How We Help

How We Help

All of our youth are at heightened risk of drug/alcohol abuse, teen pregnancy, and educational failure. The underlying causes of these behaviors are typically referred to as “Risk Factors” that include a lack of family involvement, poverty, exposure to violence, and mental illness. By contrast, “Protective Factors” are supports that buffer young people from the many risk factors they face.  Several studies, including those conducted by The Centers for Disease Control, have identified two significant protective factors for at-risk youth: supportive interactions between youth and their parents, and connectedness to family or adults outside the family.

Since the youth we serve typically have diminished parental support, our CASA and Placer Mentor volunteers become significant protective factors, helping youth avoid poor life choices and seek positive outcomes. For many of our youth, our CASAs/Mentors are the most consistent, reliable and caring adult they know.

Our Program Goals:

  • Find permanent homes (for foster youth this means reunification or adoption) or stable housing (for former foster youth),
  • Avoid drug and/or alcohol use, teen pregnancy, and the juvenile justice system,
  • Increase their educational successes, grade promotions and high school graduation rates,
  • Discover new life options and employment opportunities that will help them see their own potential and develop into successful and contributing adults.

The Office of the Inspector General Report

In 2006, the US Department of Justice Office of the Inspector General (OIG) conducted an audit of the National CASA Association, as required by Congress. Following are highlights of the findings:
Children with a CASA volunteer are substantially less likely to spend time in long-term foster care, defined as more than 3 years in care: 13.3% for CASA cases versus 27.0% of all children in foster care. When a CASA volunteer was involved, both children and their parents were ordered by the courts to receive more services. The audit concluded that this was an indication that “CASA is effective in identifying the needs of children and parents.” Cases involving a CASA volunteer are more likely to be permanently closed than cases where a CASA volunteer is not involved. The statistics vary from only 1.4% of children with a CASA volunteer reentering the CWS (CASA Data Request) to 9% of CASA children reentering the CWS (Youngclarke Review). This is in contrast to 16% for children not served by a volunteer.Children with a CASA volunteer are more likely to be adopted and less likely to be reunified with their parents.

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