Is anybody paying attention as funding for one of the most vital programs for neglected and abused children is slashed to $0?

Is anybody paying attention as funding for one of the most vital programs for neglected and abused children is slashed to $0? Society has an obligation to abused and neglected children. Caring for them is our collective responsibility.

So why does the Administration’s current budget proposal end federal funding of the Victims of Child Abuse Act?

The ratio of expenses to overhead for CASA is among the best in the nonprofit world. A single dollar invested in CASA programs yields $23.40 in savings in the foster care and child welfare system.

So why would anyone allow the $12 million in funding CASA receives through the Victims of Child Abuse Act to just disappear?

Sure, $12 million sounds overwhelming when you think about your family’s budget. But in terms of the Administration’s proposed budget, $12 million amounts to about 3 ten thousandths of one percent of federal expenditures. Put another way: the elimination of funding for CASA advocacy is meaningless in terms of federal deficit reduction.

But those dollars can mean everything to the life of a child in foster care.

How can anyone justify subtracting 3 ten thousandths of one percent from government spending when it means a child could spend more time languishing in foster care… or when a youth might be forced to take psychotropic medication that was never intended for children… or when siblings who could have stayed together end up separated forever? What do we say to the child who is moved three, four or even eight times to different homes and schools?

CASA can be the difference between a life that’s full of broken dreams and a life that’s lived to the fullest potential.

So why would anybody sit by and watch this happen?

I can’t, and I am asking each of you to take action with me.

CASA allies in Congress tell us there is a chance these funds can be restored—if we act now. If we raise our voices, speak loudly and speak as one, we have a chance. But the window of opportunity is closing.

We have mobilized our network. It is vital that everyone reading these words contact their elected representatives. Urge them to restore full funding for National CASA. It will take just a few minutes. And it could change the life of a child. Thank you.

Enter your zip code here for quick, easy links to your elected officials.

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16 Responses to Is anybody paying attention as funding for one of the most vital programs for neglected and abused children is slashed to $0?

  1. Debbie says:

    I sent my letters and posted on Facebook. We need everyone’s help.

  2. Daniel Ostendorff says:

    Just to clarify and make sure that I push my state/government officials on the right budget: is this the White House proposed fiscal budget for next year or the bipartisan proposed budget by the House of Representatives this week?

  3. Mary Maddux says:

    Is there an petition asking for these funds to be reinstated that we could share? The easier we make it for people to speak up, the more likely they will be to do so.

    I just shared this information with my contacts on Facebook.
    During the last presidential election, I supported the candidate who promised change I could believe in. At the time, I was working as a volunteer supervisor, for SF CASA, an organization that recruits, trains, supervises, & supports volunteers who serve as court-appointed child advocates for kids in foster care.

    I was distraught that not enough was being done for these kids & believed they deserved better, deserved more. I bought into the message of hope & believed my candidate would do right by these kids.

    Instead, last year, National CASA’s budget was cut from $12 million to
    $4.5 million. This year, the budget may be eliminated entirely.

    Recruiting, screening, & supervising volunteers, who are entrusted to spend time, unsupervised, with these kids does cost money, but the return on investment is substantial.

    In no way, do I think they other side would have done better by these kids. Still, I feel shock, dismay, discouragement, & sadness that my administration’s current budget proposal ends federal funding of the Victims of Child Abuse Act. Please contact your representatives in Congress & tell them this is unconscionable.

    Enter your zip code here for quick, easy links to your elected officials.
    (http://www.congressmerge.com/onlinedb/)

  4. vicky says:

    We all have to work about this. Initiative should be taken about this.

  5. Cissy says:

    I’ve contacted the President, the Governor, and my state Senators and Reps. I may even start writing to the coffee shop waitresses on Capitol Hill that pour the coffee for everyone in DC. This is just incomprehensible, it truly is.

  6. Noel Oliver, CASA volunteer says:

    Thanks for the heads up. I have corresponded to all my reps & senators. Keep up the good work.

  7. toni says:

    Sent to my reps in IL. Ty.

    • leslie davis says:

      Why does Volunteering require So much money , When the GREAT GENERATION volunteered the gave their LIves. Please Understand what volunteer means

    • Debbie says:

      The funding is not for the volunteers who yes work for free. The funding is for the resources for the children. Trust me if you had an abused or neglected child you would certainly want the funding to get the children the resources they need.

    • Marilyn says:

      I agree. Why would it take 12 Million dollars for volunteers to advocate? This is something that should not require this amount funding. This is an act, that anyone who has the right agenda or motive to do regardless. Of course, it takes funding, but 12 M is too much. Believe me, I am among others whom feel that America’s elderly; infants to teenagers ; run-aways; homeless; our veterans and; more could be added to this list to ensure that no ones livelihoods are not threatened in any way. Take this for an example, those individuals and families over the last decade or so, has felt the impact of what has taken place concerning America’s economy. If, someone needed assistance with paying their rent or mortgage, one requirement was a regular income of at least 20 hours of regular employment in order to qualify. And at first, I too felt it was unfair. But, agencies had to put in place stipulations to ensure their funding was handled responsibly. This was done to help those whom are abled bodies to do what they can do for themselves. This is a mechanism to measure accuracy and accountability in a time where many sought their assistance. In other words, budgets are being cut across the nation. Of course, there is funding that will not get cut. I would not be so hard on the Administration. You said that it’s a possibility more funding could be cut–hopefully not. Go to WhiteHouse.gov and express your concerns to our President. He listens dispite what other-wise. Yes, people are listening. I know that our President and his Administration care deeply for all persons and particularly America’s children. So, to make this kind of press release without any statements from the White House is not creditable information. Hope for the best regardless of what your situation might look like right now.

    • Tom Vasquez says:

      Thanks for posting your question. National CASA receives funding through the Victims of Child Abuse Act. National CASA passes these funds along to state and local programs. The state and local programs must apply for these grants through a competitive process approved by the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention. State and local offices use the the funds they receive to recruit, train, and supervise volunteers. One paid supervisory CASA staff member at the state or local level can then supervise up to 75 CASA volunteers, who as you know, provide advocacy at no charge.

    • Marilyn says:

      Thank you, Tom. I hope that CASA receives the necessary funding to remain in operation to ensure that all clients get equal and fair justice in the court of law.

    • Why does Volunteering require So much money. says:

      Because the CASA volunteer is no orginary volunteer. CASA volunteers work with children who have been abused and neglected. The responsibilities a CASA volunteer takes on requires training to ensure quality advocacy. National CASA oversees and ensures that quaility advocacy. This includes the standards that are reviewed and updated regulary, assisting local programs in addressing challenges, continued education, and trying to get the message out to the publice on what CASA can do for our children. When we hear about child abuse on TV, or read about it in the newspapers, we are socked. Our mind accepts what we read, but our hearts, our hearts find it hard to believe any human being could hurt a child. The two struggle to connect. We also as a society struggle to understand what we can do to chnage such situations. Every day I hear about how communities are struggling with drug abuse, crime, poverty, unemployement and the list goes on. At the heart of many of these problems, are the lessions our children learn. If a child is raised in a home where shoplifting is a way of life, using drugs is a way of life, what kind of adult do you believe that child will become? Statics from prisions and menta health institues are staggering. Many of the inmates and patients were abused as children. The cost of raising public awareness is not free. The cost of training advocates who can make a difference is not free. The cost of child abuse is not free. Our society talks about our children being our “greatest resource” or our “future”, These can not be mere words. They must be the words we live by. Unfortunately, this does not happen.

    • Missy says:

      How does funding CASA yield savings of $23.40 in foster care and child welfare system?

    • Gina Baker says:

      I believe National CASA is basing that number on a study entitled “New Evidence on the Monetary Value of Saving a High Risk Youth” by Alex Piquero, John Jay College of Criminal Justice & City University of New York Graduate Center. This study summarizes the estimates of saving high-risk youth at certain age levels (how much money is society going to save by intervening before this child turns to drug abuse, dropping out, life of crime, unwanted pregnancy, abusing his own children, etc). “The present value of saving a high-risk youth is estimated to be $2.6 to $5.3 million at age 18…Discounted to birth, the present value of saving a high-risk youth is estimated to range from $2.6 to $4.4 million.” This study (or wherever else he gathered this information) should have been cited.
      Twelve million dollars does sound like a lot of money; but this is money divided among all 50 states. These volunteers go through an intense training (30+ hours) and become actual sworn officers of the juvenile dependency court (foster children); they have access to all court, school, medical, etc. records of the children to which they are assigned and have as much power in the courtroom as the children’s attorneys and social workers. There are many rules and regulations to which they must adhere. These volunteers are recruited, screened, trained and supervised by paid CASA staff. Most CASA programs are county situated and minimal staff are managing hundred of volunteers serving hundred of vulnerable children. These kids are in the system not because of anything they did…but because their families let them down. This is a small amount of money compared to many of the government programs out there that don’t produce the sort of results that CASA does.

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