CASA Kane County
CASA Kane County was established in 1988 by concerned citizens, child welfare professionals and court personnel in response to concerns that the rights and needs of abused and neglected children were not being adequately addressed in court. Founder Charlotte Evans learned about the CASA movement, brought the inspiration back to Kane County, and formed a steering committee. Chief Judge Gene Nottolini signed the general order and Judge Peter Grometer was the presiding judge in Juvenile Court.
The program began with one director and two CASA volunteers that served seven children. In November 1992, the legal status of CASA volunteers changed from “Friends of the Court” to Guardians ad Litem. This change gave the advocates a far stronger voice in court, making them a full party to the cases with attorneys appointed to represent them. In the fall of 2004, CASA Kane County was asked by the Probate Court judge to expand its mandate.
CASA volunteers are now appointed to all child abuse and neglect cases in Juvenile Court as well as all private guardianship cases involving minors in Probate Court. Today there are approximately 281 CASA volunteers, 16 staff members, 18 members of the Board of Directors and 35 Chairman’s Advisory Panel members who support and represent the best interests of over 587 probate and abused/neglected children within the Kane County Juvenile Court system.
Click here to view CASA Kane County's current Annual Report
Click here to view CASA Kane County's current Newsletter
A National Movement
In 1977, a Seattle Superior Court Judge named David Soukup was concerned about trying to make decisions on behalf of abused and neglected children without enough information. He conceived the idea of appointing community volunteers to speak up for the best interests of children in court. He made a request for volunteers; 50 citizens responded, and that was the start of the CASA movement.
Today, there are 75,000 advocates serving in more than 950 state and local program offices nationwide. CASA programs across the country are known by several different names, including Guardian ad Litem, Child Advocates and Voices for Children.
The mission of the National Court Appointed Special Advocate Association, together with its state and local members, is to support and promote court-appointed volunteer advocacy for abused and neglected children so that they can thrive in safe, permanent home.