CASA for Kids, Inc.
Category of Service: Human Needs
The organization trains community members to become Court Appointed Special Advocates who will speak up for the best interest of abused and neglected children in the court of Washington County. CASA volunteers review records, research information, and talk to everyone involved in a child's life and then present their recommendation to the court as to what they feel is in the best interest of the child.
Programs and Services
- CASA for Kids, Inc. was established in 2002 as a 501(c)3 organization, initiated by a group of concerned citizens following the death of an abused/neglected child who got "lost in the cracks" of child welfare. CASA volunteers are vetted and trained to become child advocates, advocating for children who are served within the Juvenile Dependency Court System. Once volunteers complete 30 hours of training and six hours of court observation, they are sworn in as CASAs and assigned to cases.
- Once a CASA is assigned to a case, the individual begins to advocate for his or her CASA child/children. The advocate becomes familiar with the case by reviewing records of the child, including medical, educational, and any historical history that the family has had with the Washington County Children and Youth Services. The courts supply the CASA with a Court Order that facilitates information gathering from current and past providers to the child.
- The beauty of the role of the CASA is that the CASA focuses solely on the child/children. Many of our advocates see their child/children frequently and often become consistent adults in the children's lives. The knowledge that the advocate gains is assembled into a report that is provided to the court. The court reports assist our judges and Hearing Officer in seeing areas of the children's' lives that would not otherwise be seen.
- When children have CASAs, they are more likely to get the proper support that they need. A CASA advocate is often the most informed person in the courtroom, having talked to the child, parents, family members, foster parents, school officials, doctors, therapists, and others involved in the child's life. CASA advocates are able to recognize when a child is experiencing a need (such as glasses) and advocate for that child to have that need met.
- Children with a CASA do better in school. They have less poor conduct and better grades, and they are more likely to pass all courses. A child with a CASA is also more likely to be adopted, half as likely to re-enter foster care, and substantially less likely to remain in longterm foster care. The CASA program focuses on a "forever home," preventing children from growing up in the foster care system.
Primary Revenue Sources
Grant funding, fundraising
Primary Fundraising Event
Light the Way Gala (formerly Chefs for CASA)
|Federal Tax ID||47-0849282|
|Address:||382 W. Chestnut St., Suite 108B|
Washington, PA, 15301
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