CASA 20th Receives National Certification

CONWAY, AR – Court Appointed Special Advocates of the 20th Judicial District, serving Faulkner, Van Buren & Searcy counties has just been awarded certification by the National Court Appointed Special Advocates Association.  This certification recognizes that CASA 20th is in compliance with National CASA’s high standards for quality of advocacy for abused and neglected children.

According to Michael Piraino, CEO of the National CASA Association, “The National CASA quality assurance process is very rigorous, and reflects our commitment to ensure every child we serve has the most powerful volunteer advocates working on their behalf.  This certification says CASA 20th has demonstrated to us a strong capacity to provide excellent services to the abused and neglected children within their community.”

The CASA 20th program was started in November 2000, after a number of years of work lead by Judge Linda P. Collier.  The first advocates were sworn in in March 2001 and immediately began serving cases.  Eight year later the CASA 20th program has continued to expand with offices now located in both Conway and Clinton.  In the past year there were 53 advocates, serving on 80 cases and advocating for 131 children.  As impressive as this may seem, the sad reality is that there are still too many children in our community who do not have an advocate.

The CASA difference is that each advocate is assigned to a maximum of two cases at any one time.  This means the advocate has the time needed to focus on each individual child’s needs.  In a child protective system that is drastically overwhelmed, this is critical to helping ensure no child gets lost in system.  The impact of the CASA program is best described by a former child victim, “To give a child a CASA is to give them a voice.  To give them a voice is to give them hope.  To give them hope is to give them the world.”

More advocates are needed to help ensure no abused and neglected child in our community has to feel alone.  For more information or to learn how you can become an advocate please visit or call 501.328.3347.