Susquehanna Valley Court Appointed Special Advocates Need Volunteers | News, Sports, Jobs

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The special advocates appointed by the Susquehanna Valley court are currently open to accepting volunteers for their local program.

Children in foster care can often have a number of adults involved in their lives. A CASA volunteer should take on the role of a cohesive mentor and advocate in the life of a foster child.

“What the community can do to help us is consider volunteering to help all of the children who need guidance, to be reunited with their families. … Right now we have about eight volunteers in the Lycoming Valley, and we have at least 30 children who need a volunteer ”, said Louise Campana, case manager at Susquehanna Valley CASA.

The intention of a CASA volunteer is also to help ensure the safety of the foster child.

“They have a lawyer who accompanies them through their journey through the justice system, someone who can look at all the parties involved and really be their lawyer (the child). … He’s the only stable person in their life they can count on. CASA (volunteer) is very consistent, sticks with them, looks at all aspects of what’s going on and makes great recommendations ”, said Mike Bellfy, case manager at Susquehanna Valley CASA.

CASA serves children from birth to approximately 21 years old. A volunteer would serve as a helping hand, bringing the child to a variety of essential appointments.

“As a CASA volunteer, we go to schools, we go to the dentist, we go to the doctor, we meet service providers that you didn’t even know existed. We present to you a whole new system, which you never knew anything about, and our children need you ”, said Campana.

The volunteers themselves are supported by a number of CASA staff and board of directors.

“It sounds difficult, but we are there to support our volunteers throughout the process. They always have us to help them navigate everything. Even if you are a little nervous about this, please come talk to us and we will work with you ”, said Bellfy.

Although difficult at times, many volunteers find the overall experience to be rewarding and rewarding in many ways.

“Sometimes we come up with a very difficult case. … We had the opportunity to see go from a very difficult file to an excellent outcome. … Someone with a forever home in a caring, loving and nurturing environment, or potentially a reunification with the parents who have done a lot of work to rectify the situation that caused the placement ”, said Bellfy.

Volunteers must commit to a case from 15 to 22 months.

“You must be 21 and have a loving heart” said Campana.

To learn more about how to become a volunteer, visit www.susquehannavalleycasa.com/become-a-volunteer

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