Maryland CASA Association is a private, non-profit, 501(c)(3) organization incorporated in 1997 to facilitate the continued development and success of Maryland’s Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) programs to ensure that every abused and neglected child in the State has a safe, permanent home.
In 1977, Seattle Superior Court Judge David Soukup was concerned about trying to make decisions on behalf of abused and neglected children with very limited information. He conceived the idea of appointing community volunteers to speak up for the best interests of these children in court. He made a request for volunteers; 50 citizens responded, and that was the start of the CASA movement.
The first CASA program in Maryland started in 1987 and, since then, fourteen additional programs have started. Maryland CASA Association was incorporated in 1997 as a private, nonprofit, 501(c)3 organization, to advance the individual efforts of the local CASA programs, help to start new CASA programs where needed, and serve more of the state’s abused and neglected children. Maryland CASA officially opened its doors in 1998 and has helped to start seven new CASA programs throughout the state, expanding the number of counties served by CASA to twenty. Today, Maryland CASA continues its efforts to expand CASA’s reach to the remaining four counties in the state.