Provide life-changing advocacy for 658 foster youth and children in LA County with Focusing Philanthropy and CASA of Los Angeles

As always, Focusing Philanthropy covers all overhead costs. 100% of every donation will go to the 2021 Child Welfare Advocacy Campaign.


THE NEED

There are over 30,000 children under the jurisdiction of the Los Angeles County Dependency Court, making it the largest system in the nation supporting children removed from their homes due to allegations of abuse, neglect, and abandonment. They are primarily children of color, and all are low income by HUD definition. Each one is assigned a county social worker, who serves as many as 30 other children at the same time, and an attorney, who often has a caseload of over 200 children. Often a child’s case will be transferred to multiple other attorneys and social workers throughout the duration of their time in care.

Given the instability they face, is not surprising that children in foster care experience the following distressing consequences: 85% live with serious mental health challenges; 37% will not finish high school; 50% of girls still in foster care at age 19 become pregnant; 27% of the nation’s homeless population has spent time in foster care; and 25% of those who “age out” of foster care will experience homelessness within two years.

THE GOAL

Focusing Philanthropy and CASA of Los Angeles are launching a campaign to raise $750,000 to provide life-changing advocacy for 658 local foster children in 2021.

CASA of Los Angeles recruits, trains, and supports qualified citizen volunteers who are assigned to a foster child’s case by a Dependency Court judge. These Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASAs) help restore safety and stability in the lives of foster youth by advocating for their best interests in court, school, and the community. CASAs are usually responsible for only one or two cases at a time and almost always until the case is closed. Children with a CASA do better in school, are more likely to be adopted, and are half as likely to re-enter foster care.

Hundreds of children sit on CASA LA’s waitlist, and there is a pipeline of hundreds of volunteers in training and awaiting training. Through increased advocacy program staffing and the recruitment of 400 additional CASA volunteers, our 2021 campaign will help CASA LA serve all of its current 1,300 children without having to make the challenging decision to cut back on staff and/or hold off assigning children to CASAs as a result of the global pandemic. Funds will also support the goal of serving an additional 150 children over calendar year 2020.


THE GIVING MATCH

From January 15 to December 31, 2021, every $2 raised by CASA of Los Angeles will be matched with $1 raised by Focusing Philanthropy, until the campaign goal of $750,000 is reached.

To qualify for the match, donations must be directed to Focusing Philanthropy and a minimum of $1,000. Donations are fully tax deductible and 100% of funds contributed will go to the “Child Welfare Advocacy” campaign. All Focusing Philanthropy costs are covered by its founders.