CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocates)

More than 1,800 Court Appointed Special Advocates serve as the voice of foster children in the court systems of Oregon’s 36 counties. These volunteers are appointed by judges to watch over and advocate for abused and neglected children, to make sure they don’t get lost in the legal and social service system and are placed in appropriate foster homes. Volunteers stay with each case until it is closed and the child is placed in a safe, permanent home. For many abused children, their CASA volunteer may be the one constant adult presence in their lives.

Oregon has some of the strongest CASA legislation in the country, giving these volunteers full legal authority to engage in the court system on behalf of their assigned cases. CASA volunteer advocates receive support from 30 local CASA programs that serve all Oregon counties. Until May of this year, state funding allocated to local programs was administered through the Oregon Commission on Children and Families (OCCF) and its local partners.

As part of Governor Kitzhaber’s realignment of services to children and the dissolution of the OCCF, legislators looked to Oregon Volunteers to assume responsibility for administering the state funds and for providing training and technical assistance to the local programs, while working closely with the Oregon CASA Network to insure quality standards throughout the state.

Effective May 1, 2012, HB 4082 was implemented, and responsibility for the funding moved to Oregon Volunteers where we are enjoying the opportunity to work with thirty new local partners as well as the Oregon CASA Network to insure high quality experiences for these great volunteers and the children for whom they speak. For more information, email CASA Grants Coordinator, Brandi Bergkvist, at [email protected] or call (503) 725-5904.

Additional Resources

Oregon CASA Network, an organization comprised of 29 local CASA programs that recruit, train and support volunteers to represent the best interests of abused and neglected children in the courtroom and other settings.

National CASA Organization, a 955-member association for state CASA programs.

2010 Annual Report for Oregon CASA Programs compiled by the Oregon CASA Network.