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National CASA

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 for abused and neglected children so that they can be safe, establish permanency and have the opportunity to thrive.

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.

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.

The role of local CASA programs is to recruit, train and support volunteers in their work with abused children. The role of National CASA is to offer to the local programs the critical leadership and support necessary for providing quality advocacy. Some of National CASA's activities include the following:

  • Develop training and curriculum: National CASA creates new, research-based training opportunities, such as our new e-learning series on educational advocacy, and continuously improves its core volunteer training curriculum.
  • Provide technical assistance: National CASA offers extensive technical assistance to help local CASA programs serve more children more effectively.
  • Contribute to volunteer recruitment and public awareness: National CASA coordinates campaigns at the national level to help recruit CASA volunteers and raise awareness about child abuse. In recent years, the CASA cause has been featured in various media, reaching more than 155 million individuals. Much of this awareness is the result of National CASA being selected as a CBS Cares network charity.
  • Provide resource development and grants: National CASA provides pass-through funding to local and state CASA and guardian ad litem programs. Grant funding comes primarily from the Department of Justice but also from private corporations and foundations.

You can learn more about National CASA—its impact on the lives of abused and neglected children as well as its financial statements, audits, and the like—by visiting the National CASA website.

National CASA website

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