National CASA's 2012 Annual Report spotlights CASA programs' accomplishments.
Read the report
The mission of the National Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) Association, together with its state and local members, is to support and promote court-appointed volunteer advocacy so that every abused or neglected child can be safe, establish permanence and have the opportunity to thrive. Read more about us.
How Do CASA Volunteers Help Children?
CASA volunteers are appointed by judges to watch over and advocate for abused and neglected children, to make sure they don’t get lost in the overburdened legal and social service system or languish in inappropriate group or foster homes. Volunteers stay with each case until it is closed and the child is placed in a safe, permanent home. For many abused children, their CASA volunteer will be the one constant adult presence in their lives.
Independent research has demonstrated that children with a CASA volunteer are substantially less likely to spend time in long-term foster care and less likely to reenter care. Read more evidence of effectiveness.
Who Are CASA Volunteers?
Last year, more than 77,000 CASA and guardian ad litem (GAL) volunteers helped 234,000 abused and neglected children find safe, permanent homes. CASA volunteers are everyday citizens who have undergone screening and training with their local CASA/GAL program.
Who Are the Children CASA Volunteers Help?
Judges appoint CASA volunteers to represent the best interests of children who have been removed from their homes due to abuse or neglect. Each year, more than 600,000 children experience foster care in this country. Because there are not enough CASA volunteers to represent all of the children in care, judges typically assign CASA volunteers to their most difficult cases. Read the stories of young people whose lives were changed by the support of a CASA volunteer.
How Did the CASA Movement Begin?
In 1977, a Seattle juvenile court judge concerned about making drastic decisions with insufficient information conceived the idea of citizen volunteers speaking up for the best interests of abused and neglected children in the courtroom. From that first program has grown a network of more than 933 CASA and guardian ad litem programs that are recruiting, training and supporting volunteers in 49 states and the District of Columbia.
Read more about the history of the CASA movement. (Connection magazine, 1.82 MB PDF).
How Is National CASA Funded?
The primary source of National CASA's funding is the federal government, through the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP). Additional support comes from Jewelers for Children, individuals and other private funders. Read more about National CASA's partners.
How Many CASA Programs Are There?
There are more than 930 CASA programs in 49 states recruiting, training and supporting volunteers to represent the best interests of abused and neglected children in the courtroom and other settings.
How Do I Find a CASA Program in My Area?
Find a CASA program near you and inquire about becoming a volunteer.
No CASA Program in Your Area?
There are nearly 950 CASA and guardian ad litem programs recruiting and training volunteers to change children's lives for the better. If there is not a program in your area and you are interesting in starting one, learn how to start a CASA program in your area.