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CASA for Kids
CASA trains community members to become Court Appointed Special Advocates, who will speak up for the best interest of abused and neglected children in the courts of Washington County. CASA volunteers review records, research information, and talk to everyone involved in a child's life and then present their recommendation to the court as to what they feel is in the best interest of the child.
Programs and Services
- CASA- Court Appointed Special Advocates. As child advocates, the volunteer works on behalf of the best interest of physically abused, sexually abused and neglected children. A CASA volunteer is a trained community volunteer who is appointed by the Juvenile Court Judge to speak for the best interests of children who are adjudicated dependent and in the child welfare system through no fault of their own. The CASA advocate speak up for the children in court.
- CASA volunteers undergo thorough background checks, FBI clearances, Pennsylvania child abuse clearances and reference checks. The volunteer must complete 30 hours of CASA training and 6 hours of court observation. CASA training consists of learning about the causes of abuse and neglect; mental health, substance abuse and poverty. Additionally, the volunteer learns about courtroom procedures and the laws in the dependency system.
- A CASA volunteer has three primary responsibilities; 1) to serve as a fact-finder for the judge by thoroughly researching the background of each assigned case; 2) to speak for the child in the courtroom, representing the child's best interest; 3) to continue to act as a 'watchdog' for the child during the life of the case, ensuring that proper services are provided, the court is focused on the child and the case moves swiftly to closure.
- When a child has a CASA, they are more likely to get the proper support they need. A CASA advocate is the most informed person in the court room, having talked to the child, parents, family members, foster parents, school officials , doctors and others involved in the child's life. The CASA has also reviewed all records and documents pertaining to the child. This compiled information is submitted to the court by a CASA report which includes recommendations in the child's best interests.
- Children with a CASA volunteer do better in school, with less poor conduct in school, better grades and more likely to pass all courses. A child with a CASA is more likely to be adopted, half as likely to reenter foster care and substantially less likely to spend time in long-term foster care. The CASA program focuses on the child and their rights to have a safe, permanent home. CASA focuses on a 'forever home' preventing children from growing up in foster care.
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Chefs for CASA
|Federal Tax ID||47-0849282|
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