The West Virginia CASA is a 501(c)3 organization that develops and strengthens CASA programs throughout West Virginia through technical assistance, training, public awareness activities, research and resource development to assure quality volunteer advocacy for every abused/neglected child in the West Virginia court system.
Our mission is to develop and strengthen CASA programs throughout West Virginia through technical assistance, training, public awareness activities, research and resource development to assure quality volunteer advocacy for every abused/neglected child in the West Virginia court system.
The History of CASA
West Virginia CASA is part of a national volunteer movement that began in 1977, when a Seattle judge conceived the idea of using trained community volunteers to speak for the best interests of abused and neglected children in court. These Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) provided him with the detailed information he needed to safeguard the children's best interests and ensure that they were placed in safe, permanent homes as quickly as possible. The program was so successful that it was replicated around the nation.
The National CASA Association was founded in 1982 and provides technical assistance and national leadership to local programs across the country. The CASA concept is endorsed by the U.S. Department of Justice, Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention, the American Bar Association, National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges, and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Administration on Children and Families.
Today, there is a network of over 1,000 CASA programs and more than 70,900 trained volunteer advocates nationwide. In 2010, in West Virginia, 332 CASA volunteers contributed over 14,200 hours advocating for the best interests of 1,500 children.
- We will provide independent, objective, factual information to the circuit court through quality court reports.
- We will be an active participant in the child's case management team.
- We will be persistent and keep our commitment to the children
- We will perform our work with proficiency and professionalism.
- We will continue to improve ourselves through education and experience in order to improve the lives of the children we serve.
Our goals are:
- To serve and improve outcomes for more children
- To continuously improve volunteer effectiveness
- To continuously increase program quality
- To share our insights to improve child welfare laws and policies
Board Of Directors
Chief Shawn Schwertsfeger – Chief of the Wheeling Police Department
Kenny Hardway - Pastor of First Christian Church
Jessica Ice - PhD. WVU Extension Services
Marci Carroll- attorney at law
Susan Harrison - CASA for Children, Inc.
Kim Runyon Wilds - Western Regional CASA