The CASA Program
The National CASA program was founded in 1977 by Judge David Soukup of Seattle. Court cases involving abuse and neglect include many “players,” including the attorneys for any parent or guardian involved, the Guardian ad Litem, Children’s Division/Division of Social Services, etc. Judge Soukup was concerned that he would not make a sound decision regarding the child’s well-being and permanency because of the multiple streams of information. The result was a trained citizen who could volunteer and advocate on behalf of one child. We now call these individuals Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASAs).
25th Judicial Circuit
CASA of South Central Missouri 25th Judicial Circuit (CASASCMO) started in 2005 as a break off of Mid-Ozark CASA. Originally in Dent County, CASASCMO was formed to serve Phelps County, with the intension of expansion to the other three counties of the circuit (Maries, Pulaski, and Texas). With 40+ volunteers serving 60+ children in the CASASCMO program, the opportunity arose in 2012 to expand into Texas County.