2013 CASA Volunteer Training
August 12—Sept 19 (Traditional)
October 7—Nov 14 (Traditional)
CASA Volunteer initial training is
33 hours in-person training.
For More Information email CASA Volunteer Coordinator Julieanna Huddle email@example.com or
CASA, Inc. Davidson County
601 Woodland St.
Nashville, TN 37206
The mission of CASA is to provide trained community volunteers to advocate for the best interests of children who come to the attention of the court as a result of abuse or neglect.
Click here to find more about being a CASA volunteer.
The Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) program was initiated in Seattle, Washington in 1977 by the Honorable David Soukup. Judge Soukup realized that he did not have enough information to make an informed decision about the future of neglected and abused children coming before him.
In Judge Soukup's words, "In criminal and civil cases, even though there were always many different points of view, you walked out of the courthouse at the end of the day and you said, I've done my best; I can live with this decision," he explains
"But when you're involved with a child and you're trying to decide what to do to facilitate that child's growth into a mature and happy adult, you don't feel like you have sufficient information to allow you to make the right decision.
You can't walk away and leave them at the courthouse at 4 o'clock. You wonder, do I really know everything I should? Have I really been told all of the different things? Is this really right?"
In his effort to become more informed in his decisions about the future of these children, Judge Soukup conceived the idea of using trained community volunteers to speak for the best interests of these children in court. The program proved so successful that soon judges across the country adopted the program to use citizen advocates.
The U.S. Congress supported the expansion of CASA in 1990 when they passed the Victims of Child Abuse Act. Today, more than 70,000 CASA volunteers are spread throughout 1,000 programs around the country. Because of CASA, more than 2 million children have found their way to a safe home. CASA is the only program of its kind. In the child welfare and family court systems, it was—and is—nothing short of a revolution. Everything is built around one child and one adult advocate for that child. And when a CASA volunteer is there, the child is two times more likely to find a safe, loving permanent home.
CASA came to Nashville in 1983, founded jointly by the local chapters of the National Council of Jewish Women and the Junior League of Nashville. These organizations provided the initial funding, and their members formed the first steering committee.
Today, the program is located at 601 Woodland Street less than a mile from the Juvenile Justice Center. Our goal is to assure that a permanent home is found for each child and that their chance for a stable, healthy life begins at the earliest stage of the judicial process. Last year, with over 200 volunteers, CASA was able to advocate for over 400 children. This year, we estimate that we will serve more than 500 children. However, estimates are that over 2000 abused and neglected children will come before juvenile court this year in Davidson County. With your support, CASA can be the voice of children of abused and neglected in our community.
Everyone associated with the Davidson County CASA program can take pride in its achievements. In addition to helping thousands of Nashville children lead happier lives, the program has served as the cornerstone of the entire Tennessee CASA system. And it's done so with minimal government funding. Private donations from businesses, social and charitable organizations, and individuals make up the majority of the operating budget. The selfless dedication of our volunteers allows us to do a lot for a little.