CASA San Antonio  

Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) centers exist around the country, but the CASA center in San Antonio, Texas, is one of the first in the state. The CASA center in San Antonio was formed in the 1980s, following the first national CASA's establishment in 1979. Today, the CASA center works to protect children who have suffered from neglect or abuse and place them permanently in safe homes.

CASA San Antonio

History and Mission of CASA

San Antonio's CASA distinguishes itself from the national CASA branch in several key ways, starting with its name. The branch located in San Antonio is called Child Advocates San Antonio. It was founded in 1984, following the first national CASA's guidelines and vision established in Seattle, Washington, in 1979. The country's first CASA used specially trained volunteers to advocate on behalf of children in court. The idea extended to San Antonio, where leaders of the National Council of Jewish Women in the city saw the need to advocate for foster children on a local level.

The women set to work training volunteers over several years. By 1984, a dozen volunteers were ready to take on their first case of child abuse. CASA San Antonio formed a Board of Directors in 1988, and the organization moved near the city's courthouse for convenience. Later that year, CASA was formally established as a nonprofit organization. The nonprofit moved again in 1991 following its expansion and finally found its headquarters in 2001. CASA celebrated its 35th anniversary in 2019, and it continues to expand its services and outreach to this day.

The CASA center in San Antonio works with local court systems to remove children from harmful situations, including cases of abuse and neglect, while also arranging longer-term accommodations for children in safe and permanent homes. The organization relies on volunteers to act as mentors and advocates for vulnerable and at-risk children due to abuse and neglect. Ultimately, CASA volunteers give children a voice in court and work to protect their rights to ensure that their best interests are addressed. The organization typically assigns each child their own volunteer adult mentor to provide personal attention and support. Volunteers receive special training before they are eligible to work with children through the organization.

Events and Fundraising

CASA also relies on donations to continue its operations. The organization periodically holds special events to raise awareness in the community, including its popular "Breakfast of Champions."