Judge David Soukup - CASA Founder

CASA History

The CASA Movement

In 1977, a Seattle juvenile court judge concerned about making drastic decisions with insufficient information conceived the idea of citizen volunteers speaking up for the best interests of abused and neglected children in the courtroom. From that first program has grown a network of more than 951 CASA and guardian ad litem programs that are recruiting, training and supporting volunteers in 49 states and the District of Columbia.

First Kansas CASA Program

Key Moments in CASA History

1977    CASA created by Judge David Soukup in Seattle
1981   Wichita starts the first Kansas CASA program
1985   National CASA and the US Department of Justice, Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention established their first cooperative agreement.
1986   Kansas Supreme Court Chief Justice Alfred Schroeder signed Rule 110, creating Kansas CASA program standards and guidelines.
1990   CASA endorsed by American Bar Association
First statewide training held for Kansas CASA Directors, funded by United Health Ministry Funds.
1991   Kansas CASA Association is established by a network of CASA directors
1992   State legislature enacted funding for CASA programs by earmarking $3 of birth certificate funds for CASA.
1996   Kansas CASA awarded a two-year grant from the National CASA Association
1997   Kansas CASA selected as the recipient of Phil Lewis Medal of Distinction, awarded by the Kansas Bar Association
1999   Kansas CASA hires first full-time staff person
2002   First statewide board training held for all Kansas CASA programs
2006   Kansas CASA Board of Directors restructured to include individuals from across the state, not just CASA program directors.
2007   Chosen as the statewide charity by the Fraternal Order of Eagles
2011   Kansas CASA celebrated 20 years.
The Kansas Supreme Court Standards for CASA programs was revised and approved by the Supreme Court.
2012   Ottawa and Saline Counties CASA in Salina was established under the umbrella of CAPS.