CFBA gets caught up on CASA

Leigh Anne McKelvey brought members of the Chadds Ford Business Association up to speed on CASA Youth Advocates during the CFBA’s monthly luncheon held this month at Garnet Ford. McKelvey is the group’s executive director.

CASA stands for Court Appointed Special Advocates. Courts in both Delaware and Chester counties call in CASA to advocate for children whose family situations call for someone to advocate for children who find themselves in the court system. Usually, the kids are in foster care and have been sexually or otherwise physically abused, McKelvey said.

She explained that the kids have not only been abused and traumatized but also neglected with regard to medical and dental care. They range in age from newborn to 21.

CASA staff and volunteers do an analysis of the situation when the court calls them in. They put together a comprehensive picture of the situation and give recommendations to the courts and judges.

She said CASA was involved in about 1,000 cases in both counties last year — or about 20 percent of the time.

McKelvey said her organization relies on volunteers. CASA asks for volunteers to commit to serving for one year after training, but most stay for about 44 months. There are four training sessions per year, each lasts for 30 hours.

CASA also holds special events. This April 28, there will be a Super Hero 5K at Ridley Creek State Park, she said.

“All kids need heroes, but abused kids need superheroes,” she said.

For more information, go to www.delcocasa.org, or email or phone McKelvey directly. Her email is lamckelvey@delcocasa.org; the phone is 610-565-2208, ext. 107.

Garnet Ford staff also told CFBA members that the Ford dealership has also taken over the adjacent Garnet Volkswagen dealership on Route 202.

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About Rich Schwartzman

Rich Schwartzman has been reporting on events in the greater Chadds Ford area since September 2001 when he became the founding editor of The Chadds Ford Post. In April 2009 he became managing editor of ChaddsFordLive. He is also an award-winning photographer.

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