About CASA

Our Mission

CASA of River Valley’s mission is to draw from community resources to provide and support advocates, whose goal is to reduce the physical, emotional, intellectual, and social impacts of abuse and neglect experienced by children involved in the Will and Grundy County Judicial Systems due to no fault of their own. We do this by recruiting and training volunteers to act as the voice of the child, provide needed information to the court, and work toward a more restorative juvenile court process.

Who We Are

The Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) program originated in Seattle, Wash., in 1977 by Judge David Soukup, the presiding judge of King County Superior Court. He was troubled by the small amount of time and information he was given to make decisions destined to change the lives of children who have experienced abuse and neglect. CASA serves as the only organization in the community that trains volunteers to be Guardians ad Litem. The court appoints these volunteers to advocate for the child’s best interest, with the goal to “Change a Child’s Story.™”

In Will and Grundy Counties, hundreds of children enter the Juvenile Justice Systems every year due to abuse and neglect. CASA of River Valley helps these children recover from the traumas they’ve endured and find safe, permanent, loving homes where they can prosper.  They stay with each child until his/her case is closed and the child is placed into a safe, permanent home with hope for a positive future.

Since 1994, CASA has served over 3,000 children. Currently CASA is able to serve 79% of children in need. With your help, we can reach our goal of serving 100% of the abused and neglected children in need of a CASA volunteer.

Who We Serve

More than 90 percent of the children we serve come from low income families. But whatever their background, every child entering the court system needs representation.

We devote countless hours to making a profound impact on these children, leading to many positive stories of reuniting with family members or finding their way out of abusive homes. In cooperation with our volunteers, partners and the community, CASA of River Valley also achieves the following results for our children:

  • More than 300 children in Will and Grundy Counties receive representation from a CASA each year
  • Children with CASAs spend an average of eight months fewer in foster care than those without representation
  • The children we serve are also less likely to re-enter the foster care system

Impact begins with you

What We Do

In addition to the representation our CASAs provide in court, our organization helps the abused and neglected children of Will and Grundy Counties overcome traumas affecting their development through a multi-faceted approach.

Our partnerships with organizations such as Bundlz of Love, Selfless Shopping, The Big Serve, Sweet Cases, Shorewood Glen Community, Project Linus, Holy Family Parish, and many more, give CASA children access to essential items. These items include blankets, books, clothes, school supplies, toiletries, bikes, coats, and bags filled with supplies for them to take to their new foster homes.
Through our partnership with Give Something Back, our CASA children will have access to Give Back mentors and the opportunity to attend college debt-free. Thanks to the funding from the Jay and Lori Bergman Charitable fund, CASA children will have mentors trained on advocating for their educational needs.
Thanks to the help of University of Illinois Extension Master Gardeners, our organization opened a children’s garden at the River Valley Justice Center in Joliet in 2017 to provide a calm, serene place for our children to play when they need to appear in court.
Through our partnership with Angel Hooves Healing Hearts, our children benefit from an innovative method of therapy. CASA of River Valley volunteers Tina and Dave established their non-profit in 2017 when they saw a need for additional coping strategies outside of counseling and developmental therapy. Their horses Tex and Wally bring comfort and smiles to our children.

How to Help

CASA of River Valley relies on community support to fulfill its mission. With as little as $1,000 per child per year we can provide the advocacy services that will positively alter a child’s future. Your gift leads to hope and encouragement for the child navigating the court system.

CASA of River Valley
3200 McDonough Street
Joliet, IL 60431


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