Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) for Children

CASA logo
When was your organization founded and what is its mission statement?

1994. CASA for Children exists to promote and protect the best interest of abused or neglected children involved in the juvenile courts, by training volunteers to advocate for them in courts, in schools and in our community to help them find safe, permanent and loving homes.

Who is your director?

Juan Pablo Molina

What programs and services does your organization offer and to whom are they offered?

We advocate for children who have been victims of abuse and neglect by conducting independent research on the situation of these children and preparing a report of the Juvenile and Domestic Relations Judge.

Please list any available statistics demonstrating your organization’s recent successes:

Last year, we served a total of 107 children with 67 volunteers that we selected and trained, in all our areas of service: Lexington, Buena Vista, Rockbridge, Staunton, Augusta, Waynesboro, Harrisonburg and Rockingham. We currently have 1 CASA Resident, 8 interns, 3 full-time staff and 1 part-time staff.

Please list any important upcoming events/milestones and dates for each:

April 16: BBQ Texas style with live music at Serendipity Farm. https://casa4children.kindful.com/?campaign=229761

Please list any community partnerships (existing or planned):

Washington and Lee: Community Grant, Shepherd Higher Education Consortium on Poverty. United Way, Community Foundation, Chamber of Commerce, Juvenile and Domestic Relations Court, Department of Social Services, Community Services Board.

What volunteer opportunities are available at your agency? Please be as specific as possible:

We have a 10 to 1 volunteer to staff ratio. People can volunteer with us as: 1. child advocates: go through our training and advocate for a child. 2. committee member: help us organize events to raise funds and create awareness of our mission to the community. 3. office volunteers: help us with different tasks at the office. 4. expert: help us in an area you have expertise in, e.g. graphic design, etc. If you are searching for a year-long activity to gain experience, you can apply to our CASA Resident program. If accepted, you will be part of our team, working with us part-time weekly as a non-paid intern, helping us implement special projects and grow as an organization.

Please list your organization’s website and links to any social media accounts:
Why is working for this organization important to you?

1. We make a meaningful true impact on the life of children who are at a critical point in their lives.

2. We offer adults an opportunity to have a meaningful and transformative volunteering experience. Our volunteers know how important they work is and the impact they have.

3. We offer donors the option to invest in a social enterprise that follows a proven model that can show its success through measurable results.

What is your favorite memory of working with this organization?

Every day here is different. It would be difficult to chose a day or a memory. Once I cried in front of around 200 people at JMU while giving a speech after watching a very touching short film called “Removed” (you should watch it, it’s on the web). I enjoy working with my staff team every day. We support each other. I really enjoy getting to know our volunteers. They are so different as people, they come to CASA from different walks of life and for different reasons. But they all want to help children, and they all put a lot of effort in advocating for them. It is a beautiful thing to watch over time and I am proud of being part of it.