Each year, approximately 660,000 children experience foster care in America. They are often separated from their siblings and caught up in a confusing and complicated system of social workers, foster homes, courts, service agencies and state child welfare departments. And, sadly, most of them must do the best they can to navigate this complex world without a dependable, consistent adult presence to help.
York County Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) recruits and trains volunteers to advocate for abused and neglected children. They make sure these children do not get lost in the overburdened legal and social service system or languish in inappropriate groups or foster homes. Volunteers stay with each case until it is closed and the child is placed in a safe, permanent home.
- Must be 21 years of age or older.
- Must be able to speak and read English well enough to communicate effectively on a child's behalf.
- Have the time and ability to attend hearings and meetings for the child.
- Must initiate own work after case assignment.
- Commit to an 18 to 24 month time period.
- Complete the necessary background checks.
- Successfully complete 45 hours of training during the CASA pre-service training.
- Once sworn in, complete 12 hours of in-service training annually.
- Must adhere to Court, County, and CASA policies and procedures.
Duties & Responsibilities
- Attend all court hearings.
- Attend all meetings with family and other professionals on the case.
- Maintain a CASA case log documenting contacts or attempted contacts with anyone connected to your case.
- Meet with Children, Youth, and Families (CYF) caseworker and carefully review all CYF records.
- Meet with the child at least once per month in their current placement.
- Maintain contact with the child's parents and current caregiver.
- Meet with teachers, daycare worker, babysitter, or any person who has substantial contact with the child.
- Meet with the attorney for the child to discuss the information needed for the hearing, your recommendations for the disposition, and any other pertinent information.
- Draft and review written recommendations for court with the CASA staff prior to submitting reports to the Judge.
- Keep in touch with the CASA staff for guidance and support.
- Document and maintain all case activity in CASA program software.
- Return all case records to the CASA office upon completion of the case.