CASA Youth Advocates Inc. began in 1970 as Youth Advocates Inc., an organization of volunteers in Delaware County working to help young people in trouble or at risk of getting into trouble with the law. Working one-on-one with young people, this group of volunteers strived to improve community attitudes toward troubled youths and advocated for more comprehensive youth services.
In 1990, the organization could no longer sustain itself and sought to create a new, volunteer-based model to help Delaware County youth. Over a period of two years, the volunteers worked with the National CASA Association to establish a CASA program in Delaware County and, in 1992, CASA Youth Advocates Inc. was incorporated and accepted its first volunteers and its first cases. Since then (1992), CASA has served 947 children with 405 trained volunteers.
CASA added its Educational Decision Maker service to its overall volunteer program in 2012. Through it, the court appoints the volunteer to champion those with special education needs by legally empowering them to make all educational decisions on the child’s behalf.
In 2015, CASA expanded its reach to Chester County, establishing a formal relationship with the Chester County dependency court to serve children in that county as well as Delaware County. CASA has already been appointed to five cases.