The Wilson County Court Appointed Special Advocate Association, together with its volunteers, supports and promotes court-appointed volunteer advocacy so every abused or neglected child in the United States can be safe, have a permanent home and the opportunity to thrive.
Wilson County CASA is one of more than 900 CASA programs across the United States and internationally. The National CASA Association, founded in 1977 by Judge David Soukup in Seattle, Washington, provides technical assistance and support to local programs such as this. In addition, Wilson County CASA also receives support from the Tennessee CASA Association and is funded in part by the state of Tennessee. The United States Department of Justice has supported CASA since 1985 through its Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention. In 1991 it named CASA an “Exemplary National Program in Juvenile Delinquency Prevention.” In 1997, the National Bar Association issued a formal resolution endorsing CASA.
In Tennessee, CASA is supported by TCA 37-1-149. Wilson County CASA began as a steering committee in December 1987, secured a building in 1988, and began serving children in 1989. Wilson County CASA was under the direction of three executive directors before hiring Lee Lyle in February 1992. Lyle served as executive director for Wilson County CASA from 2/3/92 until 2/3/06. Under Lyle’s direction, the CASA program in Wilson County grew from three advocates serving six children in 1992, to 21 volunteers serving 74 children (2006). Lyle provided not only a solid foundation for volunteers, but a strong financial foundation as well.
In April of 2012, Wilson County CASA transitioned from rental property to property owners when they purchased “Donna’s House.” The Castle Heights Avenue office is named in memory of long time board member and advocate Donna Mosher who passed away in 2010 after a very lenghty battle with melanoma. Wilson County CASA has blossomed into an organization serving over 250 children per year with an average of 60 volunteers. Currently, Cathey Sweeney is serving as executive director. Cathey joined Wilson County CASA in December 2014. She is an alumnus of MTSU with a degree in criminal justice. Cathey comes to us with over 30 years of non-profit experience.