their abuse or neglect.
  • Less time in foster care: Children who have a CASA in their lives are half as likely to end up in long-term foster care (three years or longer).
  • Improved recidivism rates: Children who exit the child welfare system with the help of a CASA advocate are 50 percent less likely to re-enter the system.

It costs $1,500 per child to find, recruit, train and support advocates, according to Adams. Currently CASA El Dorado has 50 children on a waiting list due to lack of funds to recruit and train more advocates. The next CASA training begins in early 2018.

This year’s event is Mardi Gras-themed with dinner catered by Old Town Grill/Smith Flat House. Live music will be performed by Lost in Suburbia. Tickets are $95 per person or $700 for a table of eight. Only 100 Golden Tickets will be sold for $100 each. Winner may choose any live auction item. Need not be present to win.

Casablanca in the Hills will be held from 6 to 11 p.m. at Lakehills Covenant Church, 7000 Rossmore Lane in El Dorado Hills. For more information or to order tickets visit casaeldorado.org or call (530) 622-9882.

Julie Samrick

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