Providing a Voice for Those Who Need It Most

Playing on the school playground, going to your first sleepover, hearing the ice cream truck approaching your street—these are all things that take you back to your childhood and likely conjure up memories of joy and contentment. Unfortunately, this is not the case for all children. Some are victims of abuse, neglect, and lose their voice in a system that doesn’t always work on their behalf. Thankfully, there are organizations like CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocates) of Arizona that train volunteers to give a voice to these children and advocate for their best interests. CASA strives to ensure that society is fulfilling its most fundamental obligation to children in need, and we are honored to highlight the critical work they are doing for children across the nation.


CASA of Arizona is part of a large, national organization called The National CASA/GAL Association for Children. This organization operates in 49 states and provides court-appointed volunteer advocacy so that every child who has experienced abuse or neglect can be safe, have a permanent home, and the opportunity to thrive.

CASA of Arizona was founded in 1985 and has served over 27,000 children since its founding. Since its founding in Maricopa County, CASA has grown to now have 15 county CASA programs administered by the CASA of Arizona office. A child who benefitted from having a CASA has said, “To give a child a CASA is to give them a voice. To give them a voice is to give them hope, and to give them hope is to give them the world”. Hope is precisely what a CASA volunteer provides to these children, and today, there are more than 1,000 volunteers serving children across Arizona.


Child abuse and neglect seem unimaginable, but it is more prevalent than realized. In a six-month period, the Child Abuse Hotline in Arizona received 21,841 calls that met the statutory criteria for a Department of Child Services report. More statistics that draw attention to the growing need for support include:

  • 38.5% of children in out-of-home care are from ages 1 to 5.
  • Children with an adoption case plan spend an average of over two years in out-of-home care.
  • The average number of placements before a child leaves the Department of Child Services in Arizona is two.

While these statistics illuminate the true problem and need, there is hope. Last year, the number of children in out-of-home care decreased, a sign that the advocacy being provided for these children is working.


So, what does a CASA volunteer do? Volunteers work with child welfare professionals, educators, and service providers to ensure judges have the information they need to make the most well-informed decisions for each child. On top of that, volunteers provide a safe space and resources for children facing abuse and neglect. Often distrusting of adults due to their lived experiences, these children need an ally, and CASA volunteers are just that.

A volunteer can change the trajectory of a child’s life and make a lasting impact. From helping the child find their voice to being their voice when they can’t find the words, the work being done is both impactful and powerful. Over 9,500 children are currently waiting for a volunteer who feels empowered to help them find a safe, loving, and permanent home. We encourage you to get involved today.