30th Anniversary of Court Appointed Special Advocate Program Services and the 25th Anniversary of the Court Appointed Special Advocates Legislation


WHEREAS, the first Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) Programs, established to provide citizen volunteer representation for abused and neglected children involved in juvenile and domestic relations court proceedings, began operations in Virginia in 1985; and

WHEREAS, legislation passed by the Virginia General Assembly in 1990 authorized the creation of local programs which today serve courts in 26 judicial districts; and

WHEREAS, CASA programs are central to fulfilling society’s most fundamental obligation to make certain every child has a qualified, compassionate adult who will advocate for and protect a child’s rights to be safe, to be treated with dignity and respect, and to grow in a permanent loving family; and 

WHEREAS, since the inception of the CASA Program in Virginia, 25,791 trained citizen volunteers advocated on behalf of 83,550 children and have donated a reported 2,241,432 hours, valued at over $45 million dollars in advocacy services to the Commonwealth; and 

WHEREAS, for 30 years, juvenile court judges have relied on the work of these deeply committed and specially trained volunteers by inviting them into courtrooms to give a voice to the children of the Commonwealth; and

WHEREAS, the 30th Anniversary of Program Operations and the 25th Anniversary of CASA legislation provide an opportunity to recognize the board members and staff of Virginia’s 27 local CASA programs for their dedication, commitment and countless contributions made on behalf of Virginia’s children;  

NOW, THEREFORE, I, Terence R. McAuliffe, do hereby recognize the 30th ANNIVERSARY of COURT APPOINTED SPECIAL ADVOCATE PROGRAM SERVICESand the 25th ANNIVERSARY OF THE COURT APPOINTED SPECIAL ADVOCATE LEGISLATION in our COMMONWEALTH OF VIRGINIA, and I call this observance to the attention of all our citizens.