CASA workers ease transition for displaced OnTrack families

Medford, Ore.- Court Appointed Special Advocates of Jackson County, or CASAs, are focusing on helping children and families transition after they were removed from OnTrack drug and alcohol rehabilitation housing.

Several families and teens were removed from OnTrack housing after a Department of Human Services and Oregon Health Authority inspection revealed several concerns, including safety hazards and allegations of neglect.

It’s a situation OnTrack’s community partners are saddened by.

“Very tragic is the best word I can use to define it for the families and for OnTrack,” said Jennifer Mylenek, executive director of CASA of Jackson County. “OnTrack has been here for 39 years, they have helped so many families in this community.”

As families are moved to temporary housing, CASA workers are trying to help reduce the trauma and ease the transition.

“Our CASAs are trying to figure out where their families are going, when those families are going, so they can try to stay in touch with those children and parents to ensure that those services are continued,” Mylenek said.

While CASA focuses on helping its clients, Mylenek said she hopes OnTrack can turn things around.

“Without a program like this here, there are many families who won’t have those same positive experiences and that is terrible,” Mylenek told NBC5 News. “I hope our community doesn’t vilify this program. I mean, we all need to find solutions when there’s problems. And to get the most help that we can provide to our families so this can be the best community that it can be.”

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