What is CASA?

Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) is a non-profit organization that trains volunteers to advocate for abused and neglected children in the court system. The CASA program was developed in Seattle by a judge who was plagued with the feeling that he did not have adequate information about the cases he was hearing. There are now nearly 1,000 CASA programs in cities across the United States. Oklahoma currently has 23 local CASA programs.

History

  • 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 nearly 1,000 CASA and guardian ad litem programs that are recruiting, training and supporting volunteers in 49 states and the District of Columbia.
  • CASA for Kids is one of 23 local members of the Oklahoma CASA network.
  • CASA for Kids began in Cushing, Oklahoma in 1991. Five volunteers trained themselves and were appointed to cases that first year. Board meetings were moved to Stillwater in 1995, and as the program continued to grow, the first director was hired in 1997.
  • Today, CASA for Kids serves both Payne and Logan counties and has offices in both Stillwater and Guthrie.

Mission

CASA for Kids is a nonprofit organization that recruits, screens, trains and supports community volunteers who advocate for the best interest of abused and neglected children in juvenile deprived court.

How is CASA for Kids funded?

Funding comes from grants, event fundraising, private donations from individuals and business, and philanthropic efforts of community organizations.

OCASAA – Oklahoma Court Appointed Special Advocates Association
VOCA - Victims of Crime Act
Stillwater Area United Way
Payne County Government – in-kind donation of office space and utilities
Kappa Alpha Theta - Stillwater Chapter