AccessCNY Adds Onondaga CASA as New Program

Wednesday, January 16, 2019

 

Photo Caption (from left to right): Onondaga CASA Program Manager Liz Conklin, with AccessCNY Executive Director Paul Joslyn and Onondaga CASA Program Director Stefanie Savory.

(January 16, 2019)  On January 1, Onondaga CASA became a program of AccessCNY. CASA or Court Appointed Special Advocates, is a program that provides volunteer advocates for children who have been abused or neglected.

Established in 1997 Onondaga CASA has been operating under the umbrella of New York State CASA, the state-wide CASA association since 2017. Onondaga CASA is comprised of community-based volunteers who are trained and sworn-in by a Family Court Judge to advocate for the best interests of children. For many abused children their CASA volunteer will be the one constant adult presence in their life until a safe and permanent home is achieved.

“We are excited to have Onondaga CASA join AccessCNY’s array of services,” said Barbara Benedict, Executive Director of Albany-based CASA: Advocates for Children of New York State. “As a program that advocates in Family Court for the best interests of children and youth who have been abused or neglected it’s important that Onondaga CASA be connected to those who call Central New York home. AccessCNY’s reputation as a leading human service provider in the area made them our first-choice for this merger. I am confident that Stefanie Savory, Liz Conklin and the entire Onondaga CASA team will grow the CASA program as part of AccessCNY.”

“Onondaga CASA is a life line to the children they support, without CASA volunteers these children would have no consistent adult in their life,” said Paul Joslyn, Executive Director of AccessCNY.  “This partnership will help families served by CASA discover AccessCNY programs they could benefit from. This connection expands CASA’s reach to help someone with a developmental disability or mental health diagnosis get the support they need to improve their life and their children’s life. Syracuse is one of the nation’s most impoverished cities; by growing the CASA program we can create more stability for children and help move our community forward.”

Each year more than 300 children experience foster care in Onondaga County; far more than can be supported by CASA. As a result, CASA volunteers are assigned to the most difficult cases. AccessCNY hopes to grow the number of children served by the program.

CASA staff will be based out of AccessCNY’s offices at 420 East Genesee Street. For information on the program visit: www.accesscny.org. Or call Liz Conklin, Program Manager at: 315-218-0867.

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About AccessCNY: AccessCNY serves over 3,000 people with developmental disabilities, physical disabilities, mental health diagnoses and/or acquired brain injuries each year by offering services that empower individuals to create and achieve their own success. In January 2015 AccessCNY was created from the merger of two agencies that served individuals with disabilities: Enable and Transitional Living Services. In 2018 AccessCNY expanded again with the merger of Spaulding Support Services. For more information about AccessCNY, please call (315) 455-7591 or visit: www.accesscny.org.