The mission of CASA of Cherokee Country is to be a voice for children who come into the court system as a result of abuse and/or neglect by providing trained volunteer advocates who speak independently for the best interests of the children.
What is CASA?
Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) is a non-profit organization that trains volunteers to advocate for abused and neglected children in the court system. The CASA program was developed in Seattle by a judge who was plagued with the feeling that he did not have adequate information about the cases he was hearing. There are now nearly 1,000 CASA programs in cities across the United States. Oklahoma currently has 22 local CASA programs.
In 1977, a Seattle juvenile court judge concerned about making drastic decisions with insufficient information conceived the idea of citizen volunteers speaking up for the best interests of abused and neglected children in the courtroom. From that first program has grown a network of nearly 1,000 CASA and guardian ad litem programs that are recruiting, training and supporting volunteers in 49 states and the District of Columbia.
CASA of Cherokee Country was established in 1995 and serves the children of Cherokee Nation, Adair, and Cherokee Counties. It is one of five "dual" CASA programs in the United States, serving abused and neglected children in two state courts and a tribal court. Although the geographic boundaries of the Cherokee Nation include 14 counties in northeastern Oklahoma, the Cherokee Tribal Court is located in Tahlequah, the capitol of the Cherokee Nation and the location of tribal government.