Court Appointed Special Advocates was originally formulated in Seattle, Washington in 1977 by a juvenile court judge who was concerned about making drastic decisions impacting children’s lives without adequate information. CASA was formed with the idea of having citizen volunteers speak up for the best interest of children who have been abused and neglected to ensure sufficient information was provided to the court. The first CASA program has grown to a network of more than 951 CASA and Guardian Ad Litem (GAL) programs that recruit, train and support volunteers in 49 states and the District of Columbia.
CASA for Douglas County was founded in 1998 with a simple yet profound mission: to provide trained volunteer advocates who would serve to amplify the voice for children impacted by the child welfare system. In early 1998, retired Judge Wadie Thomas met with Judge Gendler to discuss starting a CASA program from scratch. After additional meetings, including George Scurfield and Nancy Wilson, founding Executive Director at CASA for Douglas County, the CASA for Douglas County program was formed over the decades. This organization has grown, evolved, and touched countless lives of children.
In the fall of 2008, CASA for Douglas County found its permanent home on the corner of St. Marys Ave and 24th St.
For the past 25 years, CASA for Douglas County has been a shining beacon of hope for children who are involved in the child welfare system and may have experienced abuse or neglect. CASA for Douglas County has dedicated itself to amplifying the voice of the most vulnerable members of our community, and our impact has been nothing short of extraordinary.
As CASA for Douglas County celebrates 25 years of dedicated service to our community, it is evident that the CASA volunteer advocates’ impact is immeasurable. Thousands of children have been given a chance at a brighter future because of this organization's unwavering commitment.
However, the need for CASA's advocacy and support continues, and as we look to the future, it is our collective responsibility to ensure that CASA continues to thrive. Whether through volunteering, donations, or advocacy, we can all play a role in shaping a better future for the children who need it most. CASA's legacy is a reminder that positive change is possible when we unite for a common purpose.