CASA was started in 1977 in Seattle by Judge David Soukup as a way to involve the citizens of the community to act as an extra set of eyes and ears, watching over the safety and needs of child victims of abuse and neglect. Today, there are over 955 CASA programs nationwide, serving over 240,000 children through an estimated 75,000 CASA advocates. In Virginia there are 27 programs regulated by Virginia Code and the Department of Criminal Justice Services.
The CASA, Children’s Intervention Services (CIS) was started in 1994 in Prince William serving the 31st Judicial District. In 2012 the 20th Judicial District was added, which includes Fauquier, Loudoun and Rappahannock to the service area. CASA CIS has worked with more than 3,000 abused, neglected and abandoned children. CASA CIS is the largest CASA program in the Commonwealth of Virginia.
The first class of Advocates was trained in 1994 and the first child was appointed a CASA in January of 1995. CASA CIS is a 501c(3), not-for-profit organization which is funded solely by grants, corporate gifts, community donations and fundraisers. CASA CIS is serving almost 400 abused, neglected and abandoned children this year. Since its inception, CASA has served over 4,000 children.
OUR MISSION: TO PROTECT AND SERVE CHILDREN WHO ARE ABUSED, NEGLECTED ABANDONED AND ENDANGERED.
- To provide a voice in court for every abused and neglected child in our jurisdictions that they might have an opportunity for a safe and permanent home.
- To help the child in crisis feel a little less alone, understand a little more about what is happening around them, and know that someone who cares about them will be there throughout their entire court experience.
- To watch diligently over the child’s safety and care that they not get lost in the system and are provided the needed services to grow up to become healthy, productive adults, able to break the chain of abuse.
- To assist the court and the Guardian ad Litem that is appointed to represent the child’s legal best interests, by providing accurate, child-centered information as they seek to legally assist and protect the child.
CASA Focuses on the CHILD
According to a 2007 audit by the U.S. Department of Justice, Office of the Inspector General, children who have a CASA advocate:
- Receive more services than children without a CASA,
- Spend less time in foster care,
- Are less likely to return to the system reabused, and
- Are more likely to be adopted.