Seattle judge conceived the idea of using trained community volunteers to speak for the best interests of these children in court. This Seattle program was so successful that soon judges across the country began utilizing citizen advocates. Eventually in 1990, the U.S. Congress encouraged the expansion of CASA with passage of the Victims of Child Abuse Act.
Golden Crescent CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocates) was established in 1995 to provide trained community volunteers to advocate in the best interests of abused and neglected children involved in the court system. Today, Golden Crescent CASA serves as Guardian ad Litem for children in foster care in Calhoun, DeWitt, Goliad, Gonzales, Jackson, Lavaca, Refugio, and Victoria counties. Each Court Appointed Special Advocate focuses on the child’s best interest through services, treatment and placement. These sworn child advocates are given constant support and guidance by professional staff as well as training in child development, communications and cultural competency skills.
The strength of the CASA program lies in providing care and support on a one-to-one basis throughout the court process, allowing the child and volunteer to develop a trusting, nurturing relationship.
Nationwide, the CASA program has evolved into one of the largest volunteer organizations in the country with more than 900 programs in operation, at least one in every state; In Texas in 2007, 4,928 CASA volunteers advocated for 20,509 children in 202 counties.
Golden Crescent CASA has seven staff members. Income sources include:
Victims of Crime Act (VOCA)
Crime Victims Compensation (CVC)
Private donations and fundraising
License Plate Fund
Golden Crescent CASA is governed by a Board of Directors comprised of community members and an Advisory Board including judges, attorneys, mayors and city council members, and other interested citizens.
The Golden Crescent CASA mission is to utilize trained volunteers, appointed by the court, to advocate for the best interests of abused and neglected children and assist in placing them in nurturing, permanent homes.