Hudson County Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) is a non-profit organization committed to advocating for the best interests of abused and neglected children. CASA works through trained community volunteers to ensure that needed services and assistance are made available to children while helping to move them toward safe and permanent homes.
Hudson County CASA volunteers are everyday people who make a direct impact in foster children's lives. They are trusted, dedicated adults who seek to improve children’s well-being. CASA volunteers get to know their assigned child and his or her circumstances and provide valuable information to the court. Judges rely on the volunteers’ recommendations to make the best decisions about the children’s futures. Our vision is to find a safe and loving home for every child.
In 1977, a Seattle judge David Soukup saw a recurring problem in his courtroom. Though he was receiving information from social workers, lawyers, and other professionals, their opinions and recommendations were limited in scope. Judge Soukup initiated a program of community volunteers who would investigate all aspects of the child’s life and report their findings to the court. This one-on-one interaction allowed for a thorough, more complete picture of the child’s needs and helped the judge make informed decisions about the child's future.
From that first program a network has formed of more than 950 CASA and guardian ad litem programs that operate in 49 states and the District of Columbia.
Hudson County CASA was incorporated in 2002 and received its 501(c)3 designation as a non-profit organization. Soon thereafter, an executive director was appointed and the first volunteer training program began. During the next ten years, Hudson County CASA continued to grow. In 2015, 202 children were served; 31 of them found safe and permanent homes.