Every night the ten-year old child would called his volunteer advocate from his foster home. He just wanted somebody to talk with – to say goodnight or tell them about his day.
CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocates) Youth Advocates, Inc.’s mission is to speak for the best interests of abused and neglected children who are adjudicated dependent in Delaware County. CASA services are delivered by trained volunteers (no experience necessary) who are guided and supervised by professional social workers or attorneys. Each volunteer works with a child or siblings (infant up until age 21), meeting with them monthly, and when necessary going to court to advocate for the child and recommend to a judge what is in that child’s best interest. CASA volunteers remain with the child until his or her case is successfully resolved.
The Foundation for Delaware County is honored to partner with CASA as they launch their Voices for Children Coalition. This new program will establish a working coalition that will bring together key decision makers to advocate for policies that support children’s needs in child welfare, child victimization and broader children’s services. In addition, CASA will issue articles in local and digital media outlets focused on key issues and systemic challenges facing children who are victims of abuse and neglect and who are in the foster care system. They will also share data and analysis on Delaware County children and their status in relation to children in other PA counties as well as national averages.
Last year CASA provided services for 231 kids in Chester and Delaware counties with 107 volunteers. They can only serve 20% of the children who are in need of their advocacy. More volunteers would allow more children to be served.
If you are interested in volunteering, the next training starts on June 11. Training is offered four times a year. The Voices for Children Coalition will kick off June 24 with a lunch at Drexelbrook. Anyone interested in the welfare of children is welcome to attend. You can learn more here.