ABOUT US 2018-01-11T14:20:51+00:00

About Us

Each year, thousands of abused and neglected children in Georgia are placed in foster care.

They live in our communities and neighborhoods. She may be the quiet girl in your son’s class, who had to move homes and change schools three times in the last year. He may be the lonely child at the park who never joins the game.

These children should be treated with dignity and respect — not merely survive. They deserve the chance to live in a safe, loving and permanent home. Georgia CASA helps ensure that a qualified, compassionate adult — a CASA volunteer — will bring a sense of urgency to these children’s needs and speak up for their best interests.

Georgia Court Appointed Special Advocates, Inc. develops and supports court-sanctioned, community-based affiliate programs that provide trained and supervised volunteers to advocate for the best interests of abused and neglected children involved in juvenile court dependency proceedings.
Each abused or neglected child involved in juvenile court proceedings shall have a safe and permanent home.
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 1977, a CASA pilot program was formed based on Judge Soukup’s idea. In 1982, the National CASA Association was established to direct CASA’s emerging national presence.

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

20,000 children

will find themselves in 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.

2,400 CASA volunteers

help change children’s lives every day.


Our Volunteers

CASA volunteers are everyday people from all walks of life who advocate for the well-being of Georgia’s children in foster care. They are specially trained and appointed by the court to speak up for a child’s best interests. Their sole purpose is to provide compassionate, individualized attention that will help each child in foster care find a safe, permanent home.


CASA Volunteers Make A Difference

Data shows that a child with a CASA Volunteer is more likely to:

  • Find a safe, permanent home
  • Experience fewer foster placements and spend less time in long-term foster care
  • Participate in extracurricular and social activities
  • Succeed in school
  • Receive needed services such as physical and mental health screenings/treatment and educational support as CASA volunteers are successful in having their recommendations adopted by the court
  • Avoid re-entry into foster care

Success Stories


Siblings Placed Back Home

CASA Volunteer Advocates for Blind Toddler

Volunteer Of The Year

More than 2,400 CASA volunteers across the state advocate for abused and neglected children in Georgia, promoting safety, a permanent home and overall well-being for each child in foster care.

Each year, a deserving volunteer receives the CASA Volunteer of the Year in Georgia Award based on exceptional service to the children in their community.


Voices Raising Voices

Every day, CASA volunteers in Georgia raise their voices in court to tell a child’s story, thereby helping a judge set the best possible course for that child’s future. More CASA volunteers are needed so that more children can benefit from having a voice for their best interests in court.


Our Board

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.

Rod Walker, Chair
Brand Velocity Consulting
Kip Lynch, Vice Chair
Becky Wallis, Secretary
Community Volunteer
David Pipes, Treasurer
Arby’s Restaurant Group
Jennifer Alewine, Esq.
Troutman Sanders
Michelle Barclay, Esq.
Committee on Justice for Children
Presiding Judge Anne Elizabeth Barnes
Court of Appeals of Georgia
Debbie Caras
Jenohn Carter
Sunrise Assisted Living at Webb Ginn
Dawn Charleston-Green
CASA of the Augusta Judicial Circuit
John Gilberto
United Parcel Service
Steve Gill
Gwinnett County CASA
Petula Gomillion
Atlantic Area CASA, Inc.
Freda Hammonds
Business Owner
Stone Mountain
Marie Hannon
C. Parks Catering
Bernadette Hartfield, Esq.
Community Volunteer
Charmagne Helton
PRM Consulting Group
Charlotte King
Snowden & King Marketing Communications
Katina Lett, Esq.
American Cancer Society
Velicia Lowe (Council of Programs Representative)
CASA of Houston County, Inc.
Warner Robins
Jack O. McMillan, Jr.
Global Drying Equipment
Mandira Mehra
MRI Software
Julia Neighbors, Esq.
Prevent Child Abuse Georgia
Wendy Polson
Kristy Rachal, Esq.
Georgia Power Company
Ann Rotroff, Esq.
Attorney at Law
Dianne Scoggins
CASA of the Appalachian Judicial Circuit
Lee Todd
Savannah College of Art & Design
John P. Adams, Jr.
Retired – SunTrust Bank
Ann Barrett
Community Volunteer
Ethel Ware Carter
Regional Council of Churches
Richard Childers
Childers Associates
Solveig Harden
Community Volunteer
Roya Irvani
Community Volunteer
Kellyn O. McGee, Esq.
Savannah Law School
Marcy McTier
Community Volunteer
Donna Shapiro, Esq.
Community Volunteer
Nicki N. Vaughan, Esq., Co-Founder
Attorney at Law
Nancy Wood
Communications Consultants

Our Staff

The Georgia CASA staff is dedicated to ensuring the state’s network of affiliate programs have the training and resources needed to serve the best interests of children in foster care.

Duaine Hathaway
Executive Director
Alicia Darden
Project Manager
Lori Derhammer
Communications & Marketing Manager
Joyce Jones
Staff Associate
Jennifer King
Program Operations Director
Lori Pupp
Advocacy Specialist
Regina Roberts
Special Projects Coordinator
Ewansiha Simmons
Technical Support Manager
Angela Tyner
Director of Advocacy and Program Development