To recruit, train, and empower community volunteers to advocate for children who have experienced abuse or neglect in West Virginia’s Berkeley, Jefferson, and Morgan counties.
CASA-EP empowers volunteers to directly influence life-changing decisions affecting children in foster care. Trained and supervised by CASA-EP’s staff of professionals, volunteer advocates become sworn officers of the court before being carefully matched with a child.
As a CASA Volunteer you will:
CASA-EP recruits, trains, and empowers community volunteers to become court-appointed special advocates for all children who have experienced abuse and neglect in West Virginia’s Berkeley, Jefferson, and Morgan counties. CASA-EP is committed to better understanding and honoring every child that has a unique circumstance and special factors, especially those from historically marginalized groups. Racial and ethnic differences may be most evident, but we also recognize important differences in heritage, cultural background, religion, gender identity, sexual orientation, socioeconomic status, persons with disabilities and other underrepresented identities. CASA-EP commits to value these differences and varied strengths among us to better serve the children of our region and, ultimately, our larger community. CASA-EP undertakes this commitment not only in writing, but by strengthening our communications, training, operations, community relationships and overall climate of inclusion to be reflective of the identities of the most vulnerable children in the Eastern Panhandle of West Virginia.
Although their cases are among the most difficult and heartbreaking, children with court-appointed volunteers cycle through fewer foster placements and spend less time in foster care.
They reach safe, permanent homes and loving families more quickly. What’s that worth to a child? To our region? To our state? The answer in dollars is impressive: $1.6 million a year in savings on foster care alone.
The answer for everything else we value as a society—health, happiness, resilience, hope, strength, human potential, faith in ourselves, and in our neighbors—is beyond measure.
Through persistence, partnership, and passion for our mission, CASA-EP now serves over 200 children annually in the Eastern Panhandle.
Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) is a national volunteer movement. Its founder, Seattle Superior Court Judge David Soukup, decided he couldn’t endure any more sleepless nights worrying about the lifelong impact his decisions had on abused and neglected children.
He thought well-trained volunteers could ensure that children’s voices were heard and provide judges with the necessary insight to make the best possible decisions.
By 1977, Judge Soukup formed the first CASA program to recruit, train, and supervise everyday people who volunteered to build meaningful relationships and advocate for abused and neglected children in juvenile dependency court. Today, close to 1,000 CASA programs work within state networks and in affiliation with the National CASA Association to serve our nation’s most vulnerable children.
The CASA-EP program was started in 2003 through the hard work and dedication of Joan Piemme and Val Smith.
VP, Bachner Communications
Washington County Public Schools
Retired Education Administrator
Jefferson Security Bank
Rev. Dean Lawrence
Zion Episcopal Church
Jefferson County Prosecutor’s Office
Rev. GT Schramm
Trinity Episcopal Church
Community Mental Health
Kathy Santa Barbara
Director of Training & Development
Outreach & Marketing