17 New Advocates Pledge to Help
LANCASTER, PA (July 7, 2015)– Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) of Lancaster County recently swore in 17 new volunteer advocates. 40 friends, family members, and CASA supporters witnessed Judge Jeffrey J. Reich swear in the new volunteer advocates during a ceremony held on Wednesday, June 17 at CoreSource, 1280 N Plum St, Lancaster, PA 17601.
CASA volunteer advocates are appointed by the court to represent the best interests of children in foster care with the belief that all children deserve safe, nurturing, and permanent homes.
CASA advocates are consistent, compassionate adults that walk beside a child in foster care. Advocates provide court reports to the judge to help aide in the decision about where that child will live. CASAs provide essential information to the court about what is in the best interest of the child.
Before being sworn in, volunteers complete a required 30-hour training program. This class was the first to be trained with the new Flex Learning course from National CASA Association. The flex course features five weeks of online learning modules coinciding with weekly in-person sessions.
Executive Director, Jessica Laspino praises the new Flex Learning program, "We are excited to add Flex Learning to our annual training schedule. It gives us the opportunity to reach out and engage a wider population of potential volunteer advocates.”
Volunteer advocates must also complete a series of background clearances prior to being appointed to a child. The new advocates are: Carol Bender, Elizabethtown; John Berry, Mountville; Colleen Cunningham, Coatesville; Steve Detzel, Lancaster; Jean Fasching, Mount Joy; Tara Fausnaught, Brownstown; Tamaria Featherlin, Lancaster; Alice Forry, Lancaster; Marcia Gregory, Lancaster; Hilary Hanna, Lancaster; Susan Mast, Lancaster; Anthony Milazzo, Lititz; Nancy Nonnenmocher, Lititz; Steve Siegrist, Lancaster; Kathy Tyler, Lancaster; Angela Valli, Millersville; Stephanie Wolfe, Willow Street.
The Spring 2015 class of advocates will bring the total number of trained CASA advocates in Lancaster County to 142. These 17 new volunteer advocates will serve between 30 and 40 children in foster care.
CASA volunteers have served 310 children to date since the organization’s first appointment in January 2010.
Justin Stephens, Recruitment and Training Coordinator describes the new volunteers, "This class has proven themselves as adventurous and willing advocates, the first to graduate through our new Flex Learning Course. We are excited to have this diverse class trained and ready to advocate for abused and neglected children in Lancaster County.”
CASA is central to fulfilling society’s most fundamental obligation by making sure a qualified, compassionate adult will fight for and protect a child’s right to be safe, to be treated with dignity and respect, and to learn and grow in the security of a loving family.
To learn how you can be a part of the CASA movement to make Lancaster County a place where every child grows up in a home free of abuse and neglect, contact us at (717) 208-3280 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Photo Caption: From left to right: Steve Siegrist, Steve Detzel, Colleen Cunningham, Kathy Tyler, Tara Fausnaught, Hilary Hanna, Alice Forry, Angela Valli, Marcia Gregory, Tamaria Featherlin, Susan Mast, Nancy Nonnenmocher, Carol Bender, Stephanie Wolfe, Jean Fasching, John Berry, Anthony Milazzo