Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASAs) provide individual advocacy for children in foster care who have been abused, neglected or abandoned. Our goal is to help ensure that children receive all the services they need and to recommend to the court the best outcome for each child—a safe, loving, permanent home.
There are nearly 650 children in foster care in Baltimore County each year. CASA of Baltimore County currently serves about one third of those children. We want to do more! And, with continued and increased financial assistance and volunteers, we will!
Our Mission, Vision, & Goal
MISSION: To provide court appointed volunteers who advocate for the best interests of abused and neglected children in Baltimore County
VISION: A world where every abused or neglected child in Baltimore County is given the opportunity to thrive in a safe, loving, permanent home
GOAL: To one day serve all 600 children in Baltimore County foster care annually
What is CASA?
The History of CASA
In 1977, A Seattle Superior Court Judge, David Soukup, often felt that he didn’t have enough information about the unique circumstances of each abused or neglected child that he saw in his courtroom. Making crucial, life-changing decisions impacting children was difficult given the incomplete case facts he heard from the bench. He decided to deputize a friend and asked her to do a thorough investigation of a child’s situation as well as getting to know the child himself.
It was a novel idea, and it worked. He put the word out and fifty citizens answered the call. These individuals became the first Court Appointed Special Advocates, and the CASA program was born. The idea spread nationally. Since the establishment of the first program, CASA volunteers have advocated for more than two million children.
In 1990, the US Congress encouraged CASA programs' expansion with the passage of the Victims of Child Abuse Act. Today, more than 1,018 CASA program offices operate in 49 states. Approximately 83% of CASA programs have been active for more than a decade.
A group of Baltimore County citizens desiring to serve abused and neglected children coordinated efforts to start a CASA locally. The new nonprofit was incorporated in 2000. Headed by the founding executive director, Susan Daddio, and the first Board of Directors, CASA of Baltimore County soon thrived.
Our program has expanded rapidly and today a staff of eight employees supports around 175 volunteer advocates each year. We serve roughly one third of the 600 abused and neglected children who are in foster care in Baltimore County. CASA of Baltimore County is one of the twenty CASA programs serving jurisdictions in Maryland.
A Message from the Director:
Thank you for your interest in CASA of Baltimore County! CASA’s volunteer advocates are dedicated to ensuring that abused and neglected children reach safe, permanent, and loving homes and that they receive every needed service while in foster care. CASA volunteers are truly “everyday heroes” who have made a critical difference in the lives of hundreds of our community’s most vulnerable children. Despite that success, CASA of Baltimore County is currently only serving approximately one-third of the children in foster care in Baltimore County. Contact us to learn more about the ways in which you can support CASA’s goal of providing an advocate for every child in foster care.
– Jennifer Stine, Director