CASA (Court-Appointed Special Advocates for Children) of the 5th Judicial District of Arkansas, serves the children & families of Pope, Franklin and Johnson counties, whose lives have been unfortunately affected by neglect, abuse and/or abandonment; and, have entered the Foster Care System through placement by the Arkansas Department of Human Services. CASA was organized in 2000 at the initiation of Judge Ken Coker, 5th Judicial District, and still works in conjunction with his court and the cases he judicates for children and families in these three counties.
The Mission Statement for CASA is: to provide abused, neglected and dependent children a voice in the court process in order for these children to find a safe, permanent home as quickly as possible. Our mission is accomplished through community volunteers who are trained to advocate for the best interests of each child. These volunteers are extensively trained to be the eyes & ears of the court in each child’s life, and to assure that his/her’s best interest are represented throughout the judicial process.
During our 2015-2016 Fiscal Year we served 180 kids with 51 Volunteers.
The work of CASA is funded through state & federal grants, private donations, and funds awarded annually through agencies such as River Valley United Way and the Arkansas Community Foundation of Pope County. CASA employs three full-time staff members, including an Executive Director and two regional Volunteer Coordinators, with main offices in the Pope County Court House in Russellville, AR. The Arkansas Zombie Challenge™ is the main fund-raising event to support the work of CASA of the 5th Judicial District of Arkansas; and, to help reach our goal for having every child in state custody within our district to be assigned a CASA volunteer Advocate.