The CASA Story
It Was a Judge’s Idea
Inspiration came to Seattle juvenile court judge David W. Soukup in 1976. Click here to view Judge Soukup’s rendition of the history of CASA
Judge Soukup had insufficient information to make a life-changing decision for a 3-year-old girl who had suffered from child abuse.
That’s where the idea came from: These children, who had experienced abuse or neglect, needed trained volunteers speaking up in the courtroom for their best interests.
He put out a request for volunteers; 50 citizens responded. And that was the start of the CASA movement.
The History of CASA/GAL Movement
- 1977: Judge Soukup starts the first CASA/GAL program in Seattle (King County), Washington.
- 1977: A National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges committee endorses the program as a model for safeguarding a child’s rights to a safe and permanent family.
- 1978: Judge John F. Mendoza of Nevada suggests the term “court-appointed special advocate” to designate the lay court-appointed volunteers.
- 1982: The first Annual CASA Conference is held in Nevada, and participants vote to establish the National CASA Association.
- 1982: The number of CASA/GAL programs reaches 88.
- 1983: Twenty-nine states have CASA/GAL programs.
- 1984: The National CASA Association forms in Seattle.
- 1984: National CASA enters into its first cooperative agreement with the U.S. Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention, which remains our largest funder to date.
- 1985: President Ronald Reagan presents National CASA with the President’s Volunteer Action Award.
- 1985: 10,000 children served annually through 159 programs
- 1987: 40,000 children served by 12,000 volunteers in 271 local programs and 44 states. The first CASA program in Maryland is started.
- 1988: Tribal courts first begin CASA programs through grants to five tribes.
- 1989: National CASA becomes Kappa Alpha Theta Foundation’s national charity.
- 1990: 72,000 children served by 17,000 volunteers in 412 program offices
- 1991: The CASA program is first authorized in the Victims of Child Abuse Act.
- 1995: 129,000 children served by 38,000 volunteers in 642 program offices
- 1996: Congress amends the Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act to allow the required GAL to be an attorney or CASA volunteer.
- 1997: The National Bar Association endorses CASA volunteer advocacy. Maryland CASA is incorporated.
- 2000: 174,000 children served by 47,000 volunteers in 900 program offices
- 2003: National CASA’s partnership with Jewelers for Children, our largest private funder, begins. CASA of Caroline opens its doors.
- 2007: CASA network reaches 2 million children served since inception.
- 2015: National CASA begins a partnership with Akerman LLP, a top law firm.
- 2016: National CASA Association opens an office in Washington, D.C.
DONATE TO HELP CHILDREN IN FOSTER CARE IN CAROLINE COUNTY
With your financial support, CASA can continue to recruit, train and support dedicated volunteers to advocate for child victims of abuse and neglect who are too young to speak for themselves during the complicated maze of legal proceedings. Every donation TRULY makes a difference in a child's life!
Please click the "Donate" button OR send your donation to:
CASA of Caroline, Inc.
114 Market St., Suite 100
Denton, MD 21629
Community partnerships are vital to our work. They provide the resources that are essential for meeting our mission to provide a trained volunteer advocate for every child in Caroline County foster care due to abuse or neglect. We are looking for like-minded businesses and organizations who are willing to make an annual commitment to CASA of Caroline and the children of our community. Please click here to view our Partnership Program Brochure To learn more about becoming a CASA of Caroline Community Partner, please call Amy at 410-479-8301 or e-mail email@example.com.
Make a Financial Contribution:
Become a Community Partner
We believe strong communities build strong families. Community Partners make a commitment to the children of Caroline County by providing us with financial support as well as the opportunity to meet and connect with folks who are interested in taking our training course and becoming the person who makes a real difference in a foster care child's life. Partnership Program Brochure
Make an In-Kind Donation:
- Office supplies like copy paper, file folders, etc.
- Non-perishable food and beverages to be used during trainings.
- Gift cards for gas or restaurants that our CASA's could use during their visits with their child
- Gift cards or items for the auction at our annual fundraiser.
Other Ways to Support:
- Host an event such as a car wash, bake sale, etc. to benefit CASA of Caroline.
- Shop AmazonSmile and designate CASA of Caroline as your charity of choice.
- Invite us to come present to your group, organization or workplace.
- Stay connected with us by signing up for our newsletter and e-mail updates.
Get In Touch
114 Market Street, Suite 100
Denton, MD 21629
Denton - Volunteers are the backbone of CASA of Caroline. While it's not possible to fully express our gratitude for these local superheroes, we honor them every year at our Holiday Dinner. This year, as a result of the pandemic, we had to look outside the box to...
Denton - October is National Bullying Prevention Month. CASA of Caroline has partnered with Character Counts Mid-Shore, Caroline County Family YMCA and Caroline County Public Schools to raise awareness around prevention of bullying and cyberbullying. "Character...
Denton - On Wednesday, June 10, CASA of Caroline proudly welcomed three new Court-Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) volunteers who were sworn in by Circuit Court Judge Jonathan Newell. Sworn in were: Ann Anthony, Julie...
CASA of Caroline, The Caroline County YMCA/Mentoring Program and Caroline's Agape Project are joining together to support Pinwheels For Prevention, a campaign to promote awareness of child abuse. Pinwheels are the national symbol for the great childhoods all...
Child Abuse Awareness Month: Pinwheels For Prevention
Denton - April is Child Abuse Awareness Month. This year's national theme, Thriving Children & Families: Prevention with a Purpose, recognizes the importance of communities working together to help families thrive and prevent child maltreatment. During the month of April and throughout the year, CASA of Caroline is encouraging our community to increase awareness about child and family well-being, and work together to implement effective strategies that support families and prevent child abuse and neglect.
Please show your support and increase awareness of child abuse by "planting" a pinwheel in the Denton Community Garden during the first weekend in April. Pinwheels were chosen as the national symbol for Child Abuse Awareness & Prevention because they are a lighthearted and whimsical reminder of childhood and they represent our vision for a world where all children grow up happy, healthy, and prepared to succeed in supportive families and communities. Pinwheels will be available beginning Friday, April 2 at: Patti's Petals, Joviality, The Foundry, Purple Peake, and other locations around the county. Please check back here for a complete list. Thank you to this year's pinwheel sponsors, Denton Rotary and Purple Peake!
If you're a crafty person, try creating your own pinwheel display using the instructions on this page! We are also asking for children in the community to help "plant hope" and fill our CASA of Caroline windows with pinwheels. Please use the coloring page below and send it to us using the instructions at the bottom of the coloring sheet. It will take 240 pinwheels to fill our windows so please "Help Plant Hope"!
We have also developed a full month of activities for you and your family to raise awareness and help prevent child abuse by supporting and encouraging healthy family activities. Please check out our calendar and find the activities that you and your family will enjoy doing together. The most important thing we can do to help children thrive is to support families before they reach a crisis. Please join us in this month-long effort to end child abuse and "Change a Child's Story"!