New CASA Volunteers Sworn In to Advocate for Children
LANCASTER, PA (June 28, 2018) – On Thursday, May 31, the Hon. Jeffrey Reich swore in eighteen Lancaster County community members as CASA volunteers – court appointed special advocates for abused and neglected children.
Family and friends gathered in the ballroom at Emerald Foundation Community Campus, 2120 Oregon Pike, Lancaster to watch the volunteers take an oath promising to advocate for the best interest of the child.
The newly appointed CASA volunteers join over 200 other dedicated community members who have been trained and are advocating for foster children in the county’s dependency court system. CASA volunteers ensure that the children’s needs are recognized and best interests are considered both in the courtroom and in the community.
Rick Groff, Lancaster
Karyn Heichel, Lancaster
Jocelyn Mylin, Willow Street
Mary Beth Schweigert, Lancaster
Yvonne Tejada, Lancaster
Holly Mutchler, Lititz
Judy Swarthout, Elizabethtown
Melissa Davey, Landisville
Michelle Clements, Landisville
Keri Weaver, Manheim
Jackie Brandsema, Lancaster
Elizabeth Kleinmann, Ephrata
Cathy Bonser, Lancaster
Shirley Davey, Leola
Debbie Weaver, Lititz
Ashley Brown, Lancaster
Rick Oppenheimer, Lancaster
CASA volunteers meet regularly with the child and interview people in the child’s life: social workers, attorneys, teachers, doctors, and mental health professionals. They observe the child in visitation and living arrangements. They write court reports, attend court hearings, and report their findings to the judge.
“Our volunteers remain as advocates for a child or sibling group until the case is closed, and the children are placed in a safe, permanent home," said Jessica Laspino, Executive Director of CASA of Lancaster County. "The advocate is often the only consistent adult presence in the child’s life.”
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.
The next available advocate training session for CASA of Lancaster County begins in August 2018. If you are interested in learning more about becoming a CASA volunteer and the rewards that come along with serving as the voice of a child, please contact CASA at (717) 208-3280 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.