(866) 782-9474

CASA – Court Appointed Special Advocate

Become a Court Appointed Special Advocate

CASA Volunteers are trained to speak for abused and neglected children who are the subjects of juvenile court proceedings.  Their role is to advocate for safe, permanent homes for children.

For more information about the CASA Program in Virginia, click here.

The History of Court Appointed Special Advocates

In 1977 King County Judge David W. Soukup believed that he was not getting all the facts needed to make informed decisions. 

While guardians ad litem  (GAL) were being appointed to abuse and neglect cases in Seattle.  They generally lacked the time and training needed to look into these cases.  Social workers had high caseloads resulting in staff not giving each child their own attention.

Judge Soukup believed that someone other than an attorney could be trained to speak for each child.  A volunteer who would help shape the decisions being made about that child’s future.  Judge Soukup reached out for help and the first CASA was established in his court in 1977. 

In 1996, the Federal Child Abuse and Prevention Treatment Act was amended to include CASA volunteers as one of the court’s options for GAL appointment.

By 2003, the idea of volunteers advocating in court for abused and neglected children had grown to a network of more than 900.  With offices in 49 states and the District of Columbia with volunteers providing millions of hours of service to children each year.

The National Court Appointed Special Advocate Association (NCASAA)

NCASAA was started in 1982 to assist and support the growth of CASA programs.  NCASAA is a membership organization giving advise to the network of local programs.

All CASA volunteers help bridge the gap between the court and the community.  Lots of people do not know what goes on behind the doors of the youth courts but CASA does.

A CASA guides a child through the maze and gives them support and comfort.

Some CASA volunteer investigates the case and offers Judge information in order to make a good decision.