CASA of the South Plains recruits, trains, and supports a diverse community of volunteers who advocate for the best interests of abused and neglected children in the foster care system. CASA, Court Appointed Special Advocates, provide these children with a voice while their case is in the court system. CASA’s vision is to provide a CASA volunteer for every foster child who strives to secure a safe, nurturing, permanent home.
CASA began in 1977 when a judge in Seattle decided he was uneasy about making quick decisions that would affect children for the rest of their lives. The judge launched a program to train and appoint community volunteers to research the cases of foster children who had been removed from their homes for various reasons. CASA volunteers serve a foster child in need as a Guardian ad Litem (GAL). That's a fancy name for an official court role of looking out for the child's "best interests". Today, there are nearly 1,000 CASA and guardian ad litem programs that are recruiting, training and supporting volunteers in 49 states and the District of Columbia.
Local concerned community members saw there was a need for CASA. They worked tirelessly to educate our community on the importance of the work CASA volunteers do. A Lubbock County Judge first appointed a CASA volunteer to serve as an abused child's advocate in October 1993. Since that time, more than 5,000 children have been provided more than 1,000 advocates.
In December 2000, CASA of Lubbock began expansion efforts into the newly created "South Plains Cluster Court", thus calling for the name change, CASA of the South Plains, Inc. With the assistance of Senator Robert Duncan, the Honorable Kelly Moore, and Texas CASA, we were able to secure funding through the governor's office to expand into the new court. Gradually, our expansion has grown to our current standings of recruiting Advocates in Cochran, Hale, Hockley, Terry, and Yoakum Counties to serve children whose cases are in the courts in each of those counties.
Since 1995, our program has grown from two employees to 20 full-time and approximately 288 Advocates. We are governed by a board of directors representing a diverse population of our community, with representation from six counties in the area.
To learn more about how you can be a voice for the well-being of a foster child, attend a CASA 101 informational session, or contact Kristen Mata, Recruitment Director, at firstname.lastname@example.org, or call (806) 763-2272.