Lancaster County, Pennsylvania courts already have teams of professionals assigned to every child who is abandoned, abused or neglected. Lawyer, caseworker, judge, etc.
But there is one specialist missing that the County feels is needed.
In Pennsylvania, that specialist is a unique, trained volunteer called a Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA).
A CASA concentrates on a relative handful of children and follows each assigned child closely. The CASA investigates in-depth and reports to the court as to what rulings he or she believes are in the child’s best interests.
One judge describes a CASA as “an extra pair of eyes and ears for the court”.
In Lancaster County, CASA volunteers stand ready to work. But like many volunteer chapters, they lack one thing – funding.
CASAs can also be appointed in family court cases.
In Florida, CASAs are called Guardians ad Litem.