Casa of Lancaster County Inc

Lancaster, PA   |  http://www.casalancaster.org/

Mission

To provide a qualified and compassionate court-appointed volunteer advocate to every child who is abused and neglected, to ensure the fundamental human right of having a safe, nurturing, and permanent home is met.

Ruling year info

2008

Executive Director

Jessica Laspino

Main address

35 E Orange St Ste 202

Lancaster, PA 17602 USA

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EIN

26-1826650

NTEE code info

Children's and Youth Services (P30)

IRS filing requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

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Programs and results

What we aim to solve

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

CASA of Lancaster County is dedicated to eradicating the cycle of abuse and neglect by providing children in the foster care system with a trained volunteer advocate that supports them in the attainment of vital social and educational services as well as hastening their placement in a safe, permanent loving home. Child welfare systems are in a state of crisis and across the country, more than 440,000 children are in foster care on any given day. The average child in foster care spends more than a year in care. While the foster care system includes many service components to support the families involved, no system of supports can replace a parent. By providing children with a CASA, they are more likely to be reunified with their family or adopted and spend less time languishing in foster care. By attaining a safe, loving and permanent home, and having the ability to live a stable, supported life they are less likely to return to the system as a child, or in the future as a parent.

Our programs

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

CASA of Lancaster County

Our organization recruits, trains and mentors Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) volunteers. CASA's are trained citizens (21 years or older) who are appointed by a judge to represent the best interest of a child in court. The children that CASA volunteers advocate for have been abused and neglected and placed in to the foster care system. CASA volunteers work to help ensure a safe and permanent home for the child as quickly as possible. A CASA Volunteer Advocate is an extension of the "eyes and ears” of the judge.

Population(s) Served

Where we work

Our Sustainable Development Goals

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

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Goals & Strategy

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn about the organization's key goals, strategies, capabilities, and progress.

Charting impact

Four powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

To provide a qualified and compassionate court-appointed volunteer advocate to every child who is abused and neglected, to ensure the fundamental human right of having a safe, nurturing, and permanent home is met.

Actively recruit adult volunteers from the community to become Court Appointed Special Advocates. Screen them through an application, interview, and background check process to ensure they will be high quality advocates for foster youth.

Once selected, volunteers are provided with a comprehensive, 35+ hour training using the National CASA Association curriculum.
At the conclusion of their training, advocates are sworn in by the judiciary and at that point they are assigned a case with a single foster youth or sibling group. A CASA Volunteer Manager, part of CASA’s program staff, is also assigned who supports their advocacy, advises them and connects on the details of their case.

To investigate their case, CASAs review all records pertaining to the case and the child. Most importantly though, the CASA volunteer speaks with the child and others involved in the child’s life such as biological parents, resource parents, social workers, teachers, doctors and therapists.

CASA uses the nationally recognized, standardized curriculum for training advocates, and complies with all national regulations for recruitment and training. Additionally, CASA employs a Program Director with 10 years of experience with foster youth, and four Volunteer Managers with degrees in social work, psychology and public administration and a combined 16 years of experience working with youth and nonprofits.
To support high-quality recruitment, CASA has a Director of Training in Outreach with experience supporting over 40 cases as a Volunteer Manager and a master’s degree in social work.

CASA’s Executive Director, Jessica Laspino is the inaugural staff member of the organization, with four years of direct volunteer management experience and a total of fifteen years working for local CASA programs. In addition, she holds certifications in training design, case management, and nonprofit leadership.

This team supports over 150 volunteers who are currently supporting 239 foster youth in Lancaster County, 47% of the total foster population in the county.

We are considered strong partners of the local judiciary as well as the local child welfare agency and are well respected in the community.

In the 11 years since CASA of Lancaster County’s inception, we have supported over 600 foster youth achieve placement in a safe, loving and permanent home. We have trained hundreds of CASA’s who have collectively donated decades of their lives to supporting the mentorship, health and well being of foster youth in Lancaster County.

As a result of their advocacy, children with a CASA are placed into a permanent home 8 months sooner, are more likely to receive necessary services, and are less likely to be moved around between multiple homes. All of this creates an environment with greater stability and support while diminishing the amount of time a child has to languish in the foster system.

To continue improving our high-quality volunteer recruitment, training and support we are implementing a number of program improvements, including a renewed focus on professional development for our volunteer managers and directors, training around diversity, equity and inclusion to support the recruitment and retention of a volunteer base that better matches our foster youth and a comprehensive program evaluation to support protocol and process improvements within our organization.

Financials

Casa of Lancaster County Inc
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Operations

The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

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Casa of Lancaster County Inc

Board of directors
as of 5/7/2020
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board chair

Laura Rineer