Become a CASA

A Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) is a trained community volunteer, appointed by a judge, to represent the best interests of abused and neglected children in court. Volunteer advocates independently investigate the child's situation and make recommendations to the Lancaster County Dependency Judges as to what permanent placement would be best for that particular child and what services the child can benefit from whether those services are related to educational needs, social needs, mental health needs, physical health needs, or cultural needs; the CASA volunteer advocates on behalf of the best interest of child.

The CASA volunteer advocate experience is unlike any other volunteer experience out there, and there are a number of minimum requirements that must be met in order to become an advocate.

  • All volunteer advocates must be at least 21 years of age
  • All volunteer advocates must successfully pass a series of background clearances
  • All volunteer advocates must comply fully with program policies and procedures
  • All volunteer advocates must commit for a minimum of 18 months

In order to best support our volunteer advocates in their work, each volunteer is paired with a staff Case Supervisor or Peer Coordinator who provides continued, one-on-one guidance and support to the advocate as he/she works a case.

Ready to get started? Just complete these 3 easy steps:

Step One: Attend the C.A.S.E. for CASA

Community Awareness Sessions for Engagement (C.A.S.E.) are scheduled monthly. To register for the next session, please visit the our calendar page.

C.A.S.E. presents not only the mission and vision of the organization, but addresses common myths that surround children in foster care and discusses how you can lift up a child’s voice, a child’s life.

You will see audiovisual testimony from youth who have had an active child advocate in their lives during their childhood. As children, these young adults were positively affected by CASA and will share the long term impact of having a qualified, compassionate adult fight for and protect their right to be safe, to be treated with dignity and respect, and to learn and grow in the security of a loving family.

The 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 casa@casalancaster.org.

Step Two: Submit the Advocate Application Materials

  1. CASA Advocate Application
  2. Background Clearances
  3. References

Be sure to complete all the forms in their entirety and submit to the CASA office using the contact information provided on the Advocate Application. Please note, you can print the application and additional materials form, however, even if they are received in our office you will not be contacted for an interview until you attend the C.A.S.E. for CASA. We suggest that if you elect to complete the application prior to attending the session that you only complete the Volunteer Application and submit it to our office so that we have the opportunity to discuss the background clearances and associated processes with you.

Step Three: Complete an Interview

A CASA Case Supervisor will review your application and get in touch with you to arrange an interview. This preliminary interview will provide you with another opportunity discuss your questions and concerns with CASA staff while you decide if this is the right volunteer opportunity for you.

After the interview . . .

Following the interview, you will be notified of your preliminary acceptance to the CASA pre-service training program. CASA facilitates two pre-service trainings annually. CASA's pre-service training consists of approximately 30 hours of in-class training during which you will receive the basic knowledge, skills, and tools to be an effective advocate. The training is facilitated by CASA staff with presentations from Children and Youth staff members, various attorneys whom CASA volunteers work with, a judge, and local service providers and professionals.

Subsequent to the first year of service as a CASA volunteer, our advocates are required to complete a minimum of 12 hours of on going education and training each following year of advocacy. Visit our advocates page for more information on some of the trainings offered.

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CASA of Lancaster County, Inc. | 53 N Duke St, Ste 218, Lancaster, PA 17602 | P: (717) 208-3280 | F: (717) 208-3283

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