History of C.A.S.A.
CASA is a national non-profit organization that was developed in 1976 by Superior Court Judge David Soukup of Seattle, WA. Judge Soukup felt that children who were victims of abuse and neglect needed someone to represent them and be their voice in court. Judge Soukup realized the often these children also become victims of this country’s overburdened child welfare system, a complex legal network of lawyers, social workers and judges who frequently are too busy to give through, detailed attention to each child who comes before them. Many times the victims, who are children, are lost in the overloaded child welfare system that cannot pay close attention to each child whose life is in its hands. Sometimes a child can remain adrift in foster care for months, even years.
That’s where CASA comes in.
CASA volunteers are Court Appointed Special Advocates for children. They are community volunteers who undergo extensive training and are appointed by a judge to speak up for abused and neglected children in court. They become the voice of the child within the judicial system. It has been proven that children who have been assigned CASA volunteers tend to spend less time in court and less time within the foster care system than those who do not have CASA representation. These CASA children also have better chances of finding permanent homes than non-CASA Children.
The Clay County CASA Program was established in Clay County in 1983. Currently the Clay County CASA Program is one of 22 active programs within the state of Missouri. The Clay County has over 85 volunteers who have gone through training and are currently involved in an active case.