In 1997 CASA of Travis County contracted with the Center for Social Work Research to conduct a study to assess the following issues: the impact of CASA of Travis County on the DPRS system, the role of the CASA worker as perceived by each stakeholder in the process, the fiscal impact CASA worker has on the courts and DPRS, the benefits a CASA has for the case and the way in which a CASA worker achieves these benefits, the types of cases that benefit most, and areas of improvement.

Interviews were conducted with key participants in the child welfare system of Travis County, including two judges, two lawyers from the District Attorney’s office, three attorneys ad litem, six CASA supervisors, ten DPRS caseworkers, and eight CASA volunteers. Also, seven randomly selected, closed CASA case files and five of their corresponding DPRS case files were evaluated. Data were also obtained from DPRS computer records from 1995.

In general participants viewed CASA of Travis County positively and recommended that CASA be involved in every case. The staff researchers developed a case review instrument specifically for CASA of Travis County. Findings were presented at the 1998 National CASA Conference in Houston, Texas, in May.

Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) of Travis County