The Sutter County Board of Supervisors has approved a $67,883 contract with Casa de Esperanza to provide child abuse prevention counseling services to Sutter County children and families.
The non-profit organization, which operates a shelter program for victims of domestic violence, has provided the counseling service for Sutter County children and families for more than two decades, during which time Sutter County has authorized approximately $1 million for these services.
“This is a program where we do therapeutic based counseling for children who are either at risk of abuse, or have been abused or neglected, and non-offending parents,” Casa de Esperanza Executive Director Marsha Krouse Taylor said during Tuesday’s Board of Supervisors meeting. “There is absolutely no cost at all to the families who are getting this service.”
Families can access the service after hours, such as on a weekend or an evening.
The counseling services are provided in English, Spanish, Punjabi, or Hmong, she said.
Counselors also work with pre-verbal children through play therapy.
The primary source of referrals is Child Protective Services, but Casa is seeing an increase in referrals from schools. Private individuals who have heard of the program, or who have had a family member go through the program at some point, also make referrals.
“We’ve had great success,” Krouse Taylor said. “One of our greatest success stories is we currently have a volunteer intern assisting with the program to get her license for marriage and family therapy, who herself as a child went through the program 18 years ago.
“We know it works. We know we are unique. And we are very, very fortunate to have had the partnership with Sutter County for as long as we have.”
Funding for the child abuse program originates from the State of California Department of Social Services Office of Child Abuse Prevention and the contract is managed by Sutter County Health and Human Services.
Since 1977, Sutter County has provided a home for Casa de Esperanza to serve as a shelter for domestic violence victims from Sutter, Yuba, and Colusa counties, at a cost of just $1 a year. In 2016, fire caused extensive damage to the home. Sutter County has been working with hazardous waste cleanup crews, its insurance company, an architect, and Casa representatives to restore the building to allow the shelter operation to continue. In the interim, Adventist Health Rideout has been housing the shelter program.
Casa is seeking to expand its operations due to the need for additional shelter space and is seeking contributions to a capital fund to locate property and a building of sufficient size for expansion.
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