CASA for Children INC
Address: 1224 Chapline Street
Wheeling, WV 26003
Name of Program Funded through UW: CASA
Contact Name: Susan Harrison
Phone Number: 304-233-0333
What is CASA?
The Mission of CASA is to promote and support quality volunteer representation for abused and neglected children in the state foster care system, to provide each child with a safe, permanent, nurturing home. It is our goal to educate the community regarding its responsibility for abused and neglected children and to see to the best interests of the children we serve. CASA recruits, trains, and supports volunteers who advocate for the best interests of child victims of abuse and neglect. A Judge appoints a CASA Volunteer, usually at the earliest stage of the judicial process. The CASA stays with that case until the child has been placed in a permanent, safe, and nurturing home. In addition, our CASA program works along the Spectrum of Prevention, providing leadership in a variety of projects including Partners in Prevention, The WV State Task Force on the Prevention of Sexual Abuse of Children, Better You Workshops, The Community Collaborative and the Foster Care Subcommittee.
How does United Way support CASA?
We use United Way dollars for our prevention programs. Protective factors are conditions or attributes of individuals, families, communities, or the larger society that reduce or eliminate risk and promote healthy development and well-being of children and families. These factors help ensure that children and youth function well at home, in school, at work and in the community. Protective factors can serve as safeguards, helping parents who might otherwise be at risk of abusing their children to find resources, supports or coping strategies that allow them to parent more effectively. Research has found that successful interventions must both reduce risk factors and promote protective factors. A caregiver that has protective capacities is able to ensure the safety of their child(ren) and respond to threats in ways that keep the child safe from harm. We can best ensure child safety and promote child and family well-being by promoting both caregiver protective capacities at the individual level and protective factors at the community level.
CASA fulfills society’s most fundamental obligation by finding sure, qualified, compassionate adults who will fight for and protect a child’s rights to be safe, treated with dignity and respect, and learn and grow in the safe embrace of a loving family.
The solution in an overburdened child protective services system begins with a single volunteer; not a mentor or a ―special buddy, but a court-appointed special advocate, a CASA Volunteer—specially trained to know what is in a child’s best interest and how to get those interests met by the system. Who knows how to help a child through this time of significant vulnerability and fear. And fight for each child until that child is in a place to thrive.
Key Facts About Our Cause
- On average, a child moves at least three times while in foster care—often more. Many are separated from their brothers and sisters during this critical time.
- Foster kids typically attend nine different schools by age 18.
- These issues are a fundamental failure of our community’s most important responsibility. Every child has a right to be treated with dignity, learn, grow, and thrive in the security of a loving home.
Key Benefits CASA volunteers
- Ninety-five percent of kids with a CASA volunteer stay out of long-term foster care.
- Ninety percent of kids with a CASA volunteer do not re-enter the child welfare system.
- Kids with CASA volunteers are more likely to be adopted.
- We have a Fostering Futures initiative, which provides specially trained CASA volunteers to youth ages 14-21. The program is built around the Fostering Connections to Success Act framework to help youth identify supportive, lifelong adult connections and develop specific plans for their transition to becoming independent, successful adults.
Check out our other member agencies and learn more about their programs here!
About the United Way of the Upper Ohio Valley
The United Way of the Upper Ohio Valley supports Ohio County, Tyler County, Marshall County, Wetzel County, Brooke County in West Virginia, and Belmont County and Monroe County in Ohio. Donating through your local United Way is the best way to reach the most people in need.
The United Way of the Upper Ohio Valley is an organization that supports nonprofit organizations in our area through annual campaigns, payroll deduction fundraising efforts, and individual donations. These community-minded people combine donations from employees and businesses alike to help assist those who need it most. The support from the annual campaign is then allocated to nonprofit programs through our volunteer allocations panels. We support 40 programs (and counting) in the upper Ohio Valley that tackle the toughest needs in the Ohio Valley. Consider giving to the United Way of the Upper Ohio Valley today.