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Become a CASA

A CASA volunteer is a trained community member that is appointed by a judge to advocate for the best interest of abused and neglected children in foster care in accordance with PA Juvenile Act (Title 42 Act PA C.C. Sec. 6301 et.seq.)

CASA Volunteer Advocate Job Description

Qualifications

A CASA must be 21 years of age or older.

The applicant must successfully complete the application process, which includes:

  • An online application
  • Three references, two of whom are unrelated to the applicant
  • An interview with CASA staff members
  • Necessary background clearances*
    • PA State Criminal Clearance
    • ChildLine Clearance
    • FBI Fingerprint National Criminal Clearance
  • Mandated Reporter online training (completed during pre-service training)*
  • National Sex Offender Registry Check
  • Lancaster County Children and Youth Social Service Agency Records Check
  • Social Security verification
  • 32 hours of training with CASA staff; our curriculum is provided by our National CASA Association

A CASA must:

  • have the ability to keep all case and court information completely confidential
  • be able to communicate effectively, both written and orally
  • have the ability to respect people from various backgrounds
  • have the ability to transport themselves
  • follow guidelines set forth by CASA of Lancaster County, in accordance with the National CASA Association

Volunteers shall be recruited and accepted into the CASA of Lancaster County program without regard to race, gender, age (21 years and older), religion, nationality, color, creed, disability or sexual orientation.

*Please note that these background checks need to be renewed every three years as per affiliation with the National CASA Association.

Duties and Responsibilities

Ensure a child’s best interests are represented at every stage in the case.

  • Most importantly, speaking with the child, and speaking with others who play a major role in the child’s life, including parents, foster parents, therapists, teachers, and doctors
  • Visit face to face with the child or family at a minimum of three hours a month, or as directed by staff
  • Maintain complete and confidential records about the case
  • Review appropriate records related to the case

Report findings to the court by submitting formal written reports to the Judge and attorneys on the case.

  • Provide a written court report containing factual information and recommendations at each court hearing

Ensure representation of child's best interest

  • Attend appropriate child-focused meetings and participate collaboratively
    • These meetings may address the child’s placement, educational needs, or mental health
  • Attend court hearings to testify to what is in the child's best interest

Monitor a case following each court hearing

  • Ensure the case plan is being followed
  • Ensure court ordered services are being provided to the child and the family in a timely manner

Consult regularly with CASA staff

  • Develop case plan
  • Check in with CASA staff once a week during the first three months of your case, and every other week thereafter
  • Submit court reports a minimum of 14 days prior to court date
  • Participate in annual evaluations

Interested in learning more? Register to attend one of our Becoming a CASA Information Sessions, the first step to joining our program. Each session covers the history of our organization, the role of the CASA, and next steps to joining our program.

Currently, all of our Information Sessions are being hosted virtually. They are free to attend and approximately 45-60 minutes.