How Did Casa Start?

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. Nationwide the CASA program has grown to a network of nearly 1,000 CASA and guardian ad litem (GAL) programs that are recruiting, training, and supporting volunteers in 49 states and the District of Columbia.

What is expected of a CASA?

Judges appoint CASA volunteers to represent the best interests of children due to abuse or neglect. Each year, more than 600,000 children experience foster care in this country.

In most cases, a CASA/GAL volunteers stay with each case until it closes. The child is placed in a safe, permanent home. For many abused children, their CASA/GAL volunteer will be the one constant adult presence in their lives.

Volunteers get to know the child by talking with the child and others in the child's life, such as, parents and relatives, foster parents, teachers, medical professionals, attorneys, social workers, and others. They use the information they gather and submit a report to the judge overseeing the case prior to court hearings.

How to become a CASA?

CASA welcomes people from all walks of life. CASA is simply looking for people who are committed and care about children. As a volunteer, you will be thoroughly trained and well supported by professional staff to help you through each case. Requirements include:

  • Be 21 years old
  • Be willing to complete necessary background checks, provide references, and participate in an interview
  • Complete a 30-hour new volunteer training and annual continuing education
  • Be available as needed for court appearances

South Dakota CASA Program Facts:

6 Local CASA Program Offices

Serves 31 Countries

1,151 children received CASA services in 2016

242 volunteers provided CASA services in 2016

South Dakota CASA Program

First Circuit CASA Program

1st Judicial Circuit

115 E 11th Ave

Mitchell, SD 57301


Phone: 605.996.1212

Email: jackie.horton@mitchellcasa.org

Mitchell CASA

Southeast Circuit CASA Program

1st Judicial Circuit

327 Broadway Ave., Ste. 8

PO Box 7017

Yankton, SD 57078


Phone: 605.760.4825

Email: contactus@southeastcasa.org

Southeast CASA

Sioux Falls Circuit CASA Program

2nd Judicial Circuit

300 N Dakota Ave., Ste. 609

PO Box 1901

Sioux Falls, SD 57101-1901


Phone: 605.339.9492

Email: stacey@siouxfallscasa.org

Sioux Falls CASA

East Central Program

3rd Judicial Circuit

1215 Trail Ridge Road

Brookings, SD 57006


Phone: 605.697.6106

Email: ccasadir@brookings.net

East Central CASA

Northern Hills Area CASA Program

4th Judicial Circuit

741 North 5th Street

Spearfish, SD 57783


Phone:605.722.4558

Email: kkelly@nhcasa.org

Northern Hills CASA

Seventh Circuit CASA Program

7th Judicial Circuit

2650 Jackson Blvd.

Rapid City, SD 57702


Phone:605.394.2203

Email: kehalatb@casaofrapidcity.org

Rapid City CASA

South Dakota State Casa

500 East Capitol Ave.

Pierre, SD 57501


Phone: 605.773.8459 (office)

Email: sara.kelly@ujs.state.sd.us

South Dakota State Casa

Mission

The South Dakota CASA, in collaboration with the National CASA Association and the South Dakota Unified Judicial System, State Court Administrator's Office is committed to providing leadership, support, and encouragement to the state's CASA programs that provide a service to the court that oversees child abuse and neglect cases and to the children involved in the court proceedings.

Vision

For every child in South Dakota to live in a safe and nurturing home.

Value

Support success in partnership, welcome teamwork and cooperation, grow with knowledge and experience, understand uniqueness, and ensure transparency.