CASA of the Pikes Peak Region provides a volunteer's voice in court for children who are victims of abuse, neglect or domestic conflict and promotes community awareness of these issues to ensure safe and permanent homes.
The CASA or Court Appointed Special Advocates program was conceived in 1977 by a Seattle judge who wanted to ensure he was receiving sufficient information in cases involving abused or neglected children, and that their continued long-term welfare was being well represented in court. He envisioned the idea of using trained community volunteers to research the background of a child and speak on behalf of his or her best interests, in order to help the court make a sound decision about that child's future. Putting this concept into action, the first CASA program was started in King County, Washington. CASA has since gone on to transform America's judicial procedure and the lives of over two million children nationwide. Its work has been recognized over the years by organizations tincluding 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.
CASA of the Pikes Peak Region
In 1987, studies conducted by the Junior League of Colorado Springs indicated child abuse victims in El Paso and Teller Counties did not have representation and advocacy. CASA was selected as the best approach to address this growing need. (Each CASA operates independently within its community and is governed by a local Board of Directors.) Once the Board of Directors was formed, volunteer programming began. In 1989, a volunteer coordinator was hired to train CASA of the Pikes Peak Region's first 21 volunteers. In fiscal year 2016-2017 475 volunteers touched the lives of 1,957 child victims of abuse and neglect through all our programs. For 28 years, CASA has provided effective and compassionate advocacy for more than 15,000 children, whose lives have been changed for the better.
Dependency and Neglect (D&N) and Supervised Exchange and Parenting Time (SEPT) Programs:
"I cannot find the words to express how much I rely on CASA volunteers when I'm having to make difficult decisions on the bench. I very much appreciate their dedication, professionalism, and caring for the children they serve." -Judge Evelyn Sullivan
"CASA volunteers do a tremendous job. I can always count on a thorough report from the volunteers and I learn a lot more from them than almost any other source of information. What they do is of tremendous value and it really influences the decisions we make." -Chief Judge Kirk Samelson
"I've worked with a lot of really competent CASA volunteers, men and women, who have intervened when kids had been abandoned by parents and shuttled around by the system. I love CASA because the volunteers are incredible advocates for our children." -Judge Regina Walter
The Program completed a Judicial Survey. 100% of the Judges felt that CASA notes regarding specific cases of SEPT 100% of the Judges felt that the SEPT Program provided clients and children with the safety expected. Comments from Judges were as follows:
"It is a good first step towards appropriate & unsupervised visitation"
"I heavily rely on CASA. Thank you for your excellent work".
"The program allows parenting time to continue in difficult cases which require a monitored setting. The notes from staff are valuable in assessing the ongoing relationship of the parents and their interaction with the child/children."