Passaic County CASA is part of a national network of community-based, non-profit organizations that recruit, screen, train, and supervise volunteers to "Speak Up for a Child" removed from home due to abuse or neglect. CASA is the only program in New Jersey that works one-on-one with an abused or neglected child, advocating for his or her best interests and working towards achieving permanency in a safe, nurturing home as soon as possible. Our vision is to have a safe and loving home for every child.
In 1976, a Seattle Superior Court Judge, the Honorable 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 these children in court and implemented a pilot program in 1977.
This pilot program consisted of 110 trained CASA volunteers. In 1978, the Seattle program was recognized by the National Center of State Courts. This recognition, along with financial support, resulted in the replication of the Seattle CASA program across the county. In 1982, the National Court Appointed Special Advocate Association was formed.
Today, there are more than 50,000 advocates serving in more than 940 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. Since the inception of CASA advocacy, volunteers have helped well over 1,000,000 children find safe, permanent homes in which they can thrive.
CASA of New Jersey
In 2000, CASA of New Jersey began with the goal of establishing independent, non-profit CASA programs throughout the state. CASA of NJ supports a statewide network of affiliated community-based CASA programs that advocate for the best interests of children removed from their home due to abuse or neglect. Today, there are independent CASA programs in al 15 court vicinages and 21 NJ counties.
Passaic County CASA
Passaic County CASA was founded in 2007. Since its founding, Passaic County CASA has continued to grow in both impact and number of volunteers. This past year, approximately 85 volunteers advocated on behalf of 174 youth in foster care. Passaic County CASA is a member of the National CASA Association.