CASA for Riverside County, Inc. is a non-profit organization
federal tax id #33-0596888
P.O. Box 3008
Indio, CA 92202-3008
The silence is overwhelming. The little girl, probably no more than 3, doesn't bother to cry out anymore. There's no one to listen. A boy, beaten by his mother's boyfriend, doesn't know how to ask for help.
If you saw these children, you'd scoop them up and dry their eyes. There isn't anything you wouldn't do for them. Right now they are alone.
These are just two of the estimated 6,000 children listed with the Department of Public & Social Services caught in the Riverside County court system who have no one to speak for them. They have been abused, neglected and abandoned by parents they trusted. Now they are living in the frightening adult world of judges, lawyers and words they don't understand.
In 1976, Superior Court Judge, David Soukup saw a recurring problem in his court room, "In criminal and civil cases, even though there were always many different points of view, you walked out of the courthouse at the end of the day and said, "I've done my best; I can live with this decision" he explained.
"But when you're involved with a child and you're trying to decide what to do to facilitate that child's growth into a mature and happy adult, you don't feel like you have sufficient information to allow you to make the right decision. You can't walk away and leave them at the courthouse at 4 o'clock. You wonder, 'Do I really know everything I should? Have I really been told all of the different things? is this really right?'"
To ensure he was getting all the facts and the long-term welfare of each child was being represented, the Seattle Judge came up with an idea that would change America's judicial procedure and the lives of thousands of children. He obtained funding to recruit and train community volunteers to step into courtrooms on behalf of the children: the Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) volunteers.
This unique concept was implemented in Seattle as a pilot program in 1977 and came to Riverside County in 1990. Since then, CASA for Riverside County has provided thousands of advocates to children who have been removed from their families because of abuse and neglect. We are one of more then 900 CASA programs across the country, with over 74,000 women and men serving as volunteers in these programs. Last year, CASA volunteers helped more then 288,000 children in communities across the country.
Be A Voice.
Become A CASA Volunteer.