Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA), a national volunteer movement, began in 1976. Its founder, Seattle Superior Court Judge David Soukup, decided he couldn’t endure any more sleepless nights worrying about the lifelong impact his decisions had on abused and neglected children.
At that time, children in foster care didn’t receive the same representation in court as parents did. According to Judge Soukup, in an LA Times interview, “I was consumed by the fact that I didn’t have enough information about each child, and I just didn’t know if I had done the very best job I could.”
Judge Soukup sets out to right this wrong.
He thought well-trained volunteers could ensure children’s voices were heard and provide judges with the necessary insight to make the best possible decisions.
CASA OF DEL NORTE'S JOURNEY
CASA of Del Norte began as a dual county program with CASA of Humboldt as the parent organization. As a result of encouragement of many community members including the Superior Court Judges, foster parents, the business community and members of the Juvenile Justice Commission, the CASA program in Del Norte County began in the summer of 1997.
While the counties of Del Norte and Humboldt have many similarities, our communities are also separately unique. Recognizing this fact, a plan for separation of CASA of Del Norte and CASA of Humboldt began to take shape. In the fall of 2001, a Steering Committee was formed to develop and present a plan forming a separate local program in Del Norte County.
After many meetings, which included in depth and sincere work on the part of the committee, CASA of Del Norte obtained 501 (c ) (3) status, obtained start-up funding, and began to operate as a separate program. Following the hiring of staff, the office opened on February 1, 2002.
CASA of Del Norte continues to grow and evolve based on both the needs and the strengths of the community. We invite you to join us – you can help to “lift up a child's voice.”
CASA of Del Norte will support and assist children in the Juvenile Court process by providing well-trained volunteers to advocate objectively in the child’s best interest.
ALL children will live in a safe and secure environment