While CASA DC serves any child in foster care, we have created four programs to provide targeted support to specific populations in need.
Family Treatment Court (FTC)
Family Treatment Court was created in 2003 as a collaboration between Family Court and the Office of the Deputy Mayor for Children, Youth, Families, and Elders. It is a voluntary residential substance abuse treatment program for parents with an open neglect case.
Preparing Youth for Adulthood (PYA)
The PYA initiative was created in 2007 to better address the needs of youth transitioning from foster care into adulthood. The main goal of PYA is to improve the outcomes of youth who exit the foster system in areas such as homelessness and unemployment. This program empowers the youth from the start, allowing the youth the choice to join PYA, and includes the assignment of a CASA specially trained to work with older youth, casual meetings with their judge and hands-on budgeting and networking opportunities.
For more information, see our CASA PYA Brochure and view the presentation below.
Unaccompanied Refugee Minors (URM)
In January of 2015, CASA began working with Unaccompanied Refugee Minors (URM) that are in care. For refugee minors, the State Department identifies children overseas who are eligible for resettlement in the United States, but do not have a parent or a relative available and committed to providing for their long-term care. Upon arrival in the U.S., these refugee children are placed into care and receive refugee foster care services and benefits. CASA volunteers that are assigned to a URM youth provide support, not only culturally, but in providing assistance in minimizing the daily stressors that may occur as they assimilate to living in the U.S. CASA volunteers provide their youth opportunities to practice their English as at times it may be difficult to express their worries and concerns. Through positive experiences CASA volunteers and their youth build a relationship that continues to grow as the young person adjusts to his or her new environment.
Persons in Need of Supervision (PINS)
Adolescents in the United States who violate age related legal requirements (such as attending school, running away, or being excessively disobedient), and whose transgression of civil conduct warns of forthcoming criminality, can be referred by schools, parents or criminal prosecutors to a judge for guidance and supervision. A formal petition is brought against a juvenile for a ‘‘status offense,’’ defined as behavior that would not constitute a crime if engaged by an adult. These adolescents, who in the judicial system are referred to as Persons in Need of Supervision (PINS), tend either to lack adequate parenting, or to have parents who themselves feel unable to moderate their children’s conduct (Source: Gur & Miller, 2004).
CASA for Children has begun working with youth who are in the PINS system. CASA volunteers work to improve social functioning and skills acquisition among these adolescents. During this time, volunteers provide guidance and stability and help bridge the gap between a youth’s home environment and open juvenile case.