Child abuse cases have skyrocketed over the last several years, due in part to improved reporting requirements, but abuse and neglect has also risen dramatically. This is due in part to increases in substance abuse, unemployment, poverty, homelessness and mental illness among the adults who care for these children. Children’s lives can be chaotic, unstable, and unsafe when living in these conditions. They need and deserve strong, dedicated, passionate and compassionate adults to be their champion, their mentor, their advocate---their Voice.
When these situations come to the attention of the Child Welfare System, the families are placed into the care of the local Children and Youth System (CYS). For the most serious cases with the most egregious circumstances, oversight by the juvenile court system is required. A Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) Volunteer can ensure that the child’s best interests are always the most important issue before the judges.
Susquehanna Valley CASA – Voices for Children is a volunteer-driven nonprofit organization dedicated to standing up for abused and neglected children who finds themselves enmeshed in this overburdened court system. Our mission is to assist the courts in determining what is in the best interest of these vulnerable and affected children, so judges can make the best possible decisions regarding their needs and their future.
Volunteers who become CASA Volunteers perform a unique service—they are highly trained and then appointed by judges to learn all they can about the child and his/her circumstances, and submit objective, comprehensive reports to the courts. They are dedicated to assisting the child until their court case is completed and a permanent solution is found to the trauma that brought them into the system. They visit with the child, accompany them to meetings and hearings and give the child a voice in the courtroom by advocating for their best interests.
Children with a CASA volunteer leave the court system an average of 7 months sooner. They do better in school, and stay in school longer. They receive more needed services. And 95% of them will never re-enter the Child Welfare System.
Susquehanna Valley CASA provides these services to four counties in Central Pennsylvania—Lycoming, Northumberland, Snyder and Union.
* At present there are 56 children receiving the services of a CASA volunteer; however, there are over 200 children in need of a CASA volunteer.
* Susquehanna Valley CASA relies chiefly on funds from grants and private donations.
* We provide services to our communities that we do not/ cannot bill for.
*Judges ask for our program and services and find high value in the thorough, objective information they receive.
*Volunteers are supervised by highly qualified professionals in keeping with the National program standards. This entails recruitment, background investigations, a very vigorous training program, and case oversight.
*CASA volunteers are sometimes the only consistent, caring adult in the child’s life, while caseworkers, attorneys, judges and foster homes can change.
We need your help to continue the critical work that our case managers and volunteers perform.
While we provide these services with a very slim staff and lean budget, this past year has seen a dramatic decrease in available funding from donors and grantors. Susquehanna Valley CASA is in critical need of funds in order to provide these vulnerable children with a caring, stable adult to assist them as they are swept along by circumstances out of their control. With your help, we will weather this uncertain time and provide uninterrupted advocacy to each child.
I am for the child who has been abused. Who
doesn’t want to go home. The child who no longer
believes in herself.
I am for the child who has been neglected. Who
doesn’t know where her next meal is coming from.
The child who must be the parent to his siblings.
I am for the child who was taken away for her
own protection. The child who is now in foster
care. Who doesn’t know who these people are.
Or how long he’ll be there.
I am for the child who’s lived in five foster homes
in a single year. Who attended six schools in four
years. Who sits in the back of yet another
classroom, surrounded by strangers.
I am for the child who one day will turn 18 ----
and will be surrendered to the world.
ALL DONATIONS ARE REINVESTED INTO OUR VOLUNTEERS, SO THEY MAY BE THE BEST ADVOCATES FOR THESE CHILDREN.
Every dollar will bring us closer to our goal of providing a CASA volunteer to every abused and neglected child in our regions’ court system.
THANK YOU FOR HEARING OUR STORY. PLEASE SHARE THIS WITH EVERYONE YOU KNOW WHO WANTS TO HELP CHILDREN IN NEED
Donations can be made through this GoFundMe page, or through our website: www.susquehannavalleycasa.com
or via direct mail at:
Susquehanna Valley CASA - Voices for Children
P.O. Box 885
Sunbury, PA 17801
- Angela Broscious
- Christy Diven
- Doug Diven
- Sam Ryder
- Robert LeComte
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