CASA volunteers are people like you. They’re teachers, business people, retirees, stay-at-home moms, grandparents, college students; extraordinary people who want to make certain the voices of abused and neglected children are heard.
Who Is CASA?
The first CASA program in Louisiana began in 1986 in Orleans Parish. Currently there are 18 programs serving 61 parishes in Louisiana.
CASA is a national volunteer movement that began in 1977 when Judge David Soukup in Seattle decided he needed to know more about the children whose lives were in his hands. His solution was to ask community volunteers to act as a "voice in court" for abused and neglected children. These Court Appointed Special Advocates® (CASA) provided him with the detailed information he needed to safeguard the children's best interests and ensure that they were placed in safe, permanent homes as quickly as possible. The program was so successful that it was copied around the nation.
CASA of St. Landry-Evangeline, Inc. came into existence in 2009,then known as CASA of St. Landry, in Opelousas, LA. The program serviced the 27th Judicial District Court, located in St. Landry Parish. In 2016, the program expanded to service the 13th Judicial District Court in Evangeline Parish, known currently as CASA of St. Landry-Evangeline, Inc.
Check out the brief history of CASA Nationally and locally right in Louisiana. Today, the CASA movement has evolved into one of the largest volunteer organizations in the country.
Louisiana CASA, our state CASA program, advocates for abused and neglected children in the court system through the development, growth and support of local CASA programs in Louisiana.
Judges truly value the observations and recommendations of CASA volunteers, knowing that they have the child’s best interests at heart.
CASA volunteers help shorten the time a child spends in foster care.*
Children with a CASA volunteer are less likely to re-enter the child welfare system once their case is closed.*
CASA volunteers help children and their families receive the services they need.*
CASA has been recognized by the U.S. Department of Justice as a model juvenile delinquency prevention program.
*Source: Study conducted by National CASA and U.S. Department of Justice Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Programs, 2006
What Do CASAs Do?
CASA volunteers get to know the child and speak to everyone involved in the child’s life, including their family members, teachers, doctors, lawyers, social workers, and others.
The information they gather and their recommendations help the court make informed decisions. CASA volunteers commit to a child until the case is closed and the child is in a safe, permanent home.