CASA Program for Newton and McDonald Counties

The mission of the New-Mac Court Appointed Advocates (CASA) Association, together with our local communities, is to provide advocacy for abused and neglected children so that they can grow and prosper in safe, permanent homes.


The New-Mac CASA program is a 501c3 non-profit organization.  It currently has 20 active volunteers, and has served 168 children to date.


 





History:

The Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) program originated in Seattle, Washington in 1977 by request of Judge David Soukup, the presiding judge of King County Superior Court.

Judge Soukup saw a rise in the number of child abuse and neglect cases appearing before his court and felt that he was not getting the information he needed to determine the best placement for each child’s circumstances. The Guardian Ad Litem, though charged with advocating for the best interest of the child, often had neither the time nor the training to provide adequate information to the court. Social workers were equally overburdened. At Judge Soukup’s request, the Seattle court began recruiting and training volunteers to serve as advocates for children in abuse and neglect cases. In 1978 a nationwide study was conducted for the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention to evaluate volunteer programs in juvenile courts. The Seattle program was termed one of the most successful and innovative. When the Seattle program was found to be so successful, other courts began to organize CASA programs. Currently there are over 1000 CASA programs around the country. In 2009, 237,000 abused and neglected children had a CASA or GAL volunteer advancing their best interests. CASA programs across the country recruited, trained, supervised, and supported a total of 70,900 volunteers to carry out this important work. For more information on the national CASA program, please visit the CASA site at www.casaforchildren.org.  .