35 Years of Iowa CASA

The Iowa Child Advocacy Board is proud to celebrate 35 years of CASA volunteers serving children and families in Iowa! Iowa CASA was established 35 years ago as an affiliate of the National CASA  Association, now known as the National Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA)/Guardian Ad Litem (GAL) Association for Children.

The inspiration for CASA came from a Seattle juvenile court judge, David W. Soukup in 1976. He felt he had insufficient information to make a life-changing decision for a 3-year-old girl who had suffered from child abuse. “It terrified me to make decisions about kids when I didn’t have anybody there,” he observed. Soukup formulated the idea that volunteers could be dedicated to a case and speak for children's best interests. Fifty volunteers responded to his idea, which started a movement to provide better representation for children throughout the United States who had experienced abuse or neglect. Since then, CASA programming has grown to cover 49 U.S. states and the District of Columbia.

In fiscal year 2020, nearly 1,400 Iowa children were served by more than 550 volunteers. Nationwide more than 85,000 citizens serve as CASA volunteers in nearly 1,000 programs. More than 400,000 children are in foster care on any given day. Every year more than 260,000 children are served by CASA volunteers.

You can join us by volunteering.

Learn more about the history of CASA here.