“While sitting at juvenile court, I never got a night’s sleep without waking to wonder if at least one decision I made that day had been the best for a child. It struck me that it might be possible to recruit and train volunteers to investigate a child’s case so they could provide a voice for the child in those proceedings, proceedings which could affect their whole lives.”
-Judge David W. Soukup, Founder of CASA
In 1977, Judge Soukup conceived the idea of using trained community volunteers to speak for the best interests of abused and neglected children in court. So successful was this program that soon judges across the country began utilizing citizen advocates. In 1990, the US Congress encouraged the expansion of CASA programs with the passage of the Victims of Child Abuse Act.
In 1995, CASA of Lane County was founded to serve abused and neglected children age 0-17 in Lane County. In 2004, the organization was the first program in Oregon to successfully complete the National CASA Certification process.
Today, there are nearly 1,000 local community CASA program offices nationwide.
Currently CASA of Lane County serves more than 400 children annually with well over 200 volunteers and 15 staff.