GOLD BEACH – County Commissioners approved an order Wednesday turning over Curry County CASA - Court Appointed Special Advocates program - to the nonprofit CASA of Douglas County effective Oct. 1.
Curry County has operated CASA since 1999 under an agreement with the State of Oregon Housing and Community Services Department. The program uses volunteers to work with children who are victims of abuse and neglect for whom a permanent home placement has not been established. Many of those children are in foster care or treatment facilities around the state.
That agreement expires on Sept. 30, when Curry County will abandon the program and the state will appoint the Douglas County nonprofit to take it over.
County Juvenile Director Ken Dukek told the commissioners his department has run the CASA program since 2008.
“The funds have been reduced every year significantly,” Dukek said. “CASA is trying to reorganize to try to be able to do more with these funds. Simply what we are doing is abandoning the CASA program.”
Dukek said CASA of Douglas County applied to take over the funds to continue CASA in Curry County.
He said CASA is funded by state funds and federal funds – none from Curry County.
“I’ve worked over three months to reduce spending, so we won’t have a liability,” Dukek said. “We’ll probably transfer about $5,500 to CASA of Douglas County.”
Later Wednesday, CASA of Douglas County approved accepting the program from Curry County.
“It’s a quality program. It’s needed,” Dukek said. “We provide service to 32 children right now.”
County Counsel Jerry Herbage said the money remaining in the Curry County CASA fund would be transferred to Douglas CASA on Nov. 30.
“This will allow the county to pay the bills that come in before the transfer,” he said.
“The information we have is CASA Douglas County, they are fine with this agreement. It looks like, at least for now, the program will be provided, but not by the county,” Herbage said.
Dukek said CASA has a lease for office space in Curry County.
“You can’t do any better than $10 a month for utilities. The county signed that lease with the landlord,” Dukek said. “We will be assigning this lease to CASA of Douglas County.”