In 1976, Superior Court Judge David Soukup of Seattle, Washington, observed a recurring problem where there was too little information in the courtroom upon which to base a decision about a child’s future. He raised funding to recruit and train community volunteers to obtain information and 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 Association was established to direct CASA’s emerging national presence.
In 1988, Georgia CASA began as a demonstration project of Kids of Georgia Need Volunteers, Inc. In 1989, two pilot CASA programs in Georgia were formed. In 1992, Georgia CASA gained independent, nonprofit status and began transitioning local CASA programs into independence.
In 1996, Mrs. Miriam Bryant, who worked with a CASA program in Maryland before moving to Bulloch County in 1995, approached Superior Court Chief Judge William Woodrum Jr. about whether a CASA program would help to serve the children in the Ogeechee Judicial Circuit. Judge Woodrum agreed..
CASA Ogeechee excitedly opened its doors as an independent, non-profit organization according to IRS Code Section 501 (c) (3), in February of 2002.
In 2016, we changed our corporate name to Child Advocacy Services SEGA, Inc. to reflect the additional services we provide to foster children and their families. We now have two Visitation Centers (link to a page for the Visitation Centers here) in which children have regular supervised visits in a home-like environment with their parents who are actively seeking reunification.
Through individualized attention, CASA volunteers advocate for the best interests of Georgia’s abused and neglected children. Bringing urgency to a child’s needs, both in and out of the courtroom, CASA volunteers promote safety, permanency and well-being through independent recommendations. As community partners in the child welfare system, CASA volunteers increase abused and neglected children’s access to services (including educational and health needs), promote safety, and advocate for timeliness and permanency for children involved in juvenile court proceedings. CASA volunteers are independent advocates and provide individualized attention for children in a massive state system.
Each abused or neglected child involved in juvenile court proceedings shall have a safe and permanent home as quickly as possible through the work of specially trained, compassionate people from all walks of life who advocate for the well-being of Georgia’s children in foster care.