CASA stands for Court Appointed Special Advocate. The organization was founded in 1976 by Superior Court Judge David Soukup in Seattle, WA, who saw a recurring problem in his courtroom: he was not sure if he had all the information he needed to make the right decision for children who are in court through no fault of their own.
In 1982, the National Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) Association was formed. Today, there are programs in 35 parishes in the state of Louisiana, serving children in need of care; there are 900 programs across the country.
To ensure the long-term welfare of each child, most of whom are victims of abuse or neglect, Judge David Soukup obtained funding to recruit and train community volunteers to step into the courtroom on behalf of the children. After being named the "best example of citizen participation in the juvenile justice system" by the National Center of State Courts, the Seattle program was able to obtain grant dollars from the Edna McConnell Clark Foundation of New York to replicate the program in court systems across the country.
CASA has been endorsed by the American Bar Association, the National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges, and the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention of the U.S. Department of Justice.
More information regarding CASA Jefferson can be found on their website, http://www.casajefferson.com/.