People Incorporated's CASA of the 28th Judicial District
CASA is the Court Appointed Special Advocate Program. CASA is a child advocacy organization that seeks to provide trained volunteers to speak for abused and neglected children who are the subjects of juvenile court proceedings. CASA volunteers advocate for safe, permanent homes for children. CASA began in 1977 in Seattle, Washington by Judge David Soukup who saw the need for more information on cases involving children in his court. The social services and legal systems were overburdened and CASA was created to assist in obtaining information and providing follow up monitoring of court orders.
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 American Bar Association, National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges and National Association of Public Child Welfare Administrators. Today there are over 950 CASA programs in the United States that serve over 240,000 children with an estimated 75,000 CASA volunteers.
Virginia CASA Statistics & History
- 6,234 victims were in complaints with founded dispositions
- 34,185 victims were in complaints that received a Family Assessment through the Family Assessment Track
- 45 children died as a result of abuse
- 4,466 children were served by a CASA volunteer in 2009-10
- 1,480 CASA volunteers provided advocacy in 2009-10
Source: Virginia Department of Criminal Justice Services, Office of Programs, CASA Program, August, 2011.
Virginia’s first CASA program began in 1986 in Newport News. In 1990 the Virginia General Assembly enacted legislation providing for statewide implementation of the CASA program. The legislation assigned the responsibility for oversight of local programs as well as for development of statewide regulations to DCJS. The Regulations provide programs with standards to help ensure consistency in program development and service delivery; addressing several basic areas including screening, training and policy and procedure development for local programs. The regulations were revised in 2008.