CASA celebrates 30 years of service to Shelby County

Published 4:41 pm Monday, November 27, 2023

FROM STAFF REPORTS

The Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) of Shelby County celebrated 30 years of active service to the local community this month. CASA was incorporated on Nov. 30, 1994.

CASA is a 501c3 nonprofit organization that recruits and trains volunteers who go through the court process with the intention of supporting abused and neglected children. Its long-term goal is to ensure that every child it serves has a safe and permanent home.

Since its inception, CASA has added additional services such as free parenting classes and supervised visits. CASA has also acquired the Patricia M. Smith House to provide an appropriate and safe place in an office space fit for the services they offer.

The organization was started by Juvenile Court Judge Patti Smith with the assistance of several local individuals. It has since been under the direction of Judge Jim Kramer and now includes the leadership of Judge Erin Welborn.

“We have been blessed by having only three judges in a thirty-year period,” CASA Executive Director Beth Chapman said. “It has provided us capable and consistent leadership for the children and families we serve.”

When Smith was recently reminded of the 30-year anniversary of CASA, she said that while she was proud of CASA’s long-term success, she is sad that the need for CASA still exists.

“Thankfully the CASA mission has remained the same,” Smith said. “CASA has been persistent in its work to help abused and neglected children in Shelby County through difficult times.”

Smith acknowledged and thanked the many volunteers who have contributed their time to this “worthwhile endeavor.”

CASA is funded in part by the Children’s Trust Fund of Alabama and a Shelby County Community Grant.

For more information on CASA and how to help abused and neglected children in Shelby County, visit Casaofshelbycounty.org.