Last night’s Knox County Board meeting began with a presentation by the Court Appointed Special Advocates of Knox County.
CASA Executive Director Sara Robison told the board the volunteer organization served 119 children with 40 total advocates in 2015. The statistics she shared with the board gave a grim glimpse into the county’s drug scene.
“More than 50 percent of our cases involve some type of substance abuse or misuse with meth related cases making up 20 percent of our total cases, which means that’s about 43 percent of our total drug related cases that are currently open.”
She went on to say that 30 percent of cases handled by CASA involved domestic violence. Furthermore, the year’s finding show what Robison described as a “race and class disproportionality.” About 43 percent of those served are children of color and approximately 98 percent were considered to be of low socio-economic status.
While 2015 carried troubling numbers, it also brought gains to the non-profit. Robison says CASA had two large fundraisers and started a new fundraiser combining a fashion show featuring attire from local businesses with a local-celebrity lip sync battle.
CASA operates with an annual budget of about $62,700.