CASA was founded in 1977 by David Soukup, a Seattle judge who became concerned by how quickly decisions concerning the lives of abused and neglected children were being made when there was often a lack of detailed information.
In response to this growing problem, Judge Soukup started training ordinary community members to advocate for the best interests of children living in foster care. The Seattle program was so successful that the idea spread and today there are over 950 local CASA programs and 75,000 CASA volunteers across the nation.
The History of CASA/Prince George’s County
CASA/Prince George’s County, Inc. an independent 501(c) 3 organization, was founded in 1992 through a collaborative effort of stakeholders, which included board members from the Juvenile Court, the Department of Social Services and Legal Aid, Inc, to address the unmet needs of children in foster care. These same stakeholders continue to serve as advisors and collaborators. In 2000, CASA was reorganized by an independent Board of Directors comprised of community, civic and business leaders. With a strong commitment to diversity, CASA trains and supervises volunteers from the community who advocate for the best interest of children, recognizing and respecting each child’s individual needs.
By providing a voice to children in the foster care system, it is our goal to promote the timely placement of the children we serve into safe, permanent homes. Since 2001, the staff and volunteers at CASA have worked tirelessly to not only protect the best interests of the children we serve but also to ensure the rights of all children in foster care.
Since the establishment of CASA/Prince George’s County, the organization has grown to serve approximately 150 children and youth annually. Major accomplishments include:
- 2017 CASA named “One of the Best” nonprofits in the region by the Catalogue for Philanthropy
- 2016 Received Civic Leadership Award from the Community Foundation for Prince George’s County
- 2015 Received Governor’s Award for Service for our Volunteer Program
- 2015 Received Proclamation from County Executive Rushern L. Baker III Proclaiming April “Child Abuse Prevention Month”
- 2013 Executive Director named the Kappa Alpha Theta CASA Program Director of the Year by the National CASA Association
- 2012 Received a Certificate of Special Congressional Recognition from the U.S. House of Representatives for our service to the community
- 2011- volunteer Tomika Holmes named to “Top Forty Under 40” for her work as a CASA
- 2009 Executive Director awarded the Prince George’s Community Foundation’s Bridge Builder Award
- 2006 Received the National CASA Association’s Diversity Leadership Award