Mission & History
Staff & Board of Directors
Mission & History
The mission of Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) is to advocate for the best interests of abused and neglected children in DuPage County’s Juvenile Court through the services of trained community volunteers. CASA’s vision is that all children deserve a safe and permanent environment where they can thrive.
Who We Are
The History of CASA
In 1977, a Seattle Superior Court Judge named David Soukup was concerned about trying to make decisions on behalf of abused and neglected children without enough information. He conceived the idea of appointing community volunteers to speak up for the best interests of children in court. He made a request for volunteers; 50 citizens responded, and that was the start of the CASA movement.
Today, there are 75,000 advocates serving in more than 950 state and local program offices nationwide. CASA programs across the country are known by several different names, including Guardian ad Litem, Child Advocates and Voices for Children.
While each CASA program is independent, the National CASA Association, located in Seattle, develops and maintains the volunteer curriculum, ensuring that the highest standards are kept.
CASA of DuPage County
CASA of DuPage County, Inc., was founded in April of 1993 when it entered into a formal agreement with the Eighteenth Judicial Circuit Court, DuPage County, Illinois. During its first year of operation, CASA of DuPage County, Inc. supported 15 volunteer advocates who were the voices for 33 abused and neglected children. By 2015, a total of 383 children benefited by having one of 133 volunteers as their CASA Advocate. Though CASA is a national organization, programs are set up by county. Illinois has 36 programs which serves 38 counties. State-wide, 43% of children in juvenile court have an advocate. However, every abused, neglected or dependent child in DuPage has an advocate; has a voice in court. DuPage County citizens know that Powerless Children Need Powerful Friends.