A non-profit organization with volunteers helps abused and neglected children, but their funding has been cut...again. CASA officials say since 2006, their funding from a national victims assistance program has had millions already cut. By 2009, they expect to have more than a 42% cut in funding.
The funding program is called VOCA or the Victims of Crime Act. The money comes from criminal's fines paid to the government, not tax payer revenues. By the end of this year, there is expected to be nearly 2 billion dollars in that reserve. But other programs VOCA helps have increased their funding requests, and CASA has received the brunt.
Last year, CASA helped almost one thousand children get out of abusive homes, and still had over four hundred needing help. But if these cuts continue, hundreds more will start to suffer.
Amy Paiva, CASA:
"If we don't have that money, then it's hard for us to provide volunteers for every one of those children. And we know what we're doing works because the kids that have a volunteer get through the foster care system more quickly than those without and that's our ultimate goal. To get these kids out of abusive situations through the foster care system into safe and permanent homes as quickly as possible."
Paiva says all of their staff and volunteers have sent letters and postcards to legislators, hoping they'll have an impact to get the cap set back to the funding they received in 2006.