History of the National CASA Program
In 1977, a Seattle judge conceived the idea of using trained community volunteers to speak for the best interests of abused and neglected children in court. So successful was this program that soon judges across the country began utilizing citizen advocates. In 1990, the US Congress encouraged the expansion of CASA programs with passage of the Victims of Child Abuse Act.
Today, CASA have grown to a network of more than 59,000 volunteers that serve 243,000 abused and neglected children through 900+ local program offices nationwide. Our advocates, also known as volunteer guardians ad litem in some jurisdictions, are appointed by judges and act as officers of the court. Judges rely on the information these trusted advocates present.
For more information on the national program, please visit the official National CASA website.
History of CASA of Park and Sweet Grass Counties
In 2002 the Honorable Judge Nels Swandal called for the creation of a local CASA/GAL program in the Sixth Judicial District. Local attorneys and community leaders established a board of directors and created this program within the District. Local attorneys supported us financially, enabling us to train our initial ten volunteers.
Read the MT State Statute HERE.
We received our 501(c)(3) status in 2002, and established a board of directors which includes community members from both Park and Sweet Grass Counties. We have since compiled our by-laws, articles of Incorporation, board policies and procedures, financial policies and volunteer policies and procedures. We have “errors and omissions” insurance on all board members, officers, and volunteers.