About Us

WHAT IS CASA?
Every day in this country, 1,900 children become victims of abuse or neglect, and four of them will die. EVERY DAY. Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) for Children is a community-based program that recruits, trains and supports citizen-volunteers to advocate for the best interests of abused and neglected children in the courtroom and our community. Volunteer advocates—empowered directly by the courts—offer judges the critical information they need to ensure that each child’s rights and needs are being attended to while in foster care.

Volunteers stay with children until they are placed in loving permanent homes. For many abused children, a CASA volunteer is the only constant adult presence in their lives. The mission of the Virginia Beach Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) program is to support and promote court-appointed volunteer advocacy so that every abused and neglected child can be safe, establish permanence and have the opportunity to thrive. 

HOW DO CASA VOLUNTEERS HELP CHILDREN?
CASA volunteers are appointed by juvenile court judges to watch over and advocate for abused and neglected children, to make sure they don’t get lost in the overburdened legal and social service system or languish in inappropriate group or foster homes. CASA volunteers stay with each case until it is closed and the child is placed in a safe, permanent home. 

Independent research has demonstrated that children with a CASA volunteer are substantially less likely to spend time in long-term foster care and less likely to re-enter care. Read more evidence of effectiveness. 
WHO ARE CASA VOLUNTEERS?
You do not have to be a lawyer or a social worker to be a volunteer. We welcome people from all walks of life. We are simply looking for people who care about children and have common sense. As a volunteer, you will be thoroughly trained and well supported by professional staff to help you through each case.

You must pass a background check, participate in a 30-hour pre-service training course and agree to stay with a case until it is closed.
WHO ARE THE CHILDREN CASA VOLUNTEERS HELP?
Judges appoint CASA volunteers to represent the best interests of children who have been removed from their homes due to abuse or neglect. Each year, more than 600,000 children experience foster care in this country. Because there are not enough CASA volunteers to represent all of the children in care, judges typically assign CASA volunteers to their most difficult cases. Read the stories of young people whose lives were changed by the support of a CASA volunteer.

HOW DID CASA BEGIN?
In 1977, a Seattle juvenile court judge concerned about making drastic decisions with insufficient information conceived the idea of citizen volunteers speaking up for the best interests of abused and neglected children in the courtroom. From that first program, a network of more than 946 CASA and guardian ad litem programs have developed that are currently recruiting, training and supporting volunteers in 49 states.  

In 1988 the Virginia Beach Juvenile Court judges requested a CASA program be developed in Virginia Beach to advocate for safe, permanent homes for the abused and neglected children of our city. When our first class of CASA volunteers completed training and started accepting cases in May 1989 there were only 3 other CASA programs in the state of Virginia. In 1990, the General Assembly enacted legislation providing for statewide implementation of the CASA program. Today there are 28 CASA programs in Virginia, with several additional jurisdictions looking into starting programs in the near future. Read more about the history of the CASA movement.(Connectionmagazine, 1.82 MB PDF).Virginia Beach CASA incorporated in May 1994 and is recognized as a 501C(3) Non-Profit Organization.  
HOW IS VIRGINIA BEACH CASA FUNDED?
The primary source of Virginia Beach CASA's funding is from individuals and other private funders. It is through the support of our community that we are able to provide services for child victims of abuse and neglect in our city. 

HOW MANY CASA PROGRAMS EXIST TODAY?
There are nearly 1,000 CASA programs in 49 states recruiting, training and supporting volunteers to represent the best interests of abused and neglected children in the courtroom and other settings.  
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