It is the mission of CASA of Sedgwick County to provide caring, trained volunteers to advocate for the abused and neglected children of our community so that each child can reach his or her full potential.
Roots and Wings
In 1977, a group of 10 Wichita women began meeting informally because of their deep concern for children who were trapped in the foster care system and had little hope of finding a permanent home.
That initial group researched the issues, led a campaign for legislative reform, promoted their mission to help children find safe, permanent homes, and raised the money (much of it their own) to fund a two-year demonstration project.
In 1980, the group established Roots & Wings, Inc. as a private, not-for-profit volunteer organization.
The agency was founded on the belief that children who are provided with secure, supportive, and permanent homes will have roots which will nourish them throughout their lives; then, too they will have wings to help them soar toward the promise of their potential.
Concerned over making decisions about abused and neglected children’s lives without sufficient information, a Seattle judge 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.
The Sedgwick County CASA program was the 15th program to be established in the nation and the 1st to be implemented in the state. Today more than 900 CASA programs are in operation, with 62,000 women and men serving as CASA volunteers. CASA is an acronym for Court Appointed Special Advocate.
As a Court Appointed Special Advocate program, the Roots & Wings, Inc. Board of Directors decided five years ago to more closely align itself with its National CASA Association affilition. Currently, Roots & Wings, Inc. is doing business as CASA of Sedgwick County.
To read more about the history of the CASA Programs, visit National CASA Association.