Passaic County CASA is a non-profit organization that empowers volunteer advocates to champion the best interests of children who have been abused or neglected and placed into the foster care system.
Passaic County CASA recruits, screens, trains, and supervises volunteer advocates from the local community who ensure children in foster care are safe and receiving the services they need. These advocates focus on the best interests of each child and advocate for those interests throughout the legal and child welfare process. Advocates commit to serve a child until he or she has a safe, permanent, and loving home.
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 all 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. From a single staff member and five volunteers, Passaic County CASA has grown to a staff of eleven and 108 volunteers, who together served 250 children in FY2018.
Passaic County CASA is a member of the National CASA Association.