Each year, thousands of children in Georgia who have experienced abuse or neglect are placed in foster care.
We share communities and neighborhoods. She may be the girl in your son’s class, who had to move homes and change schools three times in the last year. He may be the child at the park who never joins the game.
All children should be treated with dignity and respect — not merely survive. Children deserve the chance to live in a safe, permanent home when reunification with their parents isn’t likely. Georgia CASA helps ensure that a qualified, compassionate adult — a CASA volunteer — will bring a sense of urgency to meet the needs of all children – by advocating for their best interests – and improve their experiences in foster care.
Georgia Court Appointed Special Advocates, Inc. strengthens and supports court-sanctioned, affiliate CASA programs that empower
community volunteers who advocate for abused or neglected children and contributes to advancements within the child welfare system.
Georgia CASA is committed to maintaining a network of well-administered affiliate programs that operate independently with mutual accountability, resulting in the highest level of advocacy for all of Georgia’s dependent children.
In 1976, Superior Court Judge David Soukup of Seattle, Washington, observed a recurring problem in the courtroom. He recognized that there was too little information available to base life-changing decisions about the safety, permanency and well-being of children. To address this problem, he raised funds to recruit and train community volunteers to speak on behalf of children in court.
In 1988, Georgia CASA began originally as Kids of Georgia Need Volunteers, Inc. The next year, two pilot CASA programs were formed in Georgia and the first CASA volunteers were sworn in. In 1992, the nonprofit’s name was changed to Georgia CASA, Inc., and CASA programs were transitioned into independence. Today, Georgia CASA supports 46 affiliate programs across the state. Check out our directory to locate an affiliate program in your area.
CASA Programs Change Lives
Nearly 16,000 children
will find themselves experiencing foster care this year.
A Wise Investment
One year of CASA advocacy costs less than one month of foster care.
CASA Programs Change Lives
A child with a CASA volunteer is more likely to find a safe, permanent home when reunification with family isn’t likely.
CASA volunteers are everyday people from all walks of life who advocate for the well-being of Georgia’s children who experience foster care. They are specially trained and appointed by the court to advocate for a child’s best interest and improve a child’s experience in foster care. Their sole purpose is to provide compassionate, individualized attention that will help each child in foster care find a safe, permanent home when reunification with family isn’t likely.
CASA Volunteer Discovers Child’s Unmet Medical Need
As the CASA volunteer appointed to “Sam,” Kimberly did an extensive review of his medical records and was surprised to discover a recommendation from an orthopedic surgeon that had not been addressed. The recommendation was overlooked by all others with access to the same information. At Sam’s court hearing, Kimberly advocated for immediate attention of this overlooked medical issue, which resulted in corrective surgery for Sam’s leg, happening within just a few weeks. Had it not been for Kimberly’s detailed research, related findings, and persistence, Sam’s unmet medical need would have resulted in irreparable damage to his leg.
CASA Volunteer Advocates through Challenges for Boy to Be Adopted by His Uncle
CASA volunteer Bob advocated for “Ryker,” an eight-year-old boy who had lingered in foster care over three years. Since reuniting Ryker with his mother was not an option, Bob began advocating for Ryker to be placed with his uncle. This case was challenging with the uncle actively serving in the military and stationed out of the country with a limited number of opportunities to return to the United States to be present at Ryker’s court hearings. Yet throughout the duration of the case, Bob maintained contact with the uncle. Once the uncle returned to the United States, he was able to visit with Ryker regularly and after four years in foster care, Ryker was adopted by his uncle.
While advocating for Ryker’s best interests, Bob learned the ins and outs of military adoption, communicated regular case updates to the uncle during his deployments, and helped Ryker maintain a bond – via video – with his uncle. Through all the challenges and potential obstacles, Bob never gave up on finding a way for Ryker to be adopted by his uncle and have a permanent home.
Volunteer Of The Year
Over 2,500 CASA volunteers across the state serve children in foster care in Georgia, advocating for their overall well-being.
Each year, a deserving volunteer is named the CASA Volunteer of the Year in Georgia based on exceptional service to the children in the community.
Kimberly Force of Gwinnett County CASA Named CASA Volunteer of the Year in Georgia
Kimberly Force, CASA volunteer with Gwinnett County CASA in Lawrenceville, has been chosen as the 2023 Karen N. Sibley CASA Volunteer of the Year in Georgia. (The award is named in honor of the late founding board chair of Georgia CASA.) Kimberly was officially awarded at the Georgia CASA Conference in Atlanta on August 12th.
Kimberly has spent nearly five years as a CASA volunteer, serving as the “eyes and ears of the court” and consistently providing comprehensive reports from extensive research and investigation. Her approach to each case is meticulous, similar to an investigative reporter, as she carefully examines facts, interviews witnesses, and considers every request in the child’s best interest.
“Kimberly treats every case with specialness,” says Gwinnett County CASA Program Director Ericka McClam. “She finds the opportunity in each case to grow in herself beyond the role of the volunteer. I think that’s what makes her special. Many of the cases that she’s involved with are not necessarily in the wheelhouse of her personal life, but she finds a way to be very respectful, engaging, open, and having very good opportunities to find a way to learn in her experiences with this work. I really appreciate that about her personality, it shows that she uses her competencies as pluses to learn from these experiences.”
Kimberly’s reports are known for their attention to detail and effective communication. As a CASA volunteer, she brings a broader perspective, allowing her to conduct more thorough, impartial, and fact-based interviews that result in court orders closely aligned with her recommendations. Kimberly’s dedication to her work and the satisfaction of being an integral part of a child’s safety and protection motivates her to continue her vital work.
The Board of Directors has ultimate responsibility for Georgia CASA fulfilling its mission. Board members develop policies that promote the mission, provide direction and oversight to the executive director, ensure the fiscal vitality of the organization, and maintain accountability to the community.
John P. Adams, Jr.
Retired – SunTrust (now Truist)
Administrative Office of the Courts
Ethel Ware Carter
Day1 – Alliance for Christian Media
Retired – Georgia State University
Kellyn O. McGee, Esq.
State Bar of Georgia
Global Drying Equipment
Donna Shapiro, Esq.
Nicki N. Vaughan, Esq., Co-Founder
Attorney at Law
Nancy Wood Communications Consultants
The Georgia CASA team is dedicated to ensuring the state’s network of affiliate programs have the training and resources needed to improve the experiences of children in foster care.
Executive Director email@example.com
Jennifer returned to our staff in 2002 after previously working at Georgia CASA for several years. She has served in various capacities, including as Program Operations Director before becoming Executive Director in October 2018. Jennifer has also worked with United Way of Metro Atlanta, AmeriCorps and America’s Promise. She holds a master’s degree in nonprofit administration from Georgia State University and a bachelor’s degree in child and adolescent development from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro.
Program Operations Director
Program Operations Director firstname.lastname@example.org
Coming on staff in August of 2018, Deidre previously served for 18 years in Cherokee County, first as a CASA volunteer, then a CASA staff member and most recently as the founding Executive Director of The Children’s Haven. As a life-long victim advocate, Deidre’s work is driven by her commitment and compassion for children and families. Deidre has a paralegal certification and several leadership certifications.
Deidre is always up for an adventure in nature with those close to her. She enjoys traveling with her friends and family but is always excited to come home to her three cats.
Finance & Administration Director
Finance & Administration Director email@example.com
Ewansiha has been with Georgia CASA since 2000. A former intern with the Atlanta Urban League, Ewansiha has a bachelor’s degree in African-American studies from Morehouse College.
Advocacy Director firstname.lastname@example.org
Angela has been the Advocacy Director for Georgia CASA since 2004. In her role, she provides technical assistance and consultation to the CASA network and participates in and contributes to policy and legislative reform efforts. She educates CASA staff and volunteers on juvenile court dependency practice and procedure and strengthening best interest advocacy and serves on several stateside task forces, committees, and workgroups driving systemic child welfare improvement. Angela is passionate about quality legal representation for all parties in dependency proceedings. She received her bachelor’s degree in English from the University of Georgia and her JD from Mercer Law and has been a certified Child Welfare Law Specialist since 2017.
Angela and her two boys live in Newnan.
Rachelle Wilson Mosely
Rachelle Wilson Mosely
Marketing Director email@example.com
Rachelle Wilson Mosely joined Georgia CASA in Fall 2022. Hailing from Macon, Rachelle is happy to return as an Atlanta resident for the first time since earning her bachelor’s degree in economics at Georgia State University. Through an academic partnership between the United States Peace Corps and Illinois State University, she earned her master’s degree while simultaneously serving in the Kingdom of Morocco, where she specialized in youth and community development.
Rachelle is a passionate storyteller committed to sharing the experiences of those who are historically marginalized and overlooked. She loves to read and write but can also be found attempting to learn a new musical instrument or being dragged on a hike by her outdoorsy husband.
Communications & Donor Relations Manager
Communications & Donor Relations Manager firstname.lastname@example.org
Lori came to Georgia CASA in 2001. She has a Bachelor of Business Administration degree, with a major in marketing, from Valdosta State University. She was previously employed at TSYS in Columbus, Georgia.
Lori enjoys reading, hiking, camping, biking, and spending time with her family and pets.
Advocacy Specialist email@example.com
Heidi came to Georgia CASA in Fall 2022. She has a bachelor’s degree in Human Services from Purdue University with a minor in Organizational Leadership and Supervision. Prior to joining Georgia CASA, Heidi worked for over ten years with local CASA affiliates in various positions, most recently as an Advocacy Director. She has a passion for recognizing and focusing on strengths in families and building relationships amongst organizations in order to best serve children and families.
Heidi is a mama to her three littles and enjoys reading and not sharing snacks after they go to bed.
Staff Associate firstname.lastname@example.org
Coming on staff in 2000, Joyce was previously Administrative Assistant with the Atlanta Urban League’s Employment Department. Among her duties at the Georgia CASA office, Joyce assists the affiliate CASA programs by providing requested materials and information as needed.
Joyce has a few seasonal hobbies and interests, but her year-round interest is caring for and nurturing her house plants.
Training & Data Manager
Alicia “Ali” Jordan
Training & Data Manager email@example.com
Ali has been with Georgia CASA since November of 2008. She worked for a public accounting firm in Atlanta and taught high school business classes prior to joining Georgia CASA. Ali received her Master of Education in Occupational Studies and Bachelor of Science in Economics from the University of Georgia.
Though a creature of comfort, and a lover of baking, books, and freshly brewed tea, travel satisfies Ali’s occasional craving for adventure – just make sure to pack a blanket for warmth!
Network Services Coordinator firstname.lastname@example.org
Shauna joined Georgia CASA in July of 2022. She previously worked for a public accounting firm in Atlanta supporting multiple partners and service lines. She received her Bachelor of Business Administration with a concentration in Nonprofit Management in December 2022 from Southern New Hampshire University.
Shauna enjoys gardening and watching 60 years of Dr. Who.
Grants & Contracts Manager
Grants & Contracts Manager email@example.com
Lori Pupp has over 20 years of child welfare, advocacy, and leadership experience. She has served in the social service arena both in the public and non-profit settings. After earning her BA at the University of North Georgia, Lori gained broad child welfare experience working as an employee of the Division of Family and Children Services and in a variety of roles within the CASA organization at both the local and state levels. Lori has a passion for and unique understanding of the power of partnerships between agencies and families to achieve extraordinary outcomes for children.
Lori enjoys reading and being outdoors hiking, gardening, or just back porch sittin’!
Training & Inclusion Specialist
LaFayette Young, Jr.
Training & Inclusion Specialist firstname.lastname@example.org
LaFayette has dedicated his career to the field of child welfare, serving children and families for nearly 18 years. He obtained a Master of Social Work from Erikson Institute, concentrating on children and families and child development, and is currently a doctoral candidate studying social work at Capella University. In addition, LaFayette has a passion for social justice, diversity, equity, and inclusion as well as trauma-informed racial healing practice and responses.
In his spare time, you will find him singing harmonious melodies and joining the Marvel Universe for Justice on the best console there is – PS5!