Mission: The mission of Susquehanna Valley CASA is to ensure that each child thrives in a safe, nurturing, and permanent home by training citizen volunteers to advocate for abused and neglected children in the court system, and to assist the courts through objective investigation, observation, and comprehensive reporting, so the best and most expedient determination is made for each child’s future. We achieve this through a combined focus of individual and community-based advocacy, building community awareness, and engaging in strong collaborative partnerships.
Vision: Susquehanna Valley CASA recognizes that the safety of the child is our priority focus. We ensure that all advocacy plans contain the necessary components to achieve normalcy and permanency and contain opportunities for the child to thrive. We promote the CASA organization, the work, and the mission throughout the community and among our community partners. We maintain a positive presence in the community and nurture productive relationships with our partners.
When a community of caring people come together, just about anything is possible!
Susquehanna Valley CASA
Susquehanna Valley CASA was founded in 2003 under the name of Lycoming County CASA. At that time we served only Lycoming County children. In 2014 we expanded our service area to include Union, Snyder and Northumberland Counties becoming Pennsylvania’s first regional CASA program.
We are a non-profit organization that is supported by the Lycoming County United Way, the Susquehanna Valley United Way, and generous donors in our community.
The Pennsylvania Court Appointed Special Advocates Association (PA CASA) is a non-profit organization founded in 1998 to grow, strengthen, and unite local CASA programs so they can ensure the safety, well-being, and forever home for every abused and/or neglected child in Pennsylvania. To fulfill its mission, PA CASA supports the existing network of local CASA programs, builds new CASA programs and secures resources critical to CASA’s mission. Currently, PA CASA provides training, technical assistance, and continuous quality improvement services to the 21 local CASA programs serving 27 counties. In the remaining 40 counties, PA CASA actively pursues program development. Through statewide advocacy, PA CASA provides resources that make it easier for CASA programs to serve children. PA CASA’s vision is for every abused and/or neglected child in Pennsylvania to have access to the service and support of a CASA volunteer.
For additional information, please refer to the PA CASA website.
Judge Soukup, a Juvenile Court Judge, watched as many parties entered and exited the juvenile dependency courtroom, but he never heard anyone speak strictly on behalf of the child. Inspiration came when Judge Soukup had insufficient information to make a life-changing decision for a 3-year-old girl who had suffered from child abuse. Judge Soukup’s idea of training volunteers to speak up in the courtroom on behalf of a child’s best interests came to fruition in 1977. The first CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocates) program was established in Seattle (King County), Washington, and was endorsed as a model for safeguarding a child’s rights to a safe and permanent family by the National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges. As the program model continued to grow and develop in other states, the National CASA Association was formed in Seattle in 1984. Currently, there are nearly 1,000 CASA programs throughout the United States. The CASA/GAL network has reached over 2 million children since National CASA/GAL’s inception.
The National CASA/GAL Association, together with state and local member programs, supports and promotes court-appointed volunteer advocacy so every child who has experienced abuse or neglect can be safe, have a permanent home, and the opportunity to thrive.
For additional information, please refer to the National CASA/GAL website.