The Effect of CASA on Child Welfare Permanency Outcomes

Cynthia Osborne, Hilary Warner-Doe, McKenna LeClear, Holly Sexton - Child Maltreatment


The present study is the largest and most rigorous study to date on the effects of being appointed a Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) on permanency outcomes of children in foster care. The intent-to-treat study accounts for selection bias by applying inverse probability weighting to logistic and sequential logistic regressions in a large sample of children in foster care in the state of Texas (N = 31,754). Overall, children appointed a CASA have significantly lower odds than children without a CASA of achieving permanency. They have lower odds of being reunified, greater odds of being adopted (if not reunified), and lower odds of being placed in permanent kin guardianship (if not reunified or adopted) than children who are not appointed CASA. This study makes an additional contribution by looking beyond the aggregate effect of CASA on permanency by examining the effect of CASA for different age groups and different types of first placement after removal.