To advocate for abused and neglected children in need of safe, permanent homes through highly trained volunteers appointed by the Family Court.

What is CASA?
The Jefferson County CASA Program is an organization that provides one-on-one court advocacy to abused, neglected, or abandoned children who are dependents of the juvenile court. The children are part of the system through no fault of their own. CASA carries out its mission by recruiting, training, and supervising adult volunteers who are appointed by a juvenile court judge to speak for the best interests of the child. They also aid the judge in finding the child a safe, permanent home. 

Nationally CASA is a network of more than 955 CASA and guardian ad litem programs that recruit, screen, train and support volunteers in 49 states. (www.casaforchildren.org) Each program is made up of volunteers that are everyday citizens judges appoint to advocate for the safety and well-being of children who have been removed from their homes due to parental abuse and neglect. They stand up for these children and change their lives.

CASA volunteers have helped more than two million children find safe, permanent homes. 

How did CASA start?
The origins of the CASA movement can be traced to the late 1970's and early 1980's, when increasing numbers of minors were becoming "lost" in the judicial system. With increasing frequency, children and young adults were victims of "foster drift" between organizations and service agencies. Their lack of government-mandated representation in court generally meant that these youth without representation were reliant on overburdened social workers to pursue their best interests when they were called into court. 

This systematic shortcoming led King County Judge David Soukup to create the first CASA program in Seattle, Washington. The Seattle program eventually spawned a national movement, though the movement grew in stages, as communities grew increasingly aware of their needs for juvenile advocacy and learned of the CASA movement. As more and more communities came to implement CASA programs, state and national agencies also came into being. At the national level, the CASA program's strength is in the development of materials and policies; at the state level, the agency is primarily devoted to providing technical assistance to local agencies and newly developed CASA programs.