CASA of Central Virginia

CASA of Central Virginia CASA of Central Virginia's mission is to recruit, train and support volunteer advocates for abused and neglected children in Lynchburg and the counties of Amherst, Appomattox, Bedford, Campbell, and Nelson.
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The nation's first CASA program was developed in Seattle, Washington in 1977 by David Soukup. As a Judge, David Soukup realized that he needed help in determining what was in the best interest of the children whose cases he had before him in court. He came up with the idea of training volunteers to be advocates for abused and neglected children. Since then over 955 CASA programs have been established throughout the nation. Judge Dale Harris helped to found a CASA program in Central Virginia in the summer of 1989 for the purpose of providing advocacy services to the abused and neglected children in Lynchburg and Amherst County. By 1991-1992 CASA volunteers were also in demand in Bedford County, Campbell County and Nelson County. CASA of Central Virginia was incorporated in January 1994 and received its status as a 501 (c) (3) non-profit organization in August 1994. Its service area includes the entire 24th Judicial District. The 24th Judicial District is a 2,258 square mile area that includes the cities of Bedford and Lynchburg and the counties of Amherst, Bedford, Campbell and Nelson.

Mission: To recruit, train and support volunteer advocates for abused and neglected children in the Juvenile and Domestic Relations Court system and to educate the community about the needs of these children.

Join us for a live stream at 7 pm! The Courage 365 page is an amazing resource for sexual abuse survivors & advocates th...
06/04/2020

Join us for a live stream at 7 pm! The Courage 365 page is an amazing resource for sexual abuse survivors & advocates that will have new, live-streaming content every single week!

Survivors and advocates, The Courage 365 Show starts in 30min (7 pm EST) watch it live-streamed to our Facebook account!

This Week's Topic: The Transformative Power of Connection

This Week’s Guest is: Cristy Horsley

Cristy Horsley served as a volunteer for CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocate for children) for a year and a half and joined the CASA of Central Virginia staff in June 2014. For Cristy, CASA has been an expression of an ongoing interest in social justice and advocacy and has been the place where she has been introduced to many important voices on a range of justice-centered topics.

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Yes, child--every single one of these. These are your rights, and it's up to us to ensure them, for every single child.I...
06/02/2020

Yes, child--every single one of these. These are your rights, and it's up to us to ensure them, for every single child.If Nickelodeon has got this, then surely as adults we can get it too. #TraumaInformedCaring #DreamABetterNow #ThatsMyCASAKid

"In 2015, before I had children, I wrote a letter to the son I might one day have. In it I wrote, “I hope to teach you s...
06/02/2020
Becoming a Parent in the Age of Black Lives Matter

"In 2015, before I had children, I wrote a letter to the son I might one day have. In it I wrote, “I hope to teach you so much of what my father taught me, but I pray that you live in a radically different world from the one that he and I have inherited.” Now I do have a son, and all the fears, anxieties, and joys I wrote about five years ago are no longer an abstraction. They exist in his curly hair, his soft face, and his voice full of songs and questions. I am not sure how different the world I entered is from the one he has, but the past several weeks—to say nothing of the past several years—have made clear how fragile the project of progress truly is.
George Floyd had children of his own, two daughters, Gianna and Roxie. I am left wondering what their memories of their father will be. Did they run through open fields together? Blow dandelions into the wind? Play tag until they fell breathless and jubilant to the ground? I hope that any memories they carry will supersede those of their father on the ground, begging for his life."

#ThisIsNotTraumaInformedCaring #DreamABetterNow #BlackLivesMatter #ThatsMyCASAKid
https://www.theatlantic.com/ideas/archive/2020/06/becoming-a-parent-in-the-age-of-black-lives-matter/612448/

When the movement for black lives began, I did not have children. Now the fight means more to me—coupled with fears that are even deeper.

Volunteer Spotlight 🌟 Cliff joined the team of CASA Advocates in October 2013 and serves in Bedford County.He shared tha...
06/01/2020

Volunteer Spotlight 🌟

Cliff joined the team of CASA Advocates in October 2013 and serves in Bedford County.

He shared that his advocacy has changed a bit due to spending a lot more time in phone conferences and Zoom meetings.

In his spare time, he enjoys kayaking and fishing with his sons.

Cliff says, “being a part of the team to make sure these kids get the best possible outcome”, is what he finds most rewarding about being a CASA.

Thank you, Cliff, for making a difference in so many lives! We are so thankful for you!
#changeachildsstory #volunteerappreciation #casaquarterbacks

Volunteer Spotlight 🌟Katie is another one of our fabulous advocates and has been serving Bedford County for 6 months.Kat...
05/29/2020

Volunteer Spotlight 🌟

Katie is another one of our fabulous advocates and has been serving Bedford County for 6 months.

Katie shared that she has learned to be much more creative and tech savvy these days, learning how to use new apps and programs. “COVID has really made me think outside the box on ways to show kindness, love, and trust.”

She says that the most rewarding experience as a CASA thus far has been having that breakthrough moment with the child when they finally connect with you in that special way, trusting you with their thoughts and feelings. She states, “it is not always an easy or quick connection but it is so rewarding to know that the child knows you are there and fighting hard for them.”

Thank you, Katie, for being willing to put in the time and effort to connect with a child and for being the voice that they know they can trust.
#changeachildsstory #volunteerappreciation

100%. All indicators point to the fact that, while CPS calls & new incoming cases may be down *now,* that only means we ...
05/29/2020
Nancy Toscano column: For Virginia's foster care system, the pandemic's true impact is not here yet

100%. All indicators point to the fact that, while CPS calls & new incoming cases may be down *now,* that only means we are in the eye of the storm for the avalanche that will follow. Calls to domestic violence & sexual abuse hotlines are up, & hospitals are seeing a spike in serious child injury cases. We need to be gearing up NOW for the increased workload to come--start thinking *today* about signing up to become a foster parent or CASA volunteer!
#TramaInformedCaring #DreamABetterNow #ThatsMyCASAKid #LoveLYH

https://www.richmond.com/opinion/columnists/nancy-toscano-column-for-virginias-foster-care-system-the-pandemics-true-impact-is-not-here/article_ac186a07-dc85-5f7d-8913-1d4eaddc3756.html?fbclid=IwAR2vp0F3Ih2oqU-rYTIn0SBSZ56KoVKrO-sOhvsNnF7tI3wDxDrWZP8Hz_o

The immediate impact of COVID-19 already is sweeping across every part of our lives, from schools and offices, to businesses and hospitals. Day in and day out, we find ourselves

How exciting to see such great coverage of CASA NYC on the Today Show!https://www.today.com/video/how-casa-is-helping-fo...
05/28/2020
How CASA is helping foster kids during pandemic

How exciting to see such great coverage of CASA NYC on the Today Show!

https://www.today.com/video/how-casa-is-helping-foster-kids-during-pandemic-84026437902?fbclid=IwAR2MySx5yM734-SvRb4s6Vfw65IK6pcPRWRkjmvSGdqTqi3UHK2VLPhAwGg

This National Foster Care Month, Charell Star, a board member for Court Appointed Special Advocates, joins the 3rd hour of TODAY via video call to share the ways CASA is helping foster youth in New York City during the coronavirus pandemic.

On this #ThankfulThursday, we are so very grateful to be a partner agency with United Way of Central Virginia. Today we ...
05/28/2020

On this #ThankfulThursday, we are so very grateful to be a partner agency with United Way of Central Virginia. Today we received our grant letter and we are receiving level funding of $41,000!! In a time of uncertainty, our grant funding is so critical to our continued operations. Thank you to the United Way review teams, allocations committee, board, and staff. You have hard decisions to make and we are so thankful you are prioritizing our most vulnerable children. Thank you also to everyone who gives to the United Way campaign.

Volunteer Spotlight 💫 Mark has been serving as a CASA Advocate for 3 years in Bedford County.  He shared that the  respo...
05/28/2020

Volunteer Spotlight 💫

Mark has been serving as a CASA Advocate for 3 years in Bedford County.
He shared that the responsibilities as a CASA have remained the same during social distancing, advocating for children, monitoring, and reporting to the court. He states that the methods have changed significantly though. “Instead of in person visits with the children we ‘visit’ over Zoom or FaceTime.” He conducts those visits more frequently than previous in person visits and has found that the children have become comfortable with technology faster than he has. He has even been introduced to a dog and cat over FaceTime 😊 He states that he will be very happy when he can see the children in person again.

Mark says, “There are few things more rewarding for me than a conversation with a child. Being a CASA gives me that opportunity constantly.”

When Mark isn’t spending his time advocating for children, he enjoys fishing, playing the guitar, mandolin, banjo, and ukulele. He also volunteers as an Elder at his church and occasionally plays the mandolin in the services.

Mark is a magnificent CASA Advocate and we are so thankful for him! #changeachildsstory #volunteerappreciation #CASAquarterbacks

Nope, it's not just you. While you might be feeling pretty exhausted if your child has a stronger-than-normal need to be...
05/28/2020
Clinginess And Separation Anxiety Are The COVID-19 Problems No One Saw Coming

Nope, it's not just you. While you might be feeling pretty exhausted if your child has a stronger-than-normal need to be connected to you, or you might be worried about how they'll transition back to school or childcare after being with you all day--just know that their brains are cueing them to seek the support they need to be resilient. Connecting to a stable, nurturing caregiver is what helps kids regulate their stress in scary times. Plus, they might be picking up on your stress and seeking to comfort you as well. Just know that the touch, energy & attention you pour in now will be part of what builds their cushion to absorb stress, both now & when they return to life outside the home.

https://www.huffpost.com/entry/children-clinginess-separation-anxiety-covid-19_l_5ec42f8bc5b66aed0c277db7?fbclid=IwAR1Ru7OpsVmFVnuBEOroJ-l8-Y1huoHd4wV_qLjIotoVJkDk8RrCxCIvHy4

Toddlers and teens alike can't seem to leave parents alone. Here's what's behind it, and how to deal.

Volunteer Spotlight 🌟Christina has been an amazing CASA advocate in Nelson County for 4.5 years! She recently ended her ...
05/27/2020

Volunteer Spotlight 🌟

Christina has been an amazing CASA advocate in Nelson County for 4.5 years!

She recently ended her time as an advocate due to advancement in her placement with DSS.

Christina says, “Through CASA I found my passion in Foster Care. I am graduating from Liberty University in December with my Bachelors in Social Work. Because of CASA, I have met so many wonderfully amazing children and families while truly making a difference in their lives. CASA will forever hold a special place in my heart for helping me find a passion that I did not know I had.”

Christina, you hold a special place in our hearts as well! We are so proud of you and will miss you greatly! Thank you for being a voice for the voiceless. #changeachildsstory #volunteerappreciation

This is just unavoidably true, & schools are in as tough a spot as we are, trying to figure this out while balancing con...
05/27/2020
Students with disabilities are receiving unequal education in remote learning

This is just unavoidably true, & schools are in as tough a spot as we are, trying to figure this out while balancing concerns of safety, little or vague (or competing) guidance, & concerns for students. For kids with a history of trauma, their ability to process language is often delayed or handicapped, which can make processing information received by phone or videochat super challenging. Our kids may need speech, occupational, or physical therapy, & while speech therapy can potentially be modified to be delivered by video (maybe), OT & PT are more difficult. This doesn't even get into the students who may have limitations that mean online instruction isn't accessible to them. As we move forward, we HAVE to think about these children too, and how we can innovate to meet their needs & support parents while balancing safety concerns.
"“There are days that I just sit in my car and cry because I am just not enough for him. My husband is not enough for him. Even together we cannot do everything that he needs,” said his mother Mary Pellegrino."
#EducationWednesday #TraumaInformedLearning #DreamABetterNow #ThatsMyCASAKid

https://www.nbc12.com/2020/05/20/students-with-disabilities-are-receiving-unequal-education-remote-learning/?fbclid=IwAR0JZNe_BePfrmzC-Jk1da_MNOgjiwc9MMlGQQaCdBPWdZTap2KZmb8_hrA

When coronavirus hit, the U.S. Department of Education initially gave confusing guidance to states and schools on how to do remote learning for special education students. Months later some students still aren't getting the services they need, which is required by federal law.

05/26/2020
Jon Acuff

Haha--this is delightful! Keeping our sense of joy, & celebrating when we find moments of it in our world, is a great strategy for resilience, in normal times & now!
#DreamABetterNow #TraumaInformedLiving

https://www.facebook.com/authorjonacuff/videos/1215501995461340/

A kid drew hopscotch on the sidewalk.

A delivery man couldn’t resist a quick game.

Steal tiny moments of joy wherever you can.
(source : the depths of Reddit)

Volunteer Spotlight 💫 Caterina has been serving as a CASA in Campbell County for just over a year. She says that COVID-1...
05/26/2020

Volunteer Spotlight 💫

Caterina has been serving as a CASA in Campbell County for just over a year.

She says that COVID-19 has given her the opportunity to not take things for granted. “Whether it is shaking a hand, giving a hug, gathering with family and friends, or simply taking my kids to school.”

The most rewarding thing about being a CASA, according to Caterina, is “being afforded to come into a child’s life and advocate for their best interest on their path to a safe home. Being a constant in their life in a time of impermanence and temporary individuals makes my heart so full!”

We are so thankful for you, Caterina, and your advocacy for children in Campbell County!
#changeachildsstory #volunteerappreciation

Melissa Horn, from Tazewell Co., was the first female prisoner to die in VA.According to a Dept. of Justice study, women...
05/25/2020
What Women Dying In Prison From COVID-19 Tell Us About Female Incarceration

Melissa Horn, from Tazewell Co., was the first female prisoner to die in VA.
According to a Dept. of Justice study, women are more likely than men to enter incarceration with mental health problems. Other trends seen include:
-incarceration for substance abuse involvement, or close proximity to someone abusing substances
-motherhood--possibly as many as 80% of incarcerated women are mothers, many formerly the primary caregiver
-history of sexual trauma--studies indicate that as many as 50% of incarcerated women have experienced sexual assault or childhood sexual abuse. One study found that a woman's history of childhood sexual abuse doubled her chance of sexual victimization while incarcerated.
https://www.themarshallproject.org/2020/05/14/what-women-dying-in-prison-from-covid-19-tell-us-about-female-incarceration?fbclid=IwAR3B9oEm7eQqa4jIk0dtDdNoKiwfElg8RSx6ejPx8vK6BEwn7nePn5bS2rw
#ThatsMyCASAMom #ThatsMyCASAKid #ThisIsNotTraumaInformedCare

Fatal victims illuminate women’s unique problems in prison, and the all-too-common ways they get there in the first place.

Virginia is slow to bring kids into foster care--but when they come into care, do they ever make it back home? The JLARC...
05/23/2020
Far From Home: A Photo Essay on Foster Care in VA — CASA of Central Virginia

Virginia is slow to bring kids into foster care--but when they come into care, do they ever make it back home? The JLARC report published in December 2018 identified serious problems with Virginia's foster care system. Check out some of the most troubling stats at the link.

https://www.cvcasa.org/blog/2019/2/21/foster-care-in-virginia-a-photo-essay-of-the-2019-jlarc-report

While Virginia is slow to bring children into foster care, we are also failing at finding them permanent family structures or returning them to their families of origin. The 2019 JLARC report on foster care in Virginia, summarized in photos and figures.

05/22/2020
Fox 5 DC

We all are needing some #SelfCare in quarantine--how about a spa day, courtesy of dad? This #FeelGoodFriday showcases lovely father-daughter time (

❤️DADDY-DAUGHTER TIME❤️ This dad giving his little princess a pedicure will melt your heart!! 😍❤️💅

STORY: http://bit.ly/2Hnfxqb

Volunteer Spotlight on Melody!Melody has been a CASA for 6 months and serves in Campbell County. She says that being a C...
05/22/2020

Volunteer Spotlight on Melody!

Melody has been a CASA for 6 months and serves in Campbell County.
She says that being a CASA during COVID-19 has meant virtual visits with the children she serves and although she is missing her in person visits, she enjoys checking in with them on FaceTime.

Melody says the most rewarding thing about being a CASA is knowing that she can make an impact, no matter how small, on a child’s life and that being able to be there for her CASA child during a difficult time is something that can truly make a difference.

Thank YOU, Melody, for making a difference in the lives of the children you serve!
#changeachildsstory #volunteerappreciation

Love the prominent voice that CASA advocates & organizations were given in this article. The anecdotes here perfectly il...
05/22/2020
Pandemic piles new pressures on foster children, caretakers

Love the prominent voice that CASA advocates & organizations were given in this article. The anecdotes here perfectly illustrate why kids who age out of foster care without a permanent family structure are uniquely & profoundly disadvantaged--can you imagine trying to navigate this pandemic with no place to land, & no anchor support to help you navigate it? Remember, Virginia's teens age out of foster care without a family at double the rate of teens in other states.
#FosterCareAwarenessMonth #DreamABetterNow #ThatsMyCASAKid

https://apnews.com/fee1f76876fe936a1fd1c666550342d7?fbclid=IwAR2-zZZlfhf3auvSsGKr9cSeZanJHpbmr6Vs3tK7hEdGLKGugdVzQ1jwKvI

NEW YORK (AP) — Jessica Overstreet first entered foster care at age 14, separated from her siblings and knowing very little about what her new life meant aside from what she had seen in the...

Address

901 Church St
Lynchburg, VA
24504

Opening Hours

Monday 09:00 - 17:00
Tuesday 09:00 - 17:00
Wednesday 09:00 - 17:00
Thursday 09:00 - 17:00
Friday 09:00 - 17:00

Telephone

(434) 485-7260

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Our Story

The nation's first CASA program was developed in Seattle, Washington in 1977 by David Soukup. As a Judge, David Soukup realized that he needed help in determining what was in the best interest of the children whose cases he had before him in court. He came up with the idea of training volunteers to be advocates for abused and neglected children. Since then over 955 CASA programs have been established throughout the nation. Judge Dale Harris helped to found a CASA program in Central Virginia in the summer of 1989 for the purpose of providing advocacy services to the abused and neglected children in Lynchburg and Amherst County. By 1991-1992 CASA volunteers were also in demand in Bedford County, Campbell County and Nelson County. CASA of Central Virginia was incorporated in January 1994 and received its status as a 501 (c) (3) non-profit organization in August 1994. Its service area included the entire 24th Judicial District. The 24th Judicial District is a 2,258 square mile area that includes the city of Lynchburg and the counties of Amherst, Bedford, Campbell and Nelson. In October 2017, CASA of Central Virginia received an expansion grant to expand its service area to Appomattox County, part of the 10th Judicial District.

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Comments

What a great program. Always has been. Children need all the advocates they can have.
I want to say a huge THANK YOU to all the photographers who have so generously shared their gifts of time and talent with the participants and fans of the CASA Superhero 5k and fun runs. What a gift—thank you!
What a perfectly beautiful morning for this 5K!!! Saw my beautiful friends Peri Hoover and Penny Wallace.We were the 1st 3 at the start line,which was pretty cool..I've never been in front starting a race..didn't stay there, but that's alright, I always finish which is a goal in itself..
Thought this could be helpful and informative.
Fallon and I had a ball shopping to help the kids! Here’s our haul...
Rehid 😄😀
Rehid 😆😄
We had a blast at #milkapalooza
One hundred thousand Hearts to you....there should be a "Love" button for this.
I was a CASA in Alaska....2003-2005 It is a great Program and a big help to Social Services.... Great training