CASA’s programs in Philadelphia leverage the resources of trained community volunteers to advocate for a child’s best interests in and out of court.
CASA Volunteer Program
Philadelphia County’s CASA volunteer advocacy program recruits, trains, and supervises volunteers to monitor the individual needs of each child or sibling group both in and out of the courtroom to ensure they receive needed support and services. As the “eyes and ears for the court,” CASA volunteers carefully review health and education records, interview foster parents, parents, doctors, teachers and therapists, and provide a complete picture of the child to the court. CASA volunteers ensure that services are provided so that children make faster progress toward placement in a permanent, loving home with parents, relatives, or an adoptive family.
Educational Decision-Maker (EDM) Volunteer Program
Philadelphia County’s CASA EDM volunteers are court appointed to children who do not have another adult in their life willing or able to be their educational surrogate. This is particularly important for children with special education needs, as the special education process is parent driven. As the “educational parent” for the child, CASA EDM volunteers review report cards and progress reports, individualized education programs (IEP), diagnostic tests, disciplinary actions and other education-related matters. CASA EDM volunteers ensure that appropriate education services are provided so that children meet educational milestones while awaiting placement in a permanent, loving home with parents, relatives, or an adoptive family.