CASA of Travis County was proud to be able to serve 81% of the children in need last year, but our vision is to serve 100%. To do that, we need to recruit, screen and train more CASA volunteers. CASA needs your support for our 2012 Volunteer Recruitment Campaign, planned around National Child Abuse Prevention Month, to help us meet the growing needs of children in our community who've been abused or neglected.
Child abuse and neglect is a big problem:
Last year in Travis County approximately 1,750 children were in the care of Child Protective Services due to alleged abuse or neglect.
Statewide, there were more than 29,000 children in foster care in 2010.
The costs are high, both personally and financially:
Youth who age out of foster care before finding a permanent home are at higher risk for unplanned parenthood, unemployment, welfare dependency, incarceration and homelessness.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that the child abuse and neglect occurring in the span of one year will cost our country $124 billion throughout the life of the victims.
For a survivor of child abuse, the average costs over their lifetime will be $210,012, including health care, child welfare, criminal justice and special education costs.
In Texas alone, the Child Protective Services budget is $1.2 billion per year, not including additional costs such as health care, mental health services, etc.
CASA volunteers can help:
Of the 1,750 children in care in Austin last year, CASA of Travis County was able to advocate for 1,412 children with the help of 562 dedicated CASA volunteers.
Children with CASA volunteers to advocate for them are substantially less likely to spend time in long-term foster care, half as likely to re-enter foster care and significantly more likely to end up in safe, permanent homes than children without CASA.
Children with CASA are more likely to get the services they need, including medical, mental health and educational services, to give them a better chance at a successful future as healthy, contributing adults.
Children with CASA spend an average of eight months fewer in care than those without. Every month less that a child remains in care saves taxpayers $1,835 in foster care payments.