Make a Child’s Voice HeardLANCASTER, PA(September 17, 2015) – Returning to school can be a daunting task for any child - a new environment, new teacher, new and old friends, and so much more to adjust to. It is exciting, and maybe a bit scary. Unfortunately, the return to school also heralds an increase in reports of child abuse.
Teachers, educators and school staff have their eyes peeled for students who may be the victims of abuse or neglect. If the abuse or neglect is substantiated, the child is placed in the physical and legal custody of the state they become a foster child. . This is an exceedingly difficult time for children. They are sent to live with strangers, in a strange environment, and usually in a new school as well.
This is a tumultuous and traumatic time in a child’s life. With caseworkers, judges, and attorneys all with substantial caseloads, often there is no one to really hear the child’s voice. To hear what the child wants, what they need, how they are feeling - that’s where a CASA comes in, a Court Appointed Special Advocate.
A CASA is a trained community volunteer, appointed by a judge, to represent the best interest of a child in court. Advocates get to know the child and the situation. They use this information to make recommendations to the judges. They address issues ranging from a child needing new glasses to the frequency of visits a child should have with biological parents or siblings.
The impact that advocates make on children in foster care is substantial. Children with a CASA are more likely to:
- find a safe and permanent home.
- spend less time in foster care.
- do better in school.
- move less frequently.
- receive more services while in the foster care system.
If you want to make a child’s voice heard, the first step is attending one of our Community Awareness Sessions on Engagement (C.A.S.E.) Join us at C.A.S.E for CASA on one of the following dates:
- Tues, Oct 20, 12:00 pm at Holy Trinity Lutheran Church, 31 S, Duke St, Lancaster PA
- Tues, Nov 17, 6:00 pm at CASA, 53 North Duke St, Suite 218, Lancaster
- Tues, Dec 15, 12:00 pm at CASA, 53 North Duke St, Suite 218, Lancaster
These sessions are free of charge and open to the public. RSVP is required due to limited seating. We know how important your time is and our program will not exceed 60 minutes. To reserve your seat, please contact CASA by calling (717)208-3280 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.