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 951 CASA and guardian ad litem programs that are recruiting, training and supporting volunteers in 49 states and the District of Columbia.
Locally, CASA of Saline County was formed in 1997 by Judge Gary Arnold and a group of concerned citizens. Our program has grown tremendously with each class of advocates increasing in numbers. Our children, in Saline County, will be taken care of and heard in the Courtroom.
What Is a CASA?
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.
Our CASA volunteers go through extensive training and continuing education as they take on more cases.
**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.
The mission of CASA of Saline County is to provide abused, neglected and dependent children a voice in court through community volunteers trained to represent the best interest of each child.