LANCASTER, PA (November 19, 2018) – Nobody longs for a safe and loving home more than a child in foster care. With November being National Adoption Month, communities are encouraged to support the thousands of children across the country in need of permanent families. As a court-appointed special advocate (CASA) volunteer, you will be empowered by the court to help make this dream a reality.
During federal fiscal year (FFY) 2015 (October 1, 2014 – September 30, 2015), the number of children in foster care in PA was 22,980. Sadly, 4688 of these children between the ages of 15-17 are at risk of aging out of the system without fundamental emotional, legal, and/or financial support. Far too many youth never end up with a stable, permanent family situation. 1 in 4 PA youth who “age out” of the system, experience homelessness, struggle with mental health challenges such as depression, substance abuse and anxiety disorders, with nearly 25% having been arrested since leaving care.
How do CASA volunteers serve these youth? According to Executive Director Jessica Laspino, “through specific training, CASA Volunteer Advocates are equipped to work alongside older youth in order to help them realize better outcomes.” Older youth served by a CASA are more likely to set goals for their future and have clear ideas about how to achieve them. They develop knowledge and skills to successfully transition to adulthood, and are less likely to be homeless, in trouble or in jail.
Foster youth who age out of care are some of the most vulnerable of our youth! If you have an interest in youth, and their futures, learn more about helping them by calling CASA at 717-208-3280, emailing firstname.lastname@example.org, or visiting our website www.casalancaster.org.
A Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) volunteer is a trained citizen (21 years or older) who is appointed by a judge to represent the best interest of a child in court. The children that CASA volunteers advocate for have been abused and neglected and placed into the foster care system. CASA volunteers work to help ensure a safe and permanent home for the child as quickly as possible.