Our Vision: Every child in Colorado has a voice and a hopeful future
Our Mission: To strengthen local CASA programs and advocate for children in the child welfare system
Our Values: Children in need deserve a voice, Data-informed advocacy, Diversity and Inclusion, and Collaboration
Judge Soukup, while overseeing cases in Seattle, Washington, first thought of a Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) in 1977. He felt that children needed more support within the Dependency and Neglect system (the civil proceeding that occurs once a county opens a case on a child or youth due to abuse and/or neglect). He also felt that an objective perspective was needed, and that a volunteer could do this best.
CASA was introduced to Colorado in 1981 as part of a national demonstration project to find the best way of providing legal representation for children. This was in Denver. The first CASA organization started in Larimer County in 1984. There are 16 CASA programs active currently. In 1989, the executive directors of the local CASA programs formed Colorado CASA as the state-wide coordinating agency.
CASA is a well-established national program endorsed by the Pew Commission, which was created to improve outcomes for abused and neglected children through expediting placement into permanent, safe homes. CASA volunteers develop a close relationship with the child so that they can aid caseworkers, judges, and courts with the long-term goals for a family. Children with a CASA volunteer have been shown to be less likely to re-enter the foster care system.
CASA's work has been recognized over the years by organizations that include the American Bar Association, the National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges, the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention, and the U.S. Department of Justice.
"I am a CASA because being a CASA is such an important way to help my community, filling such a critical need. Who wouldn't want to help abused and neglected children if they had a chance?"
"What keeps us motivated is the fact that in just a few hours a week we can make a difference in the lives of the children."
-Christi and Randy Michaelis
"I'm a better person after being a CASA volunteer."
Donations of $250 or more may qualify for a 50% tax credit in Colorado
When a donation is made to Colorado CASA, the Child Care Contribution Credit for the state of Colorado may allow a donor to claim a tax credit equal to 50% of the total donation. This unique Colorado state tax credit can provide a sizeable tax benefit to donors who financially support charities focused on the care and development of children in Colorado.
It is important to know that the benefits of the Child Care Contribution Credit does not replace the tax benefits already put in place at the state and federal levels. This means that as a donor, you may still claim the federal charitable deduction and the state charitable deduction, the Child Care Contribution Credit reducing any remaining state tax on a dollar-for-dollar basis. You may be entitled to other deductions based on your tax situation.
The Child Care Contribution Credit may be claimed by individual donors, by partnerships and corporations, and by estates and trusts. Limitations apply, the credit is capped at $100,000 per year. In order to claim the credit, be sure to submit your Child Care Contribution Tax Credit Certification (Form DR 1317) when you file your annual income tax. Please contact your tax advisor for more information on this credit.