In 1977, out of a dire need to have more information about the children appearing before him, Juvenile Court Judge David Soukup created Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) in Seattle, Washington. Our program, founded in 1981 through the leadership of Judge Richard Patsey as Court Appointed Special Representatives (CASR) of Contra Costa County, was one of the first four CASA organizations. CASR became Court Appointed Special Advocates of Contra Costa County in 2001. Today there are close to 950 CASA programs nationwide.
We are an independent, 501(c)(3) community-benefit organization, but we operate under the authority of and according to guidelines established by the Judicial Council, as outlined in the California State Welfare and Institutions Code and in the California Rules of Court. We are a member of both the National and California CASA Associations.
Currently, we serve 12% to 15% of the 1,100 children from every city and region of our county, who come through the foster care system every year. These children are typically the neediest and have the most challenging circumstances. On average, we serve 150 children and youth per year.
For 36 years, through their service and commitment, volunteers trained by CASA of Contra Costa County have helped to restore hope in the lives of children and youth who have been abused, neglected, and abandoned. Our volunteers demonstrate time and time again that one person can truly make a difference.