Hope for Kids grew from a former fundraising organization called Friends of CASA for Kids of Geauga County. Friends of CASA formed in 2001 to support the needs of children served by CASA for KIDS (Court Appointed Special Advocates). The late Judge Charles “Chip” Henry brought the CASA for KIDS program to the Geauga County Juvenile Court in 1997 to recruit, train and support community advocates to represent the best interest of abused/neglected children in the court system.
From 2012 through 2016, Friends of CASA for Kids raised over $440,000 and fulfilled a growing number of requests (453) to fund the needs of children. During this time period, child abuse and/or neglect cases involved in Geauga County Juvenile Court showed alarming increases in parental substance abuse (96%), heroin/opiates (2,200%), mental illness (116%) and domestic violence (87%). These trends inspired the Friends of CASA board to expand their mission and vision in order to serve children outside of the court system as well. Hope for Kids now supports the needs of at-risk children, served by Geauga County agencies, whose families also suffer from addiction, mental health issues, domestic violence and sexual abuse.