Once a year, the Philadelphia Business Journal selects 40 professionals from the greater Philadelphia area who they describe as “the most impressive individuals under the age of 40”. We are honored to announce that Leigh Anne McKelvey, Executive Director of CASA Youth Advocates, is among this year’s most talented up and coming leaders. Leigh Anne shared, “I am truly humbled to be part of this network of leaders from across the region and across industries. I hope the relationships we build will allow CASA to have an even larger impact.” While many of you know Leigh Anne, you may not know all of ways she is contributing to CASA and the community as a whole so I’d like to share a few highlights.
McKelvey has played a critical role in CASA’s rapid growth.Since 2007, the organization’s budget grew from $280,000 with 2.5 staff to the current budget of $1.9 million and 16 staff. In 2015, we expanded our services beyond Delaware County to Chester County. The organization has dramatically increased the number of children served during her tenure by advocating for nearly 900 children with the help of 450 volunteers.
In 2019, she made a long-term dream a reality as CASA founded the Voices for Children Coalition whose mission is to improve the lives and well-being of all children in Delaware County by strengthening the systems of care. This coalition of human service, government, health care, education, philanthropic and community members broadens their advocacy beyond the individual child by improving the safety net for all children and families.
As the sibling of two younger sisters adopted through the child welfare system and the relative of a biological parent involved with the system, McKelvey brings a unique perspective to her role as executive director.
She has completed the following: the Executive Leadership Certificate Program at the Bryn Mawr College Graduate School of Social Work Nonprofit Executive Leadership Institute; Leadership Delaware County; Enhancing Trauma Awareness at the Institute for Family Professionals; and the Ascending Leadership Certificate Program at the Bryn Mawr College Graduate School of Social Work Nonprofit Executive Leadership Institute.
Leigh Anne is dedicated to examining and advancing diversity, equity and inclusion within CASA and the child welfare systems. Most notably, she proposed, designed and co-chairs the Equity in Child Welfare Task Force alongside the Director of Delaware County Children and Youth Services and the Delaware County Dependency Court Judge. Its focus is to address the racial disparities in the child welfare system.
She chairs Delaware County’s Child Death Review Team, which conducts state-mandated multidisciplinary reviews of all fatal and near-fatal incidents involving minors in order to develop better methods and procedures for prevention and intervention. McKelvey served on the Board of Directors for the Friends of the Delaware County Women’s Commission from 2017 until 2021, serving in the role of liaison to the Delaware County Women’s Commission during her tenure.
Perhaps most importantly, Leigh Anne has personally championed some of the region’s abused and neglected children as a CASA volunteer herself.