National CASA History
The first CASA program was created in 1977 by Judge David Soukup in Seattle, WA. The National CASA Association was founded in 1982. In 2007, the 2-millionth child was served by a CASA volunteer.
National CASA 2009 Statistics
In 2009, 70,919 volunteers contributed over 6 million advocacy hours and served 237,095 children. An estimated 23,753 new volunteers were trained. 1,055 CASA/GAL program offices (state organizations, local programs and their remote sites) served 1,872 counties (59% of the 3,141 American counties). Rural/suburban/urban: 47% of CASA programs served a primarily rural area; 42% served a suburban or mixed area; the remainder served an urban area. The greatest sources of government funding for National CASA are the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP) and the Office for Victims of Crime. The greatest sources of private funding are contributions by the Walmart Foundation, Jewelers for Children and individuals.
87.8% of National CASA’s revenue is dedicated to program services, including pass-through funding and training. Only 12.2% supports administrative and fundraising expenses. The median cost to provide a CASA volunteer to one child is $1,040 per year, which covers training, staff support and other costs. Last year, CASA/GAL volunteers contributed more than six million hours of advocacy for children; if they were compensated to perform such a role, the total cost would be more than $300 million.
Children with a CASA volunteer are substantially less likely to spend time in long-term foster care, defined as more than three years in care: 13.3% for CASA cases versus 27.0% of all children in foster care.
Cases involving a CASA volunteer are more likely to be “permanently closed” (i.e., the children are less likely to reenter the child welfare system) than cases in which a CASA volunteer is not involved: 16% of foster children end up reentering the system, while the figure for children served by CASA programs is below 10%.
Opportunites In Your Community
Lucas County has an active and highly respected Court Appointed Special Advocate program.