ABOUT CASA -
COURT APPOINTED SPECIAL ADVOCATES
Judge David Soukup of Seattle, Washington first implemented the Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) concept in 1977. As a Judge, he felt a compelling need to have more information available on which he could base his decisions that had lifelong ramifications for children. In 1982, the National CASA Association was formed to function as a resource to support and increase the capacities of local programs and their efforts on behalf of abused and neglected children. CASA volunteers are everyday citizens who have undergone screening and training with their local CASA/GAL program.
How Do CASA Volunteers Help Children?
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 inappropriate group or foster homes. Volunteers stay with each case until it is closed and the child is placed in a safe, permanent home. For many abused children, their CASA volunteer will be the one constant adult presence in their lives.
Independent research has demonstrated that children with a CASA volunteer are substantially less likely to spend time in long-term foster care and less likely to reenter care. Read more evidence of effectiveness.
The Nebraska CASA Association began informally in 1993 to provide assistance to Court Appointed Special Advocate programs throughout Nebraska. In 1998, the Association incorporated as a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit and the Nebraska Revised Statute § 43-3701 through § 43-3716 was passed authorizing the establishment of CASA programs designating CASA volunteers as Friends of the Court. This statute empowers CASA’s with the necessary authority to fulfill their duties.
Who Are the Children CASA Volunteer Help?
Judges appoint CASA volunteers to represent the best interests of children who have been removed from their homes due to abuse or neglect. Each year, more than 700,000 children experience foster care in this country. Because there are not enough CASA volunteers to represent all of the children in care, judges typically assign CASA volunteers to their most difficult cases. Read the stories of young people whose lives were changed by the support of a CASA volunteer.