The CASA program was created in 1977 by a family court judge who could see that the system in place to care for foster kids was underfunded and overworked. This family court judge knew that children would have a much better chance if they could rely on a single adult volunteer that was outside of that system, and trained in how to advocate for each child’s individual needs. He felt it was the only way to assure that each child in the system has a fighting chance. So successful was this Seattle program that soon judges across the country began utilizing citizen advocates. In 1985 CASA New Orleans was formed under the guidance of Judge Salvadore Mule. It became the first CASA program in the State of Louisiana and has since served thousands of children under the jurisdiction of Orleans Parish Juvenile Court. In 1990, the U.S. Congress encouraged the expansion of CASA with passage of the Victims of Child Abuse Act. Today more than 900 CASA program offices are in operation, with trained women and men serving as CASA volunteers.
In 1992, CASA New Orleans was awarded the United Way Gold Award for outstanding service to the people of New Orleans. In 2004, the City of New Orleans gave us the Award for Outstanding Contributions to the City and People of New Orleans. In 2009, the U.S. Commerce Association Service and Welfare selected CASA New Orleans for the “Best of New Orleans” Award in the Social Organization Category. In 2010 CASA New Orleans won the National CASA Inclusion award for increasing the diversity among the program’s board members and volunteers, and in 2014 we we received the Diversity Leadership Award from LouisianaChildren.org. For more highlights in CASA New Orleans’ history, visit our timeline on Facebook.
CASA New Orleans is a private, non-profit organization, managed by a board of directors and operated by staff. We receive funding from a variety of sources including the United Way of Southeast Louisiana, Temporary Aid for Needy Families, Victims of Crime Assistance as well as other private foundations, corporations and generous individuals. Please consider a donation to CASA New Orleans today.