About Us

Lift Up A Child's Voice. A Child's Life.

CASA's Mission

To advocate for the best interests of abused and neglected children in Family Court by recruiting and training community volunteers.

CASA's are the only volunteers that are appointed by a judge and empowered to stand up for an abused or neglected child in court. We invite you to learn more about becoming a CASA in your community. We hope you decide to join our family of volunteers, everyday people, who are committed to improving children's lives.

What Is a CASA Volunteer?

A Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) volunteer is a trained citizen receiving special training in advocacy - who is appointed by a judge to represent the best interests of abused and neglected children in Family Court.  CASA volunteers assure that the court and child welfare systems remain focused on children’s well-being and that the specific needs of individual children, including their needs for safety and permanency, are addressed expeditiously.

When a CASA volunteer is appointed to a child's case, the CASA Volunteer takes the time to find out as much as possible about that child.  CASA Volunteers review records, interview family, relatives, teachers, service providers, and -- most important -- the child.  These volunteers then appear in court, alongside attorneys and caseworkers, to recommend to a judge what's best for that child's future.  We know that a child who is represented by a CASA volunteer stands a better chance of living in a safe, permanent home. According to the National CASA Association, more than 90% of children with CASA volunteers never reenter the child welfare system, a significant difference compared to the general foster care population.

CASA's History

CASA of Chemung County, Inc. began in the spring of 1988 when the New York Task Force on Permanency Planning and the Junior League of Elmira approached the Chemung County Family Court with information about the benefits to be gained through the use of CASA volunteers in Family Court.

In the summer of 1994, CASA received a Senate Initiative Grant from Senator  Kuhl and a Schuyler County Youth Bureau grant to expand services to Schuyler County. CASA started providing services in Schuyler County in November of 1994. In 1996, a part-time Supervisor was hired  to cover  Chemung and Schuyler Counties. 

In August 2002, CASA expanded services into Steuben County and  in January 2003 became CASA of the Southern Tier, Inc.   This expansion increased the service population to over 203,000  and the cover area to 2100 square miles.
For Children of Chemung, Schuyler, and Steuben Counties of New York.
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