Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Local non-profit helps abused and neglected children


WOMEN IN NETWORKING meet at the Side Bar in El Dorado Hills for a business luncheon and to raise funds for CASA El Dorado. Democrat photo by Shelly Thorene

CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocates) helps local children get into safe, permanent homes instead of long-term foster care or re-entry into the foster care system

With a staff of just nine, CASA El Dorado is blessed with hundreds of volunteers who efficiently advocate for abused and neglected children throughout the county.

The advocates believe every child has a fundamental right to live in a safe and permanent home.

CASA’s mission is to ensure that this basic right also extends to children who through no fault of their own have been removed from their home and placed into foster care.

When a child advocate from CASA is engaged in service, children are half as likely to end up in long-term foster care or to re-enter the foster care system once they exit.

CASA kids receive more services from the system to help them heal and 98 percent of them do not re-experience abuse or neglect.

Over the past 20 years, CASA El Dorado has been able to provide this service to more than 4,000 children with the support of community members who believe in this most basic right for all children.

Because services are delivered through highly trained volunteers, the savings to El Dorado County taxpayers is over $500,000 each year.

Despite CASA’s effectiveness and efficiency, each year 50-75 children remain on a wait list, because the organization does not have the resources to train and support more volunteers.

There are many ways people can help, from becoming a volunteer advocate, to contributing to the Eliminating the Wait List project or fundraising through local community groups.

The Women In Networking (WIN) group, in El Dorado Hills, is one group that has donated thousands of dollars to CASA.

The women’s group meets weekly and raises money through weekly prize drawings at its networking meetings. In addition to supporting local business owners, WIN supports local community events, including all CASA fundraising events.

WIN meets weekly at Side Bar, 4364 Town Center Blvd. in El Dorado, on Tuesdays from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.

CASA El Dorado speaks exclusively for and acts in the best interests of, children who have been removed from their family homes due to abuse, neglect, abandonment or molestation.

Part of a national organization, CASA of El Dorado County is a non-profit organization founded in Placerville in 1992 and provides specially trained volunteers who serve as advocates for hundreds of children transitioning from foster care to adoption, guardianship, kinship care or reunification to their own families.

In 1994 CASA opened an additional office in South Lake Tahoe to ensure all children in El Dorado County can be served.

CASA is always seeking volunteers. To make a difference in the life of child contact the CASA office at 530-622-9882 in Placerville and 530-572-3072 in South Lake Tahoe.

For more information visit

Women in Networking is a relationship/referral network designed to support local businesses through:

1. Developing relationships that define the know, like and trust philosophy that is critical in today’s networking and referral groups.
2. Creating Centers of Influence (COI) to expand and grow members’ businesses by sharing information and creating referral networks.
3. Creating Power Partnerships that create synergies between businesses.

For more information visit



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