Frequently Asked Questions
If you are interested in volunteering in any of the ways listed below or have a concern or question about a case in a Pennsylvania county court, please contact the local program closest to your home. See the map for a listing of the local CASA programs in Pennsylvania.
Local CASA programs need people who can:
- Serve as a CASA volunteer advocate
- Host information events about child abuse and neglect
- Help plan and staff fundraising events
- Become a member of the Board of Directors
- Assist with public relations
- Support CASA volunteer advocate appreciation and retention efforts
- Serve as an administrative support for the CASA office
- Be an intern
Local CASA programs train and support community volunteers to advocate for the health, safety, stability and well-being of abused, abandoned, and neglected children. The goal if for children to be placed in a safe permanent home either with the child’s biological parents, kin, or through adoption.
Judges appoint CASA volunteers to be the “eyes and ears” of the court – to advocate for abused, abandoned and neglected children so their needs aren’t overlooked by an overwhelmed child welfare system. Volunteers make a two year commitment to CASA, staying with their assigned child until their case is closed by the court and the child is placed in a safe, permanent home. For many abused children, their CASA volunteer is the one constant adult presence in their lives. Independent research has demonstrated that children with a CASA volunteer are substantially less likely to spend time in long-term foster care and less likely to re-enter the child welfare system.
CASA volunteer advocates are committed people from all walks of life who believe society has a fundamental obligation to abused, abandoned, and neglected children. They are people just like you! The CASA volunteer advocate is not required to be a lawyer or a social worker, nor are they required to have a specific degree in a child-serving profession. Volunteers must be at least 21, pass all criminal and child abuse clearances and complete 30 hours of pre-service training. Last year, over 800 CASA volunteers advocated for 1,800 abused and neglected children in Pennsylvania through their local CASA programs. Over 10,000 children in the counties with local CASA programs are without a CASA volunteer.
Judges appoint CASA volunteer advocates to advocate for the best interests of children who have been removed from their homes because of abuse and/or neglect. CASA is appointed to children ranging in age from birth to 18, and can advocate for children up to age 21. Currently there are not enough CASA volunteers to represent all of the children in care, hence, judges typically assign CASA volunteer advocates to their most difficult cases.