In 1977, a Seattle judge conceived the idea of using trained community volunteers to speak for the best interests of abused and neglected children in court. So successful was this program that soon judges across the country began utilizing citizen advocates. In 1990, the US Congress encouraged the expansion of CASA programs with passage of the Victims of Child Abuse Act.
Today, CASA has grown to a network of more than 59,000 volunteers that serve 243,000 abused and neglected children through 900+ local program offices nationwide. The advocates, also known as volunteer guardians ad litem in some jurisdictions, are appointed by judges and act as officers of the court. Judges rely on the information these trusted advocates present.
Mission Statement: 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 thrive in safe, permanent homes.
Our goal for the children: Our goal is to help an additional 100,000 children beyond those we already serve. This is just one step along the way to providing a CASA volunteer for every child who needs one. It is a very ambitious goal, and we cannot do it alone. But we have a plan to get there by:
- Evaluating our organizational structure and staffing to ensure that we are set up in the most efficient and effective way possible.
Targeting promotional efforts in areas of the country where the need is the greatest and among groups of individuals most likely to volunteer.
Focusing our efforts to recruit and retain volunteers of color.
Unifying the power of the CASA network. We want to make our corps of 59,000+ advocates feel more connected with each other and with National CASA, which will help with retention, recruitment, awareness and development throughout the country.
Implementing a fundraising plan that will enable us to initiate and continue the projects outlined above.
Theta Shootout is UCLA Theta's Annual Philanthropy benefiting CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocates). It is a 4-on-4 Basketball Tournament held at UCLA's Pauley Pavilion. Any fraternity, sorority, or other group of students is welcome to form a team and participate.