The History of CASA
In 1977 a judge in Seattle had a problem. Judge David W. Soukup had to make important decisions about the lives of the children before his court without adequate information. Judge Soukup conceived the idea of training citizen volunteers to be researchers for the court and advocates for the children. He established a pilot program to implement the concept.
The idea spread and the National CASA Association was formed in 1984. It was created to provide advice and program consistency as additional jurisdictions adopted the CASA idea.
Today approximately 1,000 local community programs exist all across the United States, utilizing the services of more than 70,000 volunteer advocates!
Tennessee law gives judges the authority to appoint a CASA advocate in abuse and neglect cases (TCA 37-1-149). The CASA idea has been endorsed by the US Department of Justice and the American Bar association, among others.
CASA programs were formed in Morgan and Roane counties in 2000 and in Loudon in 2009.