CASA is a national volunteer movement that began in the late 1970s, when Judge David Soukup in Seattle decided he needed to know more about the children whose lives were in his hands. His solution was to ask community volunteers to act as a “voice in court” for abused and neglected children. These Court Appointed Special Advocates™ (CASA) provided him with the detailed information he needed to safeguard the children’s best interests and ensure that they were placed in safe, permanent homes as quickly as possible. The program was so successful that it was copied around the nation.
The first CASA program established in Texas was Dallas CASA in 1980. During that decade, 14 CASA programs were started in Texas. In 1989, Texas CASA was formed as a result of a merger between the Texas Task Force on Permanency Planning and the Texas CASA network that was made up of the existing CASA programs in the state.
On behalf of the children, Lone Star CASA serves as the eyes and ears of the court and actively supports the development, growth, and continuation of programs designed to prevent abuse and other trauma.
The mission of Lone Star CASA is to provide trained community volunteers to advocate for the best interests of children in Rockwall and Kaufman Counties who come into the court system primarily as a result of abuse or neglect.
In support of this vision and mission, Lone Star CASA recruits, screens, trains and supervises volunteers to serve either as Guardians ad Litem for children, assist attorney Guardians ad Litem in this representation, or serve as an independent third party “friend of the court.” Lone Star CASA promotes and enhances mutual coordination and communication among foster parents, the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services, and the biological families of foster children in Rockwall and Kaufman Counties.
The goal of Lone Star CASA is the achievement of a safe and permanent living situation for each child that serves his/her best interest.
Today, the CASA movement has evolved into one of the largest volunteer organizations in the country. In Texas, there are 69 local CASA programs with more than 7,000 volunteers serving 22,000 foster children.
Texas CASA, Inc. advocates for abused and neglected children in the court system through the development, growth and support of local CASA programs in Texas.