Susquehanna Valley CASA - Voices for Children
601 1/2 Pennsylvania Avenue
Sunbury, PA 17801
Susquehanna Valley CASA (SVCVC) is a volunteer driven nonprofit which advocates for abused and neglected children in the court system. We cover Union, Snyder, Lycoming and Northumberland counties. The volunteers are directly supervised by a professional, paid case manager, who recruits, clears, vigorously trains and manages the volunteers, meeting regularly with them. After training, volunteers are sworn in by a judge to manage the child and gather information regarding all aspects of the child's life, and the reasons that brought their caregivers to need court supervision. When children are neglected and/or abused, most will suffer debilitating trauma, which often surfaces in self mutilation, substance abuse, truancy, anger and attachment issues, teen pregnancy, school dropout, poverty, extreme negative behaviors and mental health struggles.Through consistent visits twice a month, the volunteers strive to provide the children with the tools to build self-esteem, confidence and relationships. They make recommendations for any services the child needs, such as trauma therapy, tutoring, etc. Children and Youth workers, judges, and attorneys may change, but the CASA volunteer stays with the child until their case is completed, and often longer. They may be the one consistent adult in the child's life. A CASA volunteer handles one case at a time, and spends 15-20 hours monthly with the child, investigating her circumstances and gathering fact-based information. This information is given to judge via a comprehensive report, so the judge may make often life-altering decisions regarding the child's best interests. With a volunteer, cases are closed an average of 7 months sooner, the children find permanent, nurturing homes, and 93% don't return to the system.