The CASA movement began in 1977. A judge in Seattle, Washington believed that he could make better decisions for the children who appeared before him due to abuse or neglect, if he had more information. He decided to train community volunteers and appoint them as advocates for these children. These volunteers appeared in court to speak for the best interest of these children, helping to get them through the complex maze of the child welfare and court systems and into safe, permanent homes. Today, there are more than 900 CASA programs in the nation.
In the State of Missouri there are 22 CASA/GAL programs serving a multitude of children across the state. Douglass Community Services – CASA Program was established in 1998 serving Marion, Monroe, and Ralls counties. The DCS – CASA Program enjoys an amicable relationship with the Tenth Judicial Circuit. The Honorable Rachel Bringer serves as presiding judge for the entire Tenth Circuit. The majority of juvenile cases go to Associate Judge David Mobley while juvenile matters in Monroe County are heard by Associate Judge Michael Wilson. All of the judges are extremely supportive.
In 2012, our program had grown to 15 active volunteers, and served 52 children!