“It terrified me to make decisions about kids when I didn’t have anybody there.”
Judge David W. Soukup
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 these
children in court. He made a request for volunteers; 50 citizens responded, and that was the start of the CASA movement. The National Court Appointed Special Advocate Association (National CASA) was formed in 1982 to provide a unified voice for CASA programs around the country. Since its inception, CASA/GAL advocacy has grown to change America’s child welfare and judicial systems, helping more than 2 million children find safe, permanent homes in which they can thrive.
Our Local Program
In 1993, Judge Glenn Camerer, County Court Judge for Scotts Bluff County, began the process to establish a CASA Program in Scotts Bluff County. Shelly Fales, the local Foster Care Review Board Director, worked with Judge Camerer in start-up procedures. The first director of CASA of Scotts Bluff County was Cindy Howard who took over in December of 1995. The first training was held in September of 1996 with ten volunteers.
The first funding for the CASA program was $5000 from the Department of Social Services Committee for the Protection of Children. CASA of Scotts Bluff County was a member of the Oregon Trail Community Foundation until the year 2000 when non-profit status was achieved.
To provide abused, neglected, and exploited children a voice in court.
To give a child a CASA volunteer is to give them a voice.
To give them a voice is to give them hope.
To give them hope is to give them the world.