CASA of Central Texas Receives National Certification.

Court Appointed Special Advocates of Central Texas has just been awarded certification by the National CASA Association.  This certification recognizes that CASA of Central Texas is in compliance with National CASA’s high standards for quality child advocacy. According to the National CASA Association’s Deputy CEO, Tara Perry the quality assurance process is rigorous, and reflects CASA’s commitment to ensure every child served has a powerful volunteer advocate working on their behalf and a strong program supporting their work.  This certification, adds Perry, means CASA of Central Texas has demonstrated the capacity to provide excellent advocacy to the abused and neglected children within their community. CASA advocates {verb/Ad – vo- kates} for abused and neglected children in the community by recruiting, training, and supporting community volunteers. CASA volunteers are appointed to children who are confirmed victims of abuse or neglect to independently investigate the case and provide recommendations to the family court judge, what is in the best interest of the child. They often serve as the only consistent adult in the child’s life.

 

“CASA volunteers explain to the child the events that are happening, why they are in foster care, and the roles the judge, attorneys, and caseworkers play. Advocates offer the children what no one else can: consistency and continuity in the midst of all the chaos the children are experiencing.” Executive Director Norma Castilla-Blackwell said. “In the course of a typical case, the child will experience several foster placements, new schools, caseworker turnover and one Advocate. The trust that is built allows the CASA to encourage the children to express their feelings and to feel safe. All the while the advocates remain objective observers.” 

 

In 2014, CASA of Central Texas served more than 450 children in Caldwell, Comal, Guadalupe and Hays Counties but there were still children who did not have the voice of a CASA volunteer. Free training courses start the first week of August 11 in both San Marcos and New Braunfels office locations. To enroll in a training course, please contact CASA at (512) 392-3578 or (830) 626-2272, or visit www.casacentex.org.

 

Learn more about CASA at a monthly information session, held the first Wednesday of each month at the New Braunfels CASA office, and the second Wednesday of each month in the San Marcos CASA office, both from noon to 1 p.m.

 

About the National CASA Association

 In 1976, concerned over making decisions about abused and neglected children's lives without sufficient information, a Seattle judge conceived the idea of using trained community volunteers to speak for the best interests of these children in court, helping to ensure that they will live in a safe and loving environment.  So successful was this Seattle program, that soon judges across the country began utilizing citizen advocates.  In 1990, the U.S. Congress encouraged the expansion of CASA/GAL with passage of the Victims of Child Abuse Act.  Today, there are more than 950 National CASA member programs across the country, with more than 70,000 men and women serving as CASA or Guardian ad Litem volunteers.

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