Our History

Speaking up for the best interest of abused and neglected children in the court system.

Champaign County Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) is a not-for-profit organization which recruits, trains, and monitors volunteers who advocate for the best interests of abused and neglected children.  CASA volunteers work through the juvenile court system to facilitate prompt delivery of services and make independent recommendations to the court concerning the child’s well-being.

In 1994, Champaign County CASA was incorporated with the full support of Circuit Court Judge John R. DeLaMar. Concerned that life-altering decisions were being made concerning abused and neglected children’s lives without sufficient information, he welcomed CASA volunteers into his courtroom and recognized their impact as an independent voice for each child.

On December 1, 2002, CASA became the guardian ad litem (GAL) for Champaign County—which means we’re the legal entity that represents the legal interests and rights of children who have been abused and/or neglected. CASA now serves as the GAL for virtually all children involved in a juvenile abuse and neglect case. This affords the children we serve a more powerful voice—a voice that’s focused on their best interests.