CASA is a national volunteer movement that began more than 30 years ago, 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.
Today, the CASA movement has evolved into one of the largest volunteer organizations in the country. In Texas, there are 71 local CASA programs with more than 5,000 volunteers serving 20,509 foster children.