Training

Due to the global health crisis of COVID-19, York County CASA needed to reschedule our Spring 2020 training until fall.   The Fall training class is full and we are not accepting new applicants for this session, however, our next available training class will start in Spring 2021.  If you are interested in participating in that class, please visit our Volunteer page and follow the application instructions.  Training classes are limited, so you are encouraged to apply far in advance.  Exact dates/times/locations TBD.

CASA training utilizes local service providers as presenters and covers topics such as community services, dynamics of abuse, cultural diversity, advocacy, child development, and effects of physical and sexual abuse. The final session includes the Court’s expectations of the CASA and a swearing-in ceremony.
              

Please join us in our mission of making a life-changing difference for our county’s most vulnerable children.

 

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Application Process

Application Process

  1. Read over all information here about being a volunteer. Please contact the York County CASA office with questions you might have before filling out an application.
  2. Download the application (click here), fill out all information, and email, scan, or mail back to the York County CASA office.
  3. Upon receiving and reviewing the application, the CASA office will call the applicant in for an interview.
  4. If accepted, the applicant’s references will be contacted.
  5. Prior to the start of training, the applicant must complete (with the assistance of the CASA office) the required background checks and clearances.
  6. Accepted applicants will start the CASA Training.
  7. Midway through the training, the CASA staff will conduct an interim interview with the applicant to determine if he/she is still a fit for the CASA program.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

History of CASA

York County CASA

     In 1986, the Honorable Emanuel Cassimatis introduced the CASA concept to York County (and Pennsylvania) by inviting community members and professionals interested in child welfare to join in establishing a task force to explore the possibility of a local CASA program.  While there were CASA programs nationwide at that time, there were none in Pennsylvania.

     The first group of York County CASA volunteers began training in the fall of 1987; the first case was assigned in January 1988. By 1996, the York County CASA program had become an established county agency.  There are four full-time positions; CASA Coordinator, CASA Volunteer Coordinator, Community Outreach and Educational Facilitator, and receptionist.  CASA has full support of the Judges and the county commissioners.

Pennsylvania CASA Association

    Pennsylvania currently has 19 programs serving 24 counties, 18 that operate as independent non-profit organizations and three that are funded by their county governments.  Ms. Jennifer DeBalko is the PA CASA Executive Director.  Currently the PA CASA Association continues to operate by a diverse funding stream that includes grant dollars from National CASA, as well as corporate sponsorships, fund raising events, and other grant opportunities.

     On December 12, 1998, Pennsylvania Governor Thomas Ridge signed into law an amendment to the Juvenile Act, which addressed the roles and responsibilities of a CASA volunteer.  Volunteer standards were developed through the collaboration of local programs and the Pennsylvania Juvenile Court Judges Commission and were formally accepted by the commission in July of 1999.

     For more information on the PA CASA Association call 717-728-2313 or visit their website at https://www.pacasa.org

National CASA Association

     In 1977, Seattle Judge David Soukup was concerned over making decisions about abused and neglected children’s lives without sufficient information.  He conceived the idea of using trained community volunteers to speak in court for the best interests of these children.  This Seattle program was so successful that soon Judges across the country began utilizing Court Appointed Special Advocates.

    In 2015, over 943 programs were in operation with 76,756 volunteers serving approximately 250,323 children. Those CASA volunteers contributed 7,080,895 hours of service. (CASA Annual Report 2015)

     The National CASA Association provides leadership for CASA programs, along with: holding an annual conference, publishing a newsletter, and promoting CASA through public relations efforts.  National CASA offers consultation and resources that help start CASA programs, and provides vital assistance to established programs.

     For more information on the National CASA Association, call 1-800-628-3233or visit their website at
www.casaforchildren.org

 

Volunteer

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.

We help these children by recruiting and training volunteers to watch over and advocate for abused and neglected children. They make sure children don’t get lost in the overburdened legal and social service system or languish in inappropriate group or foster homes. Volunteers stay with each case until it is closed and the child is placed in a safe, permanent home.

Requirements

  • 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.
  • Successfully complete 45 hours of training during the CASA Volunteer Training class.
  • Once sworn in, complete 12 hours of training yearly.
  • Complete the necessary background checks.
  • 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 residence.
  • Maintain contact with the child’s parents and current caregiver.
  • Meet with the teacher, daycare worker, babysitter, or any person who has substantial contact with the child.
  • Meet with attorney for the child to discuss 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.
  • Maintain a file of the information gathered.
  • Keep in touch with the CASA Volunteer Coordinator for guidance and support.
  • Complete Monthly Reporting Forms in a timely manneer.
  • Return all case records to the CASA office upon completion of the case.

Court Appointed Special Advocates

 Court Appointed Special Advocates

 

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To learn more about York County CASA and how you can become an advocate, please contact our office at 717-771-9754 for more information.  Our next available training will be Spring 2021.

Find us on Facebook www.facebook.com/yorkcountycasa

Looking to volunteer? Click here to learn more.

To report suspected child abuse or neglect call ChildLine at 1-800-932-0313.
If the child is in immediate danger, call 911 immediately.

Give a voice to a child in need. Be for the child.

Volunteer to be a Court Appointed Special Advocate to ensure each child’s best interests are heard and to advocate on behalf of the abused and neglected children of our communities.

The mission of the York County CASA Program is to advocate for what is in the best interest of abused and neglected dependent children in the York County court system. CASA is comprised of volunteers who are selected, trained, and guided to help these vulnerable children. CASA volunteers monitor the implementation of services to families to ensure they are receiving the necessary support to reach their goals.

CASA volunteers gather facts and report those to the court without bias. Their focus is to ensure safety, permanency and stability for children.

To find out about volunteer opportunities and our next training session, please email casa@yorkcountypa.gov. More information about volunteering is also available here.

To learn more about the Court Appointed Special Advocate Program
call the CASA office at 717-771-9754
or call toll free 1-800-441-2025
or contact us via e-mail
casa@yorkcountypa.gov


*There is another organization operating under the name of CASA that has become active in South Central PA.*

  • This organization is Central American Solidarity Association (CASA de Maryland) and while they share our acronym, they are a completely separate organization with no affiliation to any Court Appointed Special Advocate programs.
  • The similar name has caused some confusion in the media and the community, which has attributed CASA de Maryland’s participation in political rallies and partisan and political stances, particularly on immigration issues, to Court Appointed Special Advocates.
  • We wish to reassure our volunteer Advocates, donors, and stakeholders that Court Appointed Special Advocate programs have not changed their tactics, focus, or non-partisan approach, but remain true to the mission of providing a qualified and compassionate court-appointed volunteer advocate to every child who has experienced abuse or neglect, to ensure the fundamental human right of having a safe, nurturing, and permanent home is met. We remain solely committed to the best interest of children in our foster care system.

If you wish to reach CASA de Maryland, its website provides the following phone number for its York Welcome Center: 717-219-7974

 

 

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