CASA for Hunt County provides trained, court-appointed volunteers to be the voice for the children who are under the protection of the state to assure them a safe, permanent environment.
CASA for Hunt County is part of a national volunteer movement that began in 1977 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 Advocate® (CASAs) 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 was established in Dallas, Texas in 1980. Since then, CASA for Hunt County has continued to serve abused and neglected children in Hunt County by providing trained community volunteers to represent the best interest of children in the court.
CASA for Hunt County is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization governed by a volunteer board of directors, and is a member of the National and Texas CASA Associations. There are more than 1,000 CASA programs nationwide and 72 CASA programs in the state of Texas.
CASA for Hunt County began in 2002 under the leadership of Celeste Prather, who served the organization as it’s executive director from inception until Sept. 15, 2015. CASA for Hunt County began with a handful of volunteers who were trained and appointed to serve the county’s abused and/or neglected children who came into the care and custody of the state.
Today, CASA for Hunt County serves 100 percent of the Hunt County children who, by no fault of their own, are in the care and custody of the state — also known as foster care. CASA volunteers come from all walks of life. The screened and trained CASA for Hunt County volunteers are dedicated, local citizens who have a passion for helping children during a most difficult time in their young lives.