To act as an advocate, in
accordance with the PA Juvenile Act (Title 42 Act PA C.S. Sec. 6301
et.seq.), for children who come to the attention of the court primarily
as a result of abuse and/or neglect.
at least 21 years of age
be able to successfully complete screening requirements (including at least 4 personal references and criminal background investigations)
CASA volunteers are accepted without regard to gender, disabilities, age (21 or older), race or other condition.
ROLES AND RESPONSIBILITIES
Investigation - carrying out an objective examination of the situation, including relevant history, environment, relationships, and needs of the child.
Facilitation - identifying resources and services for the child and facilitating a collaborative relationship between all parties involved in the case, helping to create a situation in which the child's needs can be met.
Advocacy - speaking up for the child by making recommendations regarding the child's best interests in a written court report.
Monitoring - keeping track of compliance with service plans and court orders and reporting to the court or collaborating with Children and Youth Services when any of the parties do not fulfill their requirements.
A CASA volunteer completes 35-40 hours of initial training, which includes policies and procedures of the CASA Program and Dependency Court; dynamics and human behavior associated with child abuse and neglect; relevant local, state and federal laws; permanency planning and family preservation; communication and interview skills; and the roles and responsibilities of a CASA volunteer. As part of training, a CASA volunteer also observes Dependency Court proceedings.
A CASA volunteer is expected to complete 12 hours of in-service training each year, following the first year of service.
Once appointed to a child, a CASA volunteer makes a commitment to the case for at least 18-24 months, or until a permanent placement is found for the child. The average time spent on a case may vary from 10 to 15 hours per month.