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2016 Top-Rated Nonprofit

National Court Appointed Special Advocate Association

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Children & Youth, Children & Youth Services, Crime & Law, Crime & Legal-Related, Domestic Violence, Protection Against Abuse, Public & Societal Benefit

Mission:

The National Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) Association, together with its state and local members, supports and promotes court appointed volunteer advocacy for abused and neglected children so that they can thrive in safe, permanent homes. Every year, nearly 750,000 children experience foster care and need a caring adult to speak up for their best interests. A CASA volunteer is that voice.

Direct beneficiaries per year: 76,000 abused and neglected children

Programs: Conferences and Training for court volunteers.

Community Stories

86 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

1

Donor

Rating: 1

Avoid this organization at all cost! It's primarily a federal fund grant based organization which makes it unstable to begin with especially if it appears the federal grant funds will decrease. They typically have mass terminations and corporate restructuring every 3 years usually by choice thinking the federal grant funding might decrease. They are such an unstable organization all the Seattle temporary employment agencies know this organization by name as they wait for the next mass terminations or restructuring to occur. There is an army of ex-employees terminated without cause that can tell their own story about this organization. The only way to survive an organization as cruel as this one is to always be looking for another job while working here so you leave them before you get laid off for no reason at all.

Review from Guidestar

2

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

What a great organization to work for. The CEO is a continuous source of inspiration. Takes so much strength and courage to run a boat with so many leaks. It's truly inspiring for a leader that doesn't care what others think about her and march to her own drummer

Lori179

Volunteer

Rating: 5

As a CASA volunteer advocate I have had an incredibly rewarding experience. I am thankful that I chose to take a chance and step outside of my comfort zone to help children. I recommend anyone wondering where to volunteer that they can make a true impact, to contact their local CASA agency. You WILL make a difference.

Alexander17

Volunteer

Rating: 5

As a CASA for over 2 years now, I've had the absolute privilege of being a part of a truly amazing organization. CASA does work for the groups who need it most - and who tragically don't have many other people advocating for them.

Debbie212

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I was a CASA for young man since he was ten until he passed away at age 16. He was an amazing young man I was supposed to be helping him but he made a world of difference in my life. I'm so thankful to have been there with him all the way to the end. I was there when they made Hospital it was not easy but I wouldn't change a thing.I was able to bring things to the court as to what I thought was the best interest for my child. It was not always what perhaps social workers or others thought was best but I knew him I understood his needs and Ifought for him in court for what I felt was right for him. I was a team leader and was able to see what other causes were doing with their children and encourage one another. If you focus on the child not the politics it is wonderful. I would love to add a picture of my link but I still value his privacy even though he's passed away.

Christian F.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

The most effective way to serve vulnerable children in our community. Love CASA!

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

The sorority I am a member of, Kappa Alpha Theta, supports CASA as our main philanthropy. The more I learn about CASA, the bigger spot it has in my heart. This organization and its volunteers are truly amazing people doing amazing things in our communities. Everyone working for CASA is truly selfless and inspire so many people every day, doing so with no expectation of recognition. We love you all!

Pamela127

Board Member

Rating: 5

As current secretary and former president of the board of CASA of the Eastern Panhandle (WV), I can attest to the wonderful work our staff and volunteers do every day. Whether working directly with the children or raising funds, our volunteers give their time to make the lives of abused and neglected children more stable and happier.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I just celebrated my 4 year anniversary with CASA of Harrison County. It is a wonderful organization, one of the few nonprofits I have worked with where EVERY member of the staff has their heart in the right place. Can't wait to round the bend on half a decade!!

Volunteer

Rating: 5

At the beginning of 2016 I was looking to make a difference in my community. After some internet searching, I found my county's local CASA office. I found out more information, started training and was officially became a CASA in April. I love making a difference in a child's life!

Molly10

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

As a foster care alumni and now advocate, researcher, and practitioner I see every day the work CASA advocates do to help foster youth succeed. They are a vital lifeline to the persistence and resiliency of so youth that so many ignore.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have enjoyed working with CASA LA. As a volunteer I felt well prepared and feel very supported by a great team.

Dolly4

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been involved as a volunteer in many non-profits over the years, but I have never felt that my work was more important than my time and effort spent as a Court Appointed Special Advocate for Children (CASA). I began this service during college and continued through my teaching career and into retirement. I feel CASA has given me the opportunities to use my talents and training to truly make the biggest differences in the lives of children who find themselves in the court system through no faults of their own. Great good is done for the children, and great satisfaction is received by the CASA volunteers when they see final results, healing, safe placements, and smiles.

Hazel3

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I learned a lot about CASA while helping our local branch, NM Kids Matter, organize their offices in Albuquerque. Here is a photo story about that project: http://www.nmorganizer.com/pdfs/kidsmatter.pdf

Jennifer581

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been a CASA for 8 years and am still going strong (with the same child who will turn 18 in 6 months!), due in a large part to the level of training I received initially and ongoing level of support. CASA offers a large selection of relevant ongoing training to volunteers and works so hard to offer unique experiences and opportunities for CASA children.

Bettie P.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I worked as Volunteer Coordinator for almost three years and served as a CASA volunteer on several cases as well. I found this volunteer organization extremely rewarding and helpful to the children they serve. After working as a court Advocate in two counties in OK and two Native American courts I can say there is a great need for CASA and I will go back and become a volunteer in CO when I am able. Awesome group!!!!

Volunteer

Rating: 5

The training and support I received as a CASA was tremendous. Due to that, I was able to make a lifelong impact on the child I advocated for. I can't say enough positive things about the CASA program.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I started off as a CASA volunteer in 2011 and became a full time employee. I was the admin for 3 months, volunteer recruiter/trainer for 2.5 years , and then development director for a year. I stayed on as a volunteer advocate after I switched nonprofits. CASA is an awesome organization and they do wonderful work! Thank you to all of the CASA volunteers around the world ♡ I have attached a picture of my wrist tattoo.

Lna P.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

As a CASA Program Director of a rural county in Washington State I watch my volunteers go above and beyond in the best interests of children. More devoted than lawyers and social workers they'll leave no stone unturned to help a child feel wanted and loved - what a fabulous organization!

Michelle379

Volunteer

Rating: 5

When I learned about the CASA program during my work as a graduate student, I knew it would be a part of my life in the future. Seven years later I took my oath and began my journey as a CASA. I have been appointed to the same amazing teen for 3 years and through all the challenges and struggles and frustrations, we formed an unbreakable bond. She knows that I am 100% on her side like no one else in her life and will always advocate for her best interest. I feel so fortunate to be on this journey with her and that together we are creating her future.
I believe in the service of this program In truly changing the lives for foster children. If we offer nothing else, we offer ourselves and hope. If you believe in the idea that we are all called to "be the change you want to see in the world," this is the organization through which you can help to accomplish this, one child at a time.
After 3 years of serving as a CASA, I am now the Program Manager for our organization with the hope that we can serve every foster child in our community.

Janet-Paul D.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I started with some apprehension if I could make even a tiny impact on my appointed kids. When I see them smiling at the door as I get out of my car and 'can you help me with my homework' I feel like I have touched them and building trust and hopes for their future.

Stacey61

Volunteer

Rating: 5

As a CASA volunteer and staff person, I see everyday the difference a CASA makes in the life of a foster child. One CASA ensures that her CASA kids, who are separated, have sibling visits at least twice a month. Another makes sure her kiddo sees the cousins she grew up with. Yet another CASA took her kiddo to the zoo for the first time at the age of 17. At the same time they all made recommendations to the judge regarding the best interest of the children they serve. They are making life long memories.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

An organization that truly seeks to find solutions that are in the best interest of the child.

MaryLu C.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I am proud that I was a CASA/GAL for 15 years. The volunteers in this organization are extremely dedicated in advocating for children who are abused or neglected. I have seen so many a child start out in family court looking so sad and lost and then find that there is a responsible, knowledgeable, friendly adult assigned just to him or her and no one else. They come to trust their CASA to care enough to spend time to know them and make sure all of their needs are addressed. It has been very rewarding to be trusted by children who are hurting, speak to their best interest during court hearings, and see what a difference a competent, caring person can make in a child's life.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Love being a CASA. Excellent well rounded training!

Beth177

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I am still in my first year as a CASA volunteer. It has been such a rewarding experience. Advocating for children, facing difficult circumstances that are out of their control, is the most meaningful work I've ever done. CASA of Norfolk - lead by Roxie Hoven - has established positive partnerships with the local judges and social services. Roxie provides volunteers with continuous opportunities for education and skill building. Being a CASA isn't always easy - but it's so worth pressing through those difficult experiences in order to help others. It's an incredible non-profit held up by a courageous leader who inspires us to be brave and strong for the children. The CASA organization deserves recognition and support!

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Nothing makes me feel better than knowing I'm there for my CASA kid. Unfortunately, I'm the ONLY one that has been in her life consistently for eight years. A CASA volunteer makes a big difference to a child.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been a CASA for over 10 years. It is the most rewarding thing I have ever done. I am proud to have helped 29 children through their journey while in the foster care system. The organization provides great training and continuing education. It is also a benefit to be paired with a Guardian Ad Litem to serve the kids to our best ability.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been a CASA Advocate for 1 year and have found that myself and other advocates are the people the kids know they can count on. We are the ones that always answer the phone, the one they trust and the one they run and hug. We have the ability and time to develop relationships these kids desperately need. CASA is one of the best nonprofits around.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I'm just about to celebrate my 4 year anniversary of being sworn in as a CASA in Dane County, Wisconsin! The cases can be rollercoaster rides, but the training and support offered by the staff at the local, State and National levels are thorough and complete to make sure volunteers are prepared. But by far the best part is building relationships with the kiddos and giving them the support they need as they find permanency!!

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been a CASA advocate for 9 years. I have had the honor of being a voice for children who have no voice. I have met some of the nicest people in the world through local programs and National CASA. If we don't speak for these children they will fall through the cracks of our system. Always will love this program. It works!

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I've been an advocate for children who have been abused or neglected for 16 years. These children find themselves in a situation where their world is turned upside through no fault of their own. Usually, the Court Appointed Special Advocate is the one consistent adult in the life if a child from the beginning of the case to the end. I know I made a difference in the lives of the children who have been entrusted to my advocacy.

I am sad to see people who are upset with their local program/director give this organization less than 5 stars. Overall, CASA makes a difference!

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I've learned so much in my time as a casa. The organization is so well run and is doing amazing things to help children in vulnerable places.

CHitch

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I served as a CASA volunteer with Hudson County CASA in NJ for 5 years. During this time I shepherded the adoptions of 8 children. I worked on stalled adoption cases and one case for over two years when a potential adoption went wrong. The system is broken and sometimes the CASA volunteer is the only constant in these childrens' lives. The work is difficult and certainly not for the faint of heart. However, it is the most rewarding work I have done in my life. It takes a person with drive and determination, compassion and a true desire to make a difference. Someone that is able to keep their eye on the prize for the children they advocate for and that prize is permanancy. CASA is a wonderful organization and serves so many underserved children.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Loved volunteering with CASA! I felt like I really helped the kids and the community. Also felt really supported by the CASA staff.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have had incredibly fulfilling and powerful experiences as a CASA. Amazing what a difference a small effort and a real commitment can make with great support staff in our county!! We change kids' lives by just showing up for them consistantly, being positive, caring, and showing them they have options no matter what they have suffered. Our voices in court have made big differences with great judges for suffering children.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been a CASA for almost 10 years, and still with the original family of 5 children. Now I am down to just 2 awaiting adoption. CASA has been so totally supportive of me and my case. Without them, I would not be doing this 10 years later, with the same family. We do make a difference, as I have witnessed with my kiddos. But more to the point of the effectiveness of CASAs, is the constant demand for more CASAs. These kiddos don't have a chance without us as their advocates. We need more. Please consider having a 'second family'. It is so rewarding.

Lynn-Rick W.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I worked as a GAL for over 11 years and it was one of the most rewarding experiences in my life!

Amy_289

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I am a CASA volunteer. It feels amazing to be able to help a family especially in their hard times. I love connecting with the children!!!

Sarah326

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been volunteering at CASA of Humboldt for 2 years, an advocate for a little over 1 year. Becoming an advocate was one of the most life changing things I've ever done. Not only am I doing everything I can to help my CASA kid succeed, but the experience has been so rewarding for myself. It's worth noting that the amount of community support towards CASA is unreal.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Being a CASA is rewarding in so many ways. Forming bonds with children as we advocate for them. Giving them a voice is truly what we do. I have more than once delivered on a promise to "tell the Judge" what a childs wishes are. And best of all...happy endings. Whether it's an adoptive home, or a family back together with new skills! My favorite? Closing of a case and the child and mom asking "if we can keep in touch as we will miss you". Heartwarming.
KA

Allison64

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Being a CASA Volunteer is not an easy task and is a huge time and heart commitment. However, I have found the staff and other volunteers I work with to be amazing. I love really getting to make an impact in the lives of children who need an advocate. Furthermore, CASA provides great practical education that will enhance my career as an educator.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Being a Guardian ad Litem is the most rewarding volunteer position on earth. The children are innocent victims when their caregivers abuse or neglect them. Without an active GAL these little ones would have minimal representation in the court system. A GAL is usually the only constant in their lives as they navigate the long and painful foster care system. Not every case has a happy ending, but it won't be because we didn't give it our all!

Evan10

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been a CASA since 2011 and the organization provides resources for some of the most vulnerable people, abused and neglected children and their families. This organization works.

Shirley38

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I volunteer 30-40 hours a month with CASA. It is by far one of the best volunteer programs that I've ever been involved in. The program has an amazing impact on some many children. I absolutely love it.

Beth176

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I love being a CASA volunteer and love seeing the direct impact CASA has in our communities.

Christine183

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I was a CASA in Pima County, AZ for many years! My experience with them was incredibly rewarding! I felt completely supported, totally informed, well-trained and like I actually mattered and was making a difference! Thank you for such a great experience!

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been a child advocate for over two years, it has been an experience beyond rewarding. As CPS or DHS workers have cases stacked beyond their abilities to keep up with, there is so much potential for things to fall through the cracks. No child deserves any of what they are going through, nor should they be victims of things falling through the cracks. As CASA volunteers, we can be the constant face when other workers come in and out of their lives. Most of my kids/cases greet me with a hug, and so far they have all had very positive outcomes. CASA rocks! We need many more volunteers!

Monica87

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been a CASA volunteer for 4 years now. From day 1 I knew this experience was going to change my life. I am now about to graduate from a 2 year college and transfer for my undergrad in social work. I am pursuing this as a career because of this volunteer experience. ❤️

Client Served

Rating: 5

Great organization to volunteer with if you have flexible work hours, a car, and you care about helping kids in need. Incredibly rewarding volunteer work that makes a real impact on the lives of children. I volunteered with them in two different states, and the quality of organization, training, efficiency, etc. did vary a bit... but overall I would still strongly recommend getting involved!

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I just finished volunteering on my first case with CASA, and can't say enough good things. CASA volunteers serve as bridge-builders and advocates for some of our most vulnerable (yet resilient) children and youth. Anyone who can ask good questions and compile information could be a great potential CASA!

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I have worked with CASA/Prince George's County on and off for 14 years and have become very familiar with the National CASA Association. The work of the local programs would not be possible without the support, training materials, marketing assistance and awareness raising from National CASA. The work of CASA is absolutely essential in protecting our most vulnerable children and I believe National CASA has a vision that will help us reach the point where all children in foster care have someone advocating in their best interest.

Penny33

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I'm a foster parent and have experienced CASAs for 5 years. They are a wonderful group of people who leave a great impression on each child they interact with.

Janice56

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I am honored and blessed to be a CASA in Cherokee County, Georgia. I have truly found my calling. CASAs are vital supports for vulnerable children , we provide a voice and stability for the child.

2

Board Member

Rating: 2

I've been a CASA volunteer and National CASA board member. CASA is a wonderful organization but National has lots of room for improvement. It is not a direct advocacy agency and does not advocate directly for kids. It struggles to develop a cohesive message and identity and accountability has long been missing from its operations. It struggles with its own financial stability and is ill-equipped to manage pass through funds to local CASA programs that need financial and technical assistance. With more effective management and oversight and restructure of its role to better serve direct advocacy efforts it would be far more effective.

Denise151

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been a CASA/GAL for almost 9 years. This is one of those volunteer opportunities that you can say that you actually made a difference. The relationships that you establish with the children can be life changing for both of you.

Virginia_70

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

Advocating for children and youth -- helping them achieve permanency and normalcy -- is as rewarding as it gets when it comes to volunteering.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

CASA helps to change lives. Having a CASA volunteer involved means that children are more likely to find a safe, permanent home and receive more services. They are also more likely to have a consistent responsible adult presence in their lives, spend less time in foster care, have increased placement stability and have better educational outcomes.

Raychel G.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been a CASA in Indiana for almost three years and I have had many cases. Each one changes you and opens your eyes to the struggle of children. CASA does an excellent job of supporting it volunteers! I am for the child!

2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been a volunteer with CASA for almost two years. I have seen first hand the difference these volunteers make in the lives of children who are in the foster care system. Sometimes all it takes is one consistent adult to make a life long difference in the life of a child. There is a time commitment, but the reward of making a child happy, and helping to ensure their safety is so rewarding. I have found everyone within the organization to be upbeat, honest and very helpful.

1

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

There is nothing easy about increasing the capacity of a national network and improving the lives of abused or neglected children. I was inspired to join the National CASA effort embarking on this incredible journey, raising expectations of everyone and everything to deliver on our mission. This effort is being applauded because, at the end of the day, the children the network serves, as well as the entire child welfare field, are benefiting. I appreciate everything the CEO and entire staff are doing to make this a program of excellence.

60

Former staff

Rating: 1

Better organizations to spend on or volunteer with. Poorly managed and quite ineffective. Deplorable treatment of employees.

3

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

A volunteer program that makes a very powerful difference. When a CASA speaks on behalf of a child they are helping to replace a life of hurt with hope. Every child deserves to have someone stand up for them.

2 Tracie B.

Board Member

Rating: 5

I have been a CASA Volunteer since 2012. I am the Court Coordinator for CASA of Jefferson & Lewis Counties in N.Y. as well as an advisory board member. I also serve on the NYS CASA Board. I have the pleasure to serve on a committee for National CASA as well. This nonprofit organization serves some of the most vulnerable children in the country. Once these kids get to know you & realize you are not there because of a paycheck, but because you really care about them it is so profound. They open up to you and release everything. It is so heartwarming to bring families back together when it's the right thing for the child or make new ones. Becoming a CASA was one of the best decisions I made in my life.