About Us

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.

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 45 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.

2,600 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 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 Volunteers Make A Difference

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

  • Find a safe, permanent home when reunification with family isn’t likely

  • 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


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 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.


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

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
Rachelle Wilson Mosely
Marketing Director
Lori Derhammer
Communications & Donor Relations Manager
Heidi Grimmett
Advocacy Specialist
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