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Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) is a national association in the United States that supports and promotes court-appointed advocates for abused or neglected children in order to provide children with a safe and healthy environment in permanent homes. The program is similar to, but is not a guardian ad litem program. According to National CASA, today there are more than 70,000 advocates serving in 1,018 state and local program offices nationwide.
The mission of the National Court Appointed Special Advocate Association, is together with its state and local members, is to support and promote court-appointed volunteer advocacy for abused and neglected children so that they can thrive in safe, permanent homes.
During 1977, Seattle Superior Court Judge David Soukup was faced with making decisions on behalf of abused and neglected children with only the information provided by the state child protective services. Soukup formulated the idea that volunteers could be dedicated to a case and speak for children's best interests.
Michael Piraino has served as CASA’s CEO for 13 years, overseeing 30 hour volunteer training programs, building partnerships with many organizations and corporations, a national quality assurance program, and many more duties. As a lawyer, Piraino represented children ad litem and was a consultant for several global child advocacy programs.
- "As a result of his service to children, Piraino received the National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges President's Award in 1998 and the New York Decade of the Child Award in 1992."
- National Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) Association
- "What is the CASA Movement?". http://www.casaforchildren.org/site/c.mtJSJ7MPIsE/b.5332503/k.7A18/What_is_the_CASA_Movement.htm. Retrieved 11 August 2010.
- National CASA website