National CASA History:
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. From that first program has grown a network of more than 951 CASA and Guardian ad Litem programs that are recruiting, training and supporting volunteers in 49 states and the District of Columbia.
Clermont County History:
CASA for Clermont Kids was founded in August 1998 by Karey M. Ringland a former probation officer and community advocate for abused, neglected and dependent children. Mrs. Ringland saw hundreds of children who fell through the Child Protective Services (CPS) gap during her state employment. Her overwhelming feeling of compassion and sense of helplessness led her to found the CASA for Clermont Kids agency in Batavia, Ohio.
The CASA/GAL (Court Appointed Special Advocates / Guardian ad Litem) program in Clermont County evolved from operation under an umbrella agency in 1998 to operation as a court-based program with a non-profit component in 2001 to a full 501 (c) (3) non-profit organization in 2009. When first established in 1998, the director was a volunteer position as were all the Guardians ad Litem.