History of CASA
In 1976, Superior Court Judge David Soukup of Seattle, WA, saw a recurring problem in his courtroom:
"In criminal and civil cases, even though there were always many different points of view, you walked out of the courtroom at the end of the day and you said, 'I've done my best; I can live with this decision," he explains.
"But when you're involved with a child and you're trying to decide what to do to facilitate that child's growth into a mature and happy adult, you don't feel like you have sufficient information to allow you to make the right decision. You can't walk away and leave them at the courthouse at 4 o'clock. You wonder, 'Do I really know everything I should? Have I really been told all the different things? Is this really right?"
To ensure he was getting all the facts and the long-term welfare of each child was being represented, Seattle Judge Soukap came up with an idea that would change America's judicial procedure and the lives of over a million children. He obtained funding to recruit and train community volunteers to step in the courtroom on behalf of the children: Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) volunteers.
To-date, there are 955 CASA programs nationwide and over 75,000 CASA volunteers. Thank you, Judge Soukup!
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. In Texas, there are 68 local CASA programs with more than 5,000 volunteers serving 20,509 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.
CASA of Ellis County
CASA of Ellis County, Inc. is a member of Texas CASA and a member of National CASA. We have been in operation since September 2004. We always need more volunteers. Please consider joining our organization and become a powerful voice in a child's life.
Board of Directors
David Setzer, CPM, President
Kay Leath, Vice President
Jennifer McDonnell, Treasurer
Jan Gares, Secretary
Jimmie Lou McClure
Rhodie Rawls, Executive Director
Christa Ledbetter, LBSW, Supervisor of Volunteers
Rebecca Gentry, Supervisor of Volunteers