Fiscal cliff impacts will be felt locally

CASA one of the organizations affected

POSTED: 6:51 PM PST December 29, 2012 
BEND, Ore. -

There's no doubt several Central Oregon organizations will be affected if there is no deal reached to avert the fiscal cliff, including CASA, the Court Appointed Special Advocates for children program.

The federal and state mandatory program helps abused and neglected children who are removed from homes and go into foster care.

When the family goes to court, the judge appoints CASA to represent the best interests of the child.

The local organization has been in Central Oregon since 1991.

The local chapter is funded primarily with state money, fundraisers and grants by the federal government.

And it's those grants that could be reduced.

"I did apply for a national grant, and because the money was so scarce, there was one CASA program in Oregon that received a grant at national CASA," said Pam Fortier, executive director of CASA of Central Oregon. "So that's probably the biggest impact for me."

Last year, the budget nationally for the organization was $12 million, and now it's at $4.5 million.

The organization expects an additional 8 percent to be cut, if a deal isn't reached.