Gage County considering fund request from court group
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Gage County considering fund request from court group

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The Gage County Board of Supervisors is considering a funding request from a group that works to help children in troubled homes.

Southeast Nebraska CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocates) requested $10,000 from Gage County to help with operating costs.

County Board Chairman Erich Tiemann said the county is under no obligation to fund the group, and brought the request to Wednesday’s board meeting for a discussion.

County attorney Roger Harris said CASA has recently undergone big changes and been relaunched in the area, and provides a needed service.

“We haven’t had CASA for several years. it got started again about two years ago,” Harris said. “We’ve got a new director and she’s doing a really good job, Amber Lovitt. I have no doubt she’s going to continue to do a good job. They do provide a good service, there’s no question about it. But as far as funding, I’ll leave that to you guys.”

CASA volunteers are appointed by judges to speak in court for the safety and well-being of an abused or neglected child.

According to information from CASA, a child with a volunteer spends 20 percent less time in foster care, on average. Studies show children with a CASA volunteer receive more services that are critical to their well-being and are four times more likely to find a permanent home.

The program has had hurdles since being relaunched in the area around four years ago. There was previously a CASA program in the area, though it dissolved in the mid-2000s.

Board member Dennis Byars supported the measure and suggested the board should grant the request, which would come from the county’s miscellaneous general fund.

“They do a wonderful job,” Byars said. “They’re a wonderful organization, they’re very top quality and I think if we can, we should fund them.”

Following the discussion Harris suggested that since an action item wasn’t on the agenda that and motions or vote should be held at the county’s next meeting in two weeks.

For more information about Southeast Nebraska CASA, to become a supporter or to volunteer, visit www.southeastnebraskacasa.org or call 402-643-3695.

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