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Who We Are

Mission & History

Our Mission

The mission of CASA of Northeast Tennessee is to advocate for abused and/or neglected children in juvenile court. We believe that every child is entitled to a safe and stable home.

Our Values

  • We value children and protecting the rights of children
    Inherent to our mission, children and their rights for safety and stability are paramount to CASA of Northeast Tennessee. The best interest of the child is first priority and at the center of all we do. 
  • We value celebration of successes
    The nature of this work is taxing on the individual and we believe that celebrating all successes is necessary to the well-being and retention of our staff and volunteers.
  • We value diverse backgrounds in our staff, board of directors, and volunteers
    We acknowledge the need to understand, respect, and cultivate diversity including race, gender, age, religion, national origin, ethnicity, sexual orientation, socioeconomic status, and the presence of a sensory, mental, or physical disability. We also value diversity of viewpoints, life experiences, talents, and ideas.
  • We value integrity through transparency and accountability
    Teamwork and honesty are at the core of our workplace culture. We strive for open and honest communication of our finances and outcome measures.
  • We value service to families and our community
    We believe families and local communities are essential to child well-being and child development. Service to a child’s family and community is necessary to promoting the best interest of the child.


Child solo in a courtoom.

Court Appointed Special Advocates began when Seattle Judge David Soukup was concerned over making decisions about abused and neglected children's lives without sufficient information. In 1977, Judge Soukup conceived the idea of using trained community volunteers to speak for the best interests of these children in court. So successful was this Seattle program that soon judges across the country began utilizing citizen advocates. In 1990, the U.S. Congress encouraged the expansion of CASA with passage of the Victims of Child Abuse Act. 

Today the National CASA/GAL Association for Children represents over 900 CASA programs in 49 states and Washington, DC. National CASA provides support for starting programs, technical assistance, training, fundraising, media, and public awareness services.

CASA of Northeast Tennessee had its beginnings as an East Tennessee State University initiative when in 1985, at the initiative of the Sociology Department, funds were obtained through a one-time grant from the US Department of Health and Human Services to establish the organization. In 2004, CASA of Northeast TN moved out from under the umbrella of ETSU and became established as a 501(c) 3 entity. CASA of Northeast TN now serves over 250 children a year in 4 juveniles courts: Washington County, Juvenile Court of Johnson City, Greene County and Unicoi County. CASA of Northeast TN has made hard won gains, increasing full-time staffing to 5 (executive director, 3 program coordinators, and volunteer coordinator), and over 35 volunteer advocates.

CASA of Northeast Tennessee is a member in good standing with the National CASA/GAL Association for Children and the Tennessee CASA Association.