CASA of Philadelphia trains and supports community volunteers to advance the welfare of children in foster care through effective advocacy.
The CASA Story
In 1977, a Seattle judge named David Soukup conceived the idea of appointing volunteer citizens to “be a voice for the voiceless.” Concerned about making critical decisions with insufficient information, Judge Soukup appointed trained volunteer advocates to speak up for the best interests of abused and neglected children in the courtroom. Since then, CASA has grown a network of 950 local programs in 49 states across the country.
- Volunteers are regular people, from all walks of life, who have been rigorously screened and trained extensively by their local program.
- Each volunteer receives 30+ hours of training before they work with a child, and 12 hours of continued education annually.
- Volunteers receive ongoing support via staff social workers to help them advocate effectively on a child’s behalf.
- CASA is appointed to children from birth to age 18 and can advocate for children up to age 21. Judges rely on CASA volunteers to help make informed decisions in some of the most complicated dependency cases.
- For many abused children, their CASA is the one constant adult presence in their lives. Independent research has demonstrated that children with a CASA are substantially less likely to spend time in long-term foster care and less likely to re-enter care.
Here in Philadelphia Court Appointed Special Advocates of Philadelphia County was founded in 2006. From humble beginnings, with only one volunteer and two cases, CASA of Philadelphia has grown to become a professional staff of 10 that trains and supervises more than 100 volunteers every year serving over 300 annually. To learn more about how you can help us keep growing sign up for an information session to be a volunteer!