The Kansas CASA Association (KCA) is a network of 23 community-based programs that recruit, train and support citizen-volunteers to advocate for the best interests of abused and neglected children in courtrooms. The KCA was incorporated in 1991 to enhance the success of local CASA programs so that victims of child abuse and neglect in the court system have volunteer advocates focused on their best interest. KCA has two full-time staff providing an array of services to local programs.
Growth of the Association has benefited local programs through such services as:
We offer technical assistance to help programs serve more children more effectively and provide guidance and tools to assist with quality program management.
Statewide website management:
Staff updates and manages a statewide website that provides valuable information about CASA and its programs.
Volunteer Recruitment and Awareness:
We coordinate recruitment efforts through social media and our statewide website to help recruit CASA volunteers and raise awareness about child abuse. We also work on corporate partnerships to assist with public awareness.
KCA advocates for improvements to the child welfare system and issues concerning local CASA programs.
We provide local programs with the most current upgraded version of CASA Manager software, a volunteer and case management system, to better track program outcomes and statistics pertaining to the children we serve.
KCA provides annual training for CASA directors as well as training specific to local program boards.
Resource Development and Grants:
KCA provides pass-through funding to local CASA programs. Grant funding comes primarily from the Department for Children and Families and IOLTA.
Assistance with the start-up of new programs:
KCA provides information and guidance to those interested in starting a CASA program in a judicial district where there is no program.
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.
Key Moments in CASA History
CASA created by Judge David Soukup in Seattle
Wichita starts the first Kansas CASA program
National CASA and the US Department of Justice, Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention established their first cooperative agreement.
Kansas Supreme Court Chief Justice Alfred Schroeder signed Rule 110, creating Kansas CASA program standards and guidelines.
CASA endorsed by American Bar Association. First statewide training held for Kansas CASA Directors, funded by United Health Ministry Funds.
Kansas CASA Association is established by a network of CASA directors
State legislature enacted funding for CASA programs by earmarking $3 of birth certificate funds for CASA.
Kansas CASA selected as the recipient of Phil Lewis Medal of Distinction, awarded by the Kansas Bar Association
Kansas CASA hires first full-time staff person
First statewide board training held for all Kansas CASA programs
Kansas CASA Board of Directors restructured to include individuals from across the state, not just CASA program directors.
Chosen as the statewide charity by the Fraternal Order of Eagles
Kansas CASA celebrated 20 years. The Kansas Supreme Court Standards for CASA programs was revised and approved by the Supreme Court.
Added Outreach Coordinator to expand growth and development of the network.
900 CASA volunteers served 2,152 children who were before the court due to child abuse or neglect.