How it all began…
In 1977, a Seattle juvenile court judge (Judge David Soukup) concerned about making drastic decisions with insufficient information conceived the idea of citizen volunteers speaking up for the best interests of abused and neglected children in the courtroom. Today, there are nearly 1,000 CASA and guardian ad litem programs that are recruiting, training and supporting volunteers across the nation.
In Missoula, CASA began…
in 1994 by individuals in the Missoula community, including the Honorable Judge John Larson. Through their work in the community, these individuals found that abused and neglected children did not have a voice in court to represent their best interests. These individuals also wanted to ensure that abused and neglected children were provided a safe, permanent home as quickly as possible. It was then that the Fourth Judicial District Court began to assign Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) volunteers to dependency and neglect cases involving abused and neglected children. Today, CASA of Missoula’s mission reflects the goals these individuals began working towards in serving the best interests of abused and neglected children.
CASA of Missoula receives National CASA compliance certification…
Over the years, CASA of Missoula has complied with the high standards of the National CASA Association. In November 2016, CASA of Missoula was awarded certification by the National CASA Association. According to the National CASA Association,
This certification recognizes that CASA of Missoula, Inc. is in compliance with National CASA’s high standards for quality child advocacy.
According to Tara Perry, Chief Executive Officer of the National CASA Association, “The National CASA quality assurance process is very rigorous, and reflects our commitment to ensure every child served has a powerful volunteer advocate working on their behalf and a strong program supporting their work. This certification says CASA of Missoula, Inc. has demonstrated to us the capacity to provide excellent advocacy to the abused and neglected children within their community.”
How is CASA funded?
CASA of Missoula is primarily funded by grants and generous donors in the community. As CASA of Missoula continues to see record breaking numbers of abused and neglected children, the need for volunteers increases. Funding is used to train members of the Missoula & Mineral County communities to become Court Appointed Special Advocate volunteers. Consider becoming a Friend of CASA donor today!