Funding for kids program helping at-risk children

ROSEBURG, Ore. -- A joint effort to help at-risk kids just got a big boost.

Several months ago, workers from CASA, Douglas Cares, the Family Development Center and Child Protective Services started a new project.

The organizations hoped to work together to keep kids out of foster care, or lessen the time they have to spend there.

Officials formed the group 'Kids in Common' nine months ago to kick off the project.

So far, they say it's been extremely effective. Susan Knight, the executive director of CASA, says the results have been surprising. "Children have gone home much faster than we ever, ever in our wildest imagination thought they would," she said. "I mean, I kind of get chills when i think about it because it's just amazing."

Knight says the program got some serious financial assistance.

Last week, they accepted a grant from the Meyer Memorial Trust for $300,000 for the next three years.

Knight says that Douglas County has one of the highest rates of children in foster care, and she hopes the grant will help lessen that.