History of CASA
Harrison County CASA is part of a national volunteer movement that began in 1977, when a Seattle judge conceived the idea of using trained community volunteers to speak for the best interests of abused and neglected children in court. These Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) provided him with the detailed information he needed to safeguard the children's best interests and ensure that they were placed in safe, permanent homes as quickly as possible. The program was so successful that it was replicated around the nation.
The National CASA Association was founded in 1982 and provides technical assistance and national leadership to local programs across the country. The CASA concept is endorsed by the U.S. Department of Justice, Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention, the American Bar Association, National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges, and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Administration on Children and Families.
Our volunteers are an amazing force for good, but we need more of them. Our vision is that every child who needs a volunteer will have one. With your help, we can reach that goal.
Today, there is a network of over 900 CASA programs and more than 59,000 trained volunteer advocates nationwide providing advocacy for 243,000 children – an impressive number yet just half of the children in the child welfare system at any given time. In 2007, in West Virginia, 288 CASA volunteers contributed 14,724 hours advocating for the best interests of 1,529 children.