Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) is a national program founded in 1977 by Judge David Soukoup in Seattle, WA. Judge Soukoup conceived the idea of using trained community volunteers to speak for the best interests of abused and neglected children in court. This pilot program was so successful, judges across the country began utilizing volunteers to advocate for abused and neglected children in their courtroom. In 1990, Congress encouraged the expansion of CASA programs with passage of the Victims of Child Abuse Act.
Essex County CASA program began in October 1991 with the support of a local juvenile judge and a local state representative. The first case was assigned in May 1992 out of the Lawrence Juvenile Court. In the fall of 1997, Essex County CASA expanded to include the Newburyport Juvenile Court and in July 2000, CASA became part of Family Services. In 2014 CASA expanded to the Salem Juvenile Court.
Under the umbrella of Family Services of the Merrimack Valley, the Essex County CASA program has grown to include a cadre of over 50 volunteers who advocate each year on behalf of more than 100 children.
Essex County CASA Program serving Lawrence,Newburyport, Salem Massachusetts Juvenile Courts.
Essex County CASA program is funded in large part through the support of individuals and organizations that share our commitment to helping children.
Click below to make a tax deductible contribution to support CASA.
Thank you to the Greater Lowell Community Foundation, and all the other donors who have chosen to invest in CASA!