Susquehanna Valley CASA program continues to navigate how we work cases and ensure the safety of everyone involved during challenging times. Susquehanna Valley CASA’s primary concern is to ensure the well-being of the children and families we serve. We continue our work in providing advocacy for children who have experienced abuse and neglect. In alignment with National CASA/GAL, we require our volunteers to visit with their CASA child in person once every 30 days at a minimum.
Susquehanna Valley CASA will continue to evaluate and be responsive as information from our local court and Children and Youth agency is updated. We won’t stop our advocacy initiative in ensuring that children are safe. Here are the steps we are taking to keep our volunteers, staff, children, and their families as safe as possible while also fulfilling the CASA mission:
- We continue to monitor the health of staff and volunteers as well as the children and families we serve.
- Our children have returned to in-person classes at school, so we check in with teachers and guidance counselors to gather information on how the child is doing academically, and how their attendance has been. Our volunteers continue to monitor the child’s education progress closely to ensure the child is receiving the necessary services so they can thrive academically.
- Before a volunteer or staff member visit a child’s placement whether that is their biological home, kinship or foster home, or a residential treatment facility, we check to see if everyone is healthy and comfortable with a visit. We also check the policy of the residential treatment facility to ensure visitors are permitted and if there are any other procedural changes.
- We continue to write and submit court reports for every hearing so that judges or the judicial hearing officer has a clear picture of the child’s well-being, development and if there are any other services the child may need. All hearings and meetings have resumed to in-person, volunteers and staff adhere to all guidelines.
- We are committed to remaining that one constant person in a child’s life. The needs of children won’t go away, and a CASA volunteer is here to elevate their voices and make sure they are heard.
Research is showing that over the past few years and even present day, some of our children are having a difficult time. Our young children have suffered developmental delays and our youth have experienced more anxiety and depression. We believe in creating a better world for our children and lessening the impact of any challenges as we move forward!
Children involved in the child welfare system deserve to have a voice and the opportunity to thrive in a permanent, safe environment. A child having that one constant person providing support can change the direction of their future.
If you are wondering how you can help during these time, please consider volunteering your time or donating. We invite you to join us and be a part of changing a child’s story. Explore our opportunities and join the CASA movement.