COURT APPOINTED SPECIAL ADVOCATES FOR NEVADA'S CHILDREN
In 1977, Seattle Superior Court Judge David Soukup was concerned that he did not always have sufficient information for making decisions impacting the lives of abused and neglected children involved in cases in his court.
He understood that social workers often had overwhelming caseloads and did not have the time to acquire detailed information about these children. Moreover, others involved with the cases of these children, such as attorneys and medical practitioners, generally only focused on their areas of expertise.
Judge Soukup worriedhe was making long-term decisions without the benefit of complete information. He wanted something more, so he launched the idea of training volunteers from the community who would serve as independent and neutral child advocates. He believed that if the sole focus of these volunteers was to protect the best interests of the child, these court appointed special advocates could be the “eyes and ears of the court” and the voice of the child.
Today, this is the model used by courts throughout the United States. The Nevada CASA Association is one of 48 state CASA offices.
In partnership with National CASA, Nevada CASA Association works to support and enhance the Nevada network of local programs to provide the highest quality programming so all CASA volunteers can advocate for the best interests of abused and neglected children. Our ultimate goal is to ensure that every abused and neglected child has a voice in court and that they are placed in a safe, loving, and permanent home with the opportunity to thrive.
Local CASA programs throughout Nevada have sustainable resources they need to advocate for all children who are victims of abuse and neglect in the state.
To support, strengthen, and promote Nevada CASA programs and advocate for effective public policy for children in the child welfare system.
• What is a CASA? Court Appointed Special Advocate.
• CASA Volunteers are appointed by judges to speak in court for the safety and well-being of an abused or neglected child.
• Children assigned to a CASA volunteer are victims of abuse or neglect.
• CASA volunteers come from all walks of life. More than half of all CASA volunteers are employed full-time.
• A CASA for kids is well trained and supported by competent and professional staff.
• Judges, attorneys, child protective workers, and parents overwhelmingly report that CASA volunteers make a difference with the children they serve.
• Children with a CASA volunteer are half as likely to spend time in long-term foster care, defined as more than three years in care.
• Cases involving a CASA volunteer are more likely to be permanently closed. Fewer than 10% of children with a CASA volunteer re-enter the foster care system.
• The CASA program saves taxpayer dollars by reducing children's length of stay and their chances of returning to Foster Care.