The CASA Story

It Was a Judge’s Idea

Inspiration came to Seattle juvenile court judge David W. Soukup in 1976.

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.

 

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:
Cleaning out your home or office?  There are many things we could use in our CASA office!
  • 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

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Call

(410)-479-8301

Email

carolinecasa@verizon.net

Address

114 Market Street, Suite 100
Denton, MD 21629

Fax

(410) 479-8302