ABOUT US 2019-09-23T15:39:18+00:00

About Us

Each year, thousands of children in Georgia who have experienced abuse or neglect 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 and 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 these children’s needs – by amplifying their voices – and improve their experiences in foster care.

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

21,000 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.

2,770 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 who experience foster care. They are specially trained and appointed by the court to amplify a child’s voice 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 isn’t likely.


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


CASA Volunteer Does Research & Finds Relevant Information about Family in Foster Care

CASA Volunteer’s Persistence Benefits Youth and Her Grandfather

Volunteer Of The Year

More than 2,700 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

Connie (right) with CASA Coordinator Emily

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.

Kip Lynch, Chair
Mandira Mehra, Vice Chair
MRI Software
Becky Wallis, Secretary
Community Volunteer
Jack McMillan, Treasurer
Global Drying Equipment
Susan Abramson
Real Estate Management
Jennifer Alewine, Esq.
Alewine Law
Michelle Barclay, Esq.
Committee on Justice for Children
Presiding Judge Anne Elizabeth Barnes
Court of Appeals of Georgia
Debbie Caras
John Gilberto
Retired – UPS
Petula Gomillion
Atlantic Area CASA, Inc.
Marie Hannon
C. Parks Catering
Kim Harrington
Georgia Tech
Bernadette Hartfield, Esq.
Community Volunteer
Daniel Hathaway
Hathaway Development
Katy Hilbert (Council of Programs Representative)
Children’s Voice: CASA, Inc.
Jane Hale Hopkins
Coca-Cola Scholars Foundation
Lauren Hyatt
American Cancer Society
Charlotte King
Snowden & King Marketing Communications
Nan McIntosh (Council of Programs Representative)
CASA of Southwest Georgia, Inc.
Julia Neighbors, Esq.
Prevent Child Abuse Georgia
Wendy Polson
Kristy Rachal, Esq.
Georgia Power Company
Ann Rotroff, Esq.
Community Volunteer
Dianne Scoggins
Community Volunteer
Connie Sultani
Fidelity Bank
Judge John Worcester
Superior Court – Appalachian Judicial Circuit
Blue Ridge
John P. Adams, Jr.
Retired – SunTrust Bank
Ann Barrett
Community Volunteer
Ethel Ware Carter
Regional Council of Churches
Richard Childers
Community Volunteer
Solveig Harden
Community Volunteer
Roya Irvani
Community Volunteer
Kellyn O. McGee, Esq.
State Bar of Georgia
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 improve the experiences of children in foster care.

Jennifer King
Executive Director
Alicia Darden
Project Manager
Lori Derhammer
Communications & Marketing Manager
Deidre Hollands
Program Operations Director
Joyce Jones
Staff Associate
Regina Roberts
Special Projects Coordinator
Ewansiha Simmons
Technical Support Manager
Angela Tyner
Director of Advocacy and Program Development
Shontel Wright
Impact Director
Lafayette Young
Advocacy Specialist