CASA’s History

Nationwide History

In 1977, Seattle Superior Court Judge David Soukup was concerned about trying to make decisions on behalf of abused and neglected children without having enough information. He conceived the idea of appointing community volunteers to speak up for the best interests of these children in court. He made a request for volunteers. Fifty citizens responded, and that was the start of the CASA movement.

Today, there are more than 50,000 advocates serving in more than 940 state and local program offices nationwide. CASA programs across the country are known by several different names, including Guardian ad Litem, Child Advocates and Voices for Children.

Since the inception of CASA advocacy, volunteers have helped well over 1,000,000 children find safe, permanent homes in which they can thrive.

Kern County History

CASA of Kern County began operation in the summer of 1994. Led by Judge Robert J. Anspach, attorney Terry Foley, mental health therapist Judy Newman and funded by Junior League of Bakersfield, CASA serves as an independent voice for the best interest of abused, neglected, and abandoned children living in protective care in Kern County, California. Our mission is to recruit, screen and train volunteers from communities throughout Kern County to serve as advocates in child protection proceedings. We also support and closely supervise the advocacy work of our volunteers throughout the duration of their assignments.

CASA of Kern County has recruited and trained over 1,100 Advocates and have served over 3,500 of Kern County’s most vulnerable children.