WHAT IS WV CASA?
The West Virginia CASA Association is a 501(c)3 organization that develops and strengthens CASA programs throughout West Virginia through technical assistance, training, public awareness activities, research and resource development. Together we work to assure quality volunteer advocacy for every abused and neglected child in the West Virginia court system. Individual CASA programs connect volunteers with the children that need a voice in the court system.
Our mission is to develop and strengthen CASA programs throughout West Virginia through technical assistance, training, public awareness activities, research and resource development to assure quality volunteer advocacy for every abused/neglected child in the West Virginia court system.
THE HISTORY OF THE WV CASA ASSOCIATION
The West Virginia CASA Association is part of a national volunteer movement that began in 1977 when a Seattle judge conceived the idea of using trained community volunteers to speak for the best interests of abused and neglected children in court. These Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASAs) provided him with the detailed information he needed to safeguard the children’s best interests and ensure that they were placed in safe, permanent homes as quickly as possible. The program was so successful that it was replicated around the nation.
In January 1997, the West Virginia Supreme Court of Appeals effectively promulgated the rules on CASA to create a system in West Virginia. The Court’s Advisory Committee on Child Abuse and Neglect recommended “the CASA system should be expanded to all 55 counties.”
The “WV CASA Network” was incorporated in October of 1997 with the goal to replicate and assure the consistency and quality of the National CASA program within West Virginia. The organization was officially recognized by the IRS as a non-profit 501(c)3 in March of 1998 and later changed the official name to the WV CASA Association.
The first CASA program was founded in Huntington, WV under the umbrella organization “The Team for WV Children”. Shortly thereafter, programs were established in Kanawha and Monongalia Counties and other programs have continued to come to fruition up over time. The WV CASA network now serves more than twenty counties in the state.
In 2010, 332 WV CASA volunteers contributed more than 14,200 hours advocating for the best interests of 1,500 children.
- We will provide independent, objective, factual information to the circuit court through quality court reports.
- We will be an active participant in the child’s case management team.
- We will be persistent and keep our commitment to the children.
- We will perform our work with proficiency and professionalism.
- We will continue to improve ourselves through education and experience in order to improve the lives of the children we serve.
- To serve and improve outcomes for more children
- To continuously improve volunteer effectiveness
- To continuously increase program quality
- To share our insights to improve child welfare laws and policies