All children have a right to a home with loving people to care for them. But each year, in the United States, millions of children are abused, neglected, or abandoned by their families. Over half a million children are removed from their homes and placed in foster care or institutions each year. Their only “crime” is that they have been victims.

In these cases, many children also become victims a second time, lost in an overburdened child welfare system that cannot pay close attention to each child whose life is in its hands. Sometimes a child can remain adrift in foster care for months, even years.

That’s where CASA comes in. Local programs recruit and train community volunteers to become CASA volunteers. Their primary role is to speak up for abused and neglected children in court. Since the first program in Maryland began in 1987, CASA programs have trained thousands of volunteers who assist abused and neglected children.