In 1977, concerned over making decisions about abused and neglected children without sufficient information, a Seattle judge conceived the idea of using trained volunteers to speak for the best interests of these children in court. So successful was this Seattle program, that soon judges across the country began using citizen advocates. In 1990, the United States Congress strongly encouraged the expansion of CASA with the passage of the Victims of Child Abuse Act. Today, nearly 950 CASA programs are in operation with over 76,000 men and women serving as CASA volunteers! CASA of Lonoke County opened its doors in October 2000, expanded services into both Monroe and Woodruff Counties in October 2015, followed by Arkansas County in September 2016. The organization became known as Grand Prairie CASA in September 2016. CASA is a registered 501 (c) 3, non-profit organization governed by a board of directors.
Mission, Vision, and Values
The mission of Grand Prairie CASA is to provide and promote quality court appointed volunteer advocacy to every abused, neglected, and dependent child in the foster care system so the child can be safe, establish permanence, and have the opportunity to thrive.
Grand Prairie CASA
In 1999, Lonoke County Circuit Judges felt more could be done for the foster children in the court system. CASA (court appointed special advocates) was selected as the best approach to address this growing need and the local chapter was formed in 2000. Since then, CASA has been recruiting, training, and supervising volunteers who advocate for children in the 23rd Judicial District (Lonoke County). CASA’s goal is to ensure safety and permanency for children whose lives are in turmoil. After 15 years of effective and compassionate advocacy, over 1,500 children’s lives have been changed for the better in the 23rd Judicial District.
Lonoke County CASA expanded their services into both Monroe and Woodruff Counties in 2015 and into Arkansas County in 2016.