In 1977, Judge David Soukup, a Seattle juvenile court judge, was concerned that he was making drastic decisions for children and families without sufficient information. He said, “I realized that there was no one in the courtroom whose only job was to provide a voice for the children. Caseworkers have obligations to their agency, the parent, and others. Lawyers cannot investigate the facts and advocate for the mental health and social needs of the child.”
After many sleepless nights, wondering about the impact the decision he made had on the lives of the young children he had seen in his courtroom, he conceived the idea of citizen volunteers speaking up for the best interests of children in the courtroom to ensure he was getting all the facts and was considering the long-term welfare of each child before him. His pilot program has grown into a network of more than 933 CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocate) programs that are recruiting, training, and supporting volunteers in 49 states and the District of Columbia.
CASA of Maury County is part of that national movement. Our organization was formed in December 2005 by a collection of committed and dedicated community leaders. These leaders saw the benefit in having a local program that would recruit, train, and support the volunteers who serve abused and neglected children in Maury County. In September 2006, our first class of ten CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocate) volunteers began serving Maury County.
Since 2006, over 90 CASA volunteers have helped over 500 children find a safe and permanent home.
Read the Tennessee Statute – T.C.A. §37-1-149.