In 1977, a Seattle juvenile court judge was concerned that making drastic decisions with insufficient information conceived the idea of citizen volunteers speaking up for the best interests of abused and neglected children in the courtroom. That first CASA program has grown a network of more than 951 CASA and guardian ad litem programs that are recruiting, training and supporting volunteers in 49 states and the District of Columbia.
In 1987, Judge Bradnor Riggs, presiding judge over Juvenile Court in Winnebago County met with the Junior League of Rockford to bring CASA to the children of Winnebago County. Today, more than 30 years later, CASA continues to support and advocate for children brought to the attention of the Abuse and Neglect Court Judges.
Winnebago County CASA is a nonprofit, volunteer organization that advocates for the best interests of children within the Juvenile Abuse and Neglect Court system. Its existence is based on the belief that every child has the right to thrive in a safe and permanent home.
Winnebago County CASA's goal is for every child in need of a CASA to have one.
In order to support this goal, we need to grow the number of advocates at a rate of 25 ACTIVE CASAs per year.
That is, in collaboration with Winnebago County and the Juvenile Court of the 17th Judicial Circuit, Winnebago County CASA will strategically grow to be able to serve 100% of children who need a voice.
We will accomplish this by:
- Setting a high standard of excellence in child advocacy;
- Providing qualified support staff to train new Advocates, support existing Advocates, and manage case loads.
- Keeping pace with technology to ensure free-flow of secure information; and
- Promoting collaboration among stakeholders to grow the program and better serve the children.