Changing lives since 1977
In 1977, David Soukup, a Superior Court judge in Seattle, was so concerned about making decisions for abused and neglected children without sufficient information that he conceived the idea of citizen volunteers speaking up for the best interests of children in the courtroom. A network of more than 950 CASA and guardian ad litem programs in 49 states and the District of Columbia has grown from that first program. Every county in Oregon now has a CASA program.
Pioneer program in Oregon
Josephine County became one of two pilot CASA programs in Oregon in 1986. Around that time, Oregon passed a law stating that every child in the foster care system “shall have a CASA” (Section 2 of HB 4082). Sadly, this is an underfunded mandate, as there are not enough CASA staff or volunteers. Far too many foster children “age out” of the system without ever having had a CASA speak for their interests.
CASA of Josephine County became an independent 501(c)3 nonprofit agency in 2012.