Help us make meaningful progress in educating our leaders about the importance of volunteer advocacy for Pennsylvania’s most vulnerable children.
Advocate for Legislation
Currently, the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania provides no funding to the PA CASA Association. Moreover, Pennsylvania is one of only three states in the nation that does not provide support to its statewide CASA Association. This absence of funding means that CASA programs only exist in 27 of the state’s 67 counties. As a result, less than 10% of the thousands of eligible children receive the significant benefits of the program.
This year, Governor Wolf proposed $1.3 million in funding for CASA as a line item in Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency (PCCD) budget.
The need for a vibrant CASA program will certainly increase due to the impact of the coronavirus on children. Calls to the National Parent Helpline for families in crisis have spiked 30% in the first week of the state’s shutdown. Those calls are from parents stressed about child care, food insecurity, and other issues arising from the crisis.
CASA is the perfect example of a private-public partnership. Children assigned 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. Less than 1% of children assigned a CASA volunteer re-entered the foster care system in 2018, as compared to 21% of children who did not have a CASA volunteer assigned. In other words, a child with a court-appointed CASA volunteer will leave the system and is less likely to return – thereby eliminating costs to the system and preserving public resources.
The current pandemic makes the work of CASA even more critical. Experts have predicted a significant surge in child abuse and neglect due to the loss of jobs and the shuttering of families. An adequately funded statewide CASA association can and will ensure that the best interests of the state’s most vulnerable children are not forgotten.
How You Can Help
We need YOU to support this appropriation. Call your PA Senator or House of Representatives member in support of PA CASA’s budget appropriation now.
Please let your State Congressman know how important the Court Appointed Special Advocate CASA program is to your community and ask them to support the PA CASA Program appropriation of 1.3 million in the 2020 -2021 budget.