Our kids and families live at the intersection of poverty, race, sexism, and ableism
The dynamics of how our kids absorb this pandemic will follow patterns observed during and after Hurricane Katrina. In 2005, when Katrina devastated New Orleans and the Gulf Coast, a generation of young people bore the brunt of the long-term damage. The body of research conducted in the years since found that the likelihood of recovery among kids was directly linked to existing social disadvantages, namely poverty and race.
More than 86% of the children and youth we serve come from homes surviving at or below the federal poverty line. Living in poverty increases their risk of being drawn into the child welfare system. In 77% of new cases, parents have been charged with neglect. Neglect is broadly defined as a failure to meet the basic needs of children. Specific charges can include housing insecurity, insufficient medical care, an absence of child care, and the inability to make a living wage – all of which have become much more difficult to sustain during the pandemic.
We recognize that poverty is not a crime. It is an economic condition that would be better addressed by providing families with pathways to community-based services, thus preventing the trauma of familial separation.
We also recognize that the economic pressure of this pandemic is going to fall hardest on this population. It is crucial for us to be prepared to meet the fallout. The survival and long-term recovery of all our kids depends on our ability to maintain strong, effective connections. We need to be there to help shore up their supports and establish new ones; to reduce their isolation and ensure that when this is over, they are in a better position to recover.
Because there may be an increase in the number of children who enter the system as a result of the psychological and economic stress caused by the pandemic, we added a third 42-hour Volunteer training to 2020, all online. It is just one part of our commitment to ensure that every child who needs a CASA will have one.
The hundreds of children and youth we serve each year range from newborns to age 18+. They reside in Charlottesville and the counties of Albemarle, Greene, and Louisa. More than 86% come from homes surviving at or below the federal poverty line. They are Caucasian, African-American, Multiracial, and Asian. Approximately 9% are Hispanic. But all our CASA kids have two things in common: their safety was so compromised that the courts had to intervene, and they are part of our community.
Number of children served
July 1, 2019 - June 30, 2020
Children being served on the first day of the fiscal year
New children who came into care during the fiscal year
Total number of children and youth served in fiscal year 2020
Number of cases that closed in the fiscal year
Children served by region
July 1, 2019 - June 30, 2020
Child Well-Being Report
Piedmont CASA Supervisors capture dental, medical, mental/behavioral health and educational concerns during the life of a case. When a child’s case closes they record the progress made. Of the 95 cases that closed in fiscal year 2020:
Twenty-one boys and girls presented with dental concerns that included significant decay, broken teeth and orthodontic issues. Twenty experienced improvement by the time their cases closed.
Fifty-four presented with medical concerns that included genetic disorders, organ transplants, eczema, and seizure disorders. Forty-nine experienced improvement by the time their cases closed.
Forty-five children presented with behavioral/mental health concerns that included ADHD, depression, medication management, and PTSD. Thirty-seven experienced improvement by the time their cases closed.
Forty-seven boys and girls presented with educational concerns that included speech and language delays and significant physical disabilities. At the time their cases closed, thirty-two had improved their attendance, twenty-seven had improved their grades, twenty-seven had received or were receiving academic support, one child had a 504 plan, nineteen had IEP’s, and twenty-six were performing at grade level.