what is CASA?
In 1977, a Seattle juvenile court judge concerned about making drastic decisions with insufficient information conceived the idea of volunteers speaking up for the best interests of children who had been neglected or abused, in the courtroom. From that first program has grown a network of nearly 950 CASA and guardian ad litem programs that are recruiting, training and supporting volunteers in 49 states and the District of Columbia.
Today, approximately 500,000 children in the US are caught up in the court and child welfare system because they are unable to live safely at home. The CASA program is the only one of its kind. It is built around one child and one compassionate, highly-trained adult advocate.
CASA volunteers are appointed by judges to watch over and advocate for abused and neglected children, to make sure they don’t get lost in the overburdened legal and social service system or languish in an inappropriate group or foster home.
In 2017, more than 85,000 CASA/GAL volunteers represented the best interests of more than 260,000 children. CASA/GAL volunteers are everyday people who have undergone screening and training with their local CASA/GAL program.
What Does It Mean to Be a CASA Volunteer?
Becoming a CASA volunteer is an investment of time, energy and heart. But as many volunteers have said of the children they worked with: "It wasn't about what I gave them, it was what they showed me."
Rules and protocols vary from state to state. The following generalizations apply throughout the CASA network.
Who are our Local Volunteers?
Our local program has volunteers ranging from age 21-75. We have moms, dads, teachers, social workers, students, interns, local business owners, attorneys, PhD's, retirees, and airmen from Holloman Air Force Base.