Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) FOR THE Cross Timbers Area, Inc. is a volunteer-based non-profit organization serving Bosque, Eastland, Erath and Hamilton Counties. CASA volunteers are appointed by the court to serve as advocates for abused or neglected children removed from their homes by Child Protective Services (CPS). These volunteers investigate and monitor a child’s situation while in alternative or foster care. During the twelve to eighteen monthtime children are in state care, the volunteer makes recommendations to the presiding judge as to what permanent placement would be in the best interest of the child. Although professionals in the child welfare system are often overworked and frequently change positions, the CASA volunteer is intended to be a constant presence in the lives of abused and neglected children. By advocating for the best interests of the child above all else, CASA works to ensure that each and every child is given the opportunity to grow and thrive in a safe, loving, and permanent home. CASA for the Cross Timbers Area, Inc. is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization governed by a volunteer board of directors and a member of both National and Texas CASA Associations.
The CASA concept was initiated by Superior Court Judge David Soukup in Seattle, Washington in 1976. Judge Soukup, concerned that he was not receiving adequate information to make appropriate rulings on behalf of abused and neglected children, appointed a group of community volunteers to perform an independent investigation of each child’s situation. The concept was well received and, today, there are almost 950 CASA programs nationwide. Of these, 71 programs are in Texas, serving a total of 213 counties. CASA CTA was started in Erath County community by a small group of concerned citizens in 2002. Today, CASA CTA provides court advocacy services for child victims of abuse and neglect in Bosque, Eastland, Erath, and Hamilton counties.