Apply now - Become an Educational Decision Maker (EDM) for children in foster care. EDM volunteers are empowered by the courts to advocate for the education rights of children in the foster care system. In doing so, volunteers enrich their own lives as well!
What Do EDM volunteers Do?
They listen first. Then they act.
Volunteers are appointed by judges to advocate for the best interests of children who have been abused and/or neglected. EDM volunteers advocate on behalf of a child’s educational needs by fulfilling the legal parental role for making educational decisions on behalf of the child.
EDM volunteers get to know their child and meet with school personnel, caseworkers, and placement facility staff about the child’s educational needs.
They use the information gathered to inform judges of the child's needs, best interests and wishes.
Who Can Be a Volunteer?
You do not have to be a lawyer or social worker to be a volunteer! However, you must be at least 21 years old, and pass criminal and child abuse clearances. To be an EDM volunteer, you must complete 32 hours of pre-service training. As a volunteer, you will be thoroughly trained and well supported by professional staff to help you through your case.
The mission of Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) of Philadelphia County is to train and support community volunteers to advocate for the health, safety, stability and well-being of abused and neglected children.
Every year more than half a million abused and neglected children are in need of safe, permanent, nurturing homes. That's where CASA steps in. CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocates) was created in 1977 to make sure the abuse and neglect these children originally suffered at home doesn't continue as abuse and neglect at the hands of the system. As trained advocates, CASA volunteers are appointed by judges to be a voice for these children in court. The result is that a child is placed into a safe, loving home where he/she can thrive. It is the CASA vision to provide a volunteer for each and every abused and neglected child who needs one.