Court Appointed Special Advocate Associate Program
The Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) program is a nationwide program that trains adults to be advocates for children who are in the judicial system. After a training period, which includes an overview of topics such as juvenile law, child development, and social work, adults interact with their children in and out of court and work with the children to ensure that their rights are being protected and their needs are being met. CASA started through the actions of a Seattle judge who conceived the idea of using trained community volunteers to speak in court for the best interests of abused and neglected children. This first program was very successful and soon judges across the country began using citizen advocates. In 1990 U.S. Congress encouraged the expansion of CASA with passage of the Victims of Child Abuse Act. By the beginning of the twenty-first century, more than 900 CASA programs were in operation, with more than 42 million women and men serving as CASA volunteers.
See also: DELINQUENCY
Child Welfare League of America [web site]. 2001. Available from http://www.cwla.org; INTERNET.
Children's Defense Fund [web site]. 2001. Available from http://www.childrensdefense.org; INTERNET.
National CASA Association. Available from http://www.casanet.org;INTERNET.
National Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention[web site]. 2001. Available from http://www.ncjrs.org/jjhome.htm; INTERNET.
Neil J. Salkind
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