CASA Program

by AJ

The CASA Program is run by the National CASA Association and is actually a network of 955 programs that recruit volunteers to help and represent abused and neglected children.

Because of the pages and articles I write about bullying, sometimes I get asked for help by people who are aware of children being bullied. Thankfully, through the support of family, friends and other adults involved in the children's lives, not many of these sorts of cases end up in the Court Room.

But what about those cases where the kids do not have support from other adults, or where the adults themselves need help?

The Court Appointed Special Advocates for children help children who find themselves caught up in the legal system. The CASA Program is an incredible network that has been set up to help children who need help.

According to the CASA website, in 2011more than 75,000 volunteers were instrumental in helping 240,000 abused and neglected children to find safe, permanent homes.

Dr Phil Supports CASA

The Origins of the CASA Program

The CASA Program was the idea of a Juvenile Court Judge from Seattle. In 1977, Judge David
Soukup, a Seattle Juvenile Court Judge became so concerned about making drastic decisions regarding the welfare of the children arriving in his court and the lack of information about them, that he came up with the idea of training volunteers to properly represent the children, and their interests, in the court room.

The King County Guardian ad Litem Program was founded, which was later renamed Dependency CASA Program.

By 1982 the National CASA was founded and managed by a Board of Volunteers. The number of CASA/GAL program offices was 88.

In 1990 the National Standards for CASA/GAL programs was introduced, there were 17,000 Volunteers and the number of children helped was 72,000. The number of CASA/GAL program offices was 412.

By the year 2000 the number of children assisted was 174,137, the number of volunteers was 47,063 and the number of CASA/GAL program offices was 900

Since that first CASA program was developed in Seattle, more than 955 teams of volunteers have been established across the whole of the United States.

Over 700,000 children in the US are not living in their own homes and are in Foster Care. Judges appoint CASA Volunteers to deal with the most difficult cases, to ensure that these children have a constsant adult presence in their lives, who will help and support them.

Source: The Connection: The Official CASA Newsletter

Image Credit:  PinkSherbert on flickr under Creative Commons 2.0

How is the CASA Program funded?

The CASA Program is funded by a grant from the Office of Juvenile Justice and Deliquency Prevention, Office of Justice Programs, US Department of Justice and donations.

How a CASA Volunteer represents a child in Court

Bullying Help

Bullying help for parents of children who are being bullied at school.
Updated: 02/24/2014, AJ
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sheilamarie on 05/11/2012

Difficult issue to deal with, especially when you're just a kid.

AgingandDisability on 05/09/2012

First time I'm hearing of the program, but it sounds like a wonderful idea and definitely needed. Violence in schools and against children can't get enough attention.

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