CASA exists to advocate for the rights, best interests, and well being of children who have been abused and are under the protection of the juvenile dependency courts in Multnomah, Washington, & Columbia counties. Ms. Stark Miller oversees all programs, services, activities and facilities and ensures that all program objectives are met. Since joining the organization, she has excelled in understanding and overseeing all aspects falling under general management, fund raising, public relations, and board support and leadership..
On January 1, 2015, CASA expanded service coverage to include Columbia County— becoming CASA for Children of Multnomah, Washington, & Columbia Counties. As a tri-county CASA, the organization is now responsible for serving 29% of Oregon’s children in foster care. This expansion has brought access to increased and improved training opportunities to Columbia County, as well as a renewed dedication to recruitment of CASA and excellence in services to the foster youth served.
Ms. Stark Miller has overseen the growth and implementation of two key programs: “Fostering Futures/Educational Outcomes;” and, “Finding Families,” both of which focus on programmatic excellence and outcome measurements. “Educational Advancement/Fostering Futures Program” is a new initiative for foster children of all ages that takes CASA a step beyond the traditional emphasis on safety, well being and permanence for children, and adds training and support to help children at every age achieve more in early childhood development, primary and secondary education. The “Finding Families”project aims to establish lifelong, permanent family connections for teens and young adults who have remained in foster care for years and who are expected to age out of foster care without a permanent family.
CASA has added new and improved training and support for all CASA volunteers based on achievement indicators in Oregon’s 10 year education plan. Because many children entering foster care are already falling behind in school when they come into care and fall further behind while they are in care, CASA is committed to focusing on the appropriate indicators for each child to achieve while in foster care. Fostering Futures equips CASA advocates with skills and strategies to: engage older CASA youth in goal setting and planning for life after foster care; focus is on assisting youth; plan for education, future employment, and housing by the time they leave foster care at age 18 or 24. An integral part of Ms. Stark Miler’s work has been an increased investment in staff, including expanded budget and opportunities for training and professional development. She spearheaded an organization wide commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion and lead an Equity Task Force that produced a board approved Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Plan that is now actively implemented across the organization to increase cultural competency and improve outcomes for children served.
Betsy, formerly a member of the Lake Oswego Rotary Club, has two children, Henry and Lucy – Henry is a journalist living in Tel Aviv and Lucy is working as an executive team leader for Target in Santa Monica, CA.
She will speak today about the history of CASA and its role both nationally and locally in advocating for abused children.