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. 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.

All children who experience abuse or neglect have the opportunity to thrive and reach their full potential with the support of permanent connections to family.

  • Collaboration
  • Compassion
  • Accountability
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/GAL Association for Children 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 44 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.

2,600 CASA volunteers

help change children’s lives every day.

READ MORE ABOUT CASA’S STORY

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.

BECOME A VOLUNTEER

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

Recognition


Teenage Youth’s CASA Volunteer Stands by Her Side through Adoption

CASA Volunteer Instrumental in Young Guatemalan Child Being Reunited with Her Mother

Volunteer Of The Year

Nearly 2,600 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.

LATEST HONOREE

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.

LEARN MORE

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.

Lauren Hyatt, Chair
American Cancer Society
Marietta
Kim Harrington, Vice Chair
Georgia Tech
Douglasville
Dianne Scoggins, Secretary
Community Volunteer
Ellijay
Daniel Hathaway, Treasurer
Hathaway Development
Atlanta
Jennifer Alewine, Esq.
Alewine Law
Atlanta
Judge Anne Barnes
Court of Appeals of Georgia
Atlanta
Debbie Caras
ADP
Dunwoody
Elena Chang
Renegade Consulting Collective
Atlanta
Wendy Cobb
Peraton
Atlanta
Sandy Day
Community Philanthropist
Atlanta
Chelsea DeWaters (Council of Programs Representative)
Murray/Whitfield CASA
Dalton
Marie Hannon
C. Parks Catering
Atlanta
Katherine Herndon
Truist
Brookhaven
Jane Hale Hopkins
Coca-Cola Scholars Foundation
Atlanta
Charlene Maldonado (Council of Programs Representative)
Dougherty CASA
Albany
Mandira Mehra
MRI Software
Atlanta
Don Miller
CASA Volunteer
Jasper
Louise Moore
Community Volunteer
Atlanta
Julia Neighbors, Esq.
State Bar of Georgia
Atlanta
Susanna Patterson, Esq. (Council of Programs Representative)
Central Georgia CASA
Macon
Carlene Redmond
Juvenile Court of Cobb County
Mableton
Ann Rotroff, Esq.
Community Volunteer
Atlanta
Jeff Sprinkle
Community Volunteer
Berkeley Lake
Heather Steen
Central Garden and Pet
Dunwoody
Marvin Vaughn
Alexander Mann Solutions
Acworth
Rod Walker
Kearney
Atlanta
Susie Weller (Council of Programs Representative)
Children First (Athens-Oconee CASA)
Athens
Danielle Wilkes
Junior Achievement of Georgia
Atlanta
Judge John Worcester
Superior Court – Appalachian Judicial Circuit
Blue Ridge
Duaine Hathaway
Retired – Georgia CASA
Newnan
 
John P. Adams, Jr.
Retired – SunTrust (now Truist)
Atlanta
Michelle Barclay
Administrative Office of the Courts
Atlanta
Ann Barrett
Community Volunteer
Atlanta
Ethel Ware Carter
Day1 – Alliance for Christian Media
Atlanta
Bernadette Hartfield
Retired – Georgia State University
Atlanta
Roya Irvani
Community Volunteer
Atlanta
Kellyn O. McGee, Esq.
State Bar of Georgia
Atlanta
Jack McMillan
Global Drying Equipment
Sandy Springs
Marcy McTier
Community Volunteer
Atlanta
Donna Shapiro, Esq.
Community Volunteer
Atlanta
Nicki N. Vaughan, Esq., Co-Founder
Attorney at Law
Gainesville
Nancy Wood
Communications Consultants
Atlanta

Our Team

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.

Jennifer King
Executive Director
Deidre Hollands
Program Operations Director
Ewansiha Simmons
Finance & Administration Director
Angela Tyner
Advocacy Director
Lori Derhammer
Communications & Donor Relations Manager
Joyce Jones
Staff Associate
Alicia Jordan
Training & Data Manager
Shauna McCullough-Hightower
Network Services Coordinator
Lori Pupp
Grants & Contracts Manager
LaFayette Young
Training & Inclusion Specialist