My Nonprofit Reviews
Review for CASA Of Central Texas, Inc., New Braunfels, TX, USA
I joined CASA of Central Texas in 2006. Shortly after completing a well designed training program taught by A CASA staff member who also is a volunteer advocate, as is the case with most of the staff, and many of the members of the board of directors.
I was offered a case. Seven children, ages 3 to 17 were removed from their mother. For some of the older one, it was the fourth time to be removed for abuse and neglect. They had two older sisters who were "aged out" - no longer under the protection of the State.
There were 6 biological "fathers", 4 of whom were in state prison. My supervisor told me that they would assign another advocate to help me because these children were scattered out. It's virtually impossible to find a qualified home that will take that many siblings. After reading the affidavit, I told her that these children needed one person that knew and worked with all of them.
Visiting each of them a minimum of once a month, advocating for them with their schools, foster homes, court and the Department of Family & Protective Services, and assisting in gathering them together regularly for visits kept me busy. It also blessed me beyond description. My rather bazaar career choices, teacher, peace officer, and school counselor, along with being part of the Kairos Prison Ministry gave me unique experiences that would allow me to serve these children in special ways. Clearly God was gently leading me toward this role.
Long hours on the road, heavy gas bills, aggravation with some of the adults in their lives, having to over come an understandable ingrained distrust of adults from the children made this a daunting task. Being able to have a part in protecting these wonderful, rambunctious kids makes those "problems" pale.
I still have one left, the only boy. He will "age our" in a few months. Three of the girls were adopted by their original foster mother. Three have aged out, and the youngest was adopted by a family member. Two of them ran away from their placements several times, at time staying gone for months at a time. They would occasionally call or text me to let me know how (but not where) they were. Last Fathers Day, I received a "HAPPY FATHERS DAY JIMBO!!" from the boy who was on runaway status at the time. Jimbo is my chosen name.
I'm convinced that every time a court appoints a CASA to a child, God smiles. I've learned that "I love you Jimbo" from a child that can't say that to a parent is more beautiful than any symphony I've ever heard.
This program is crucial to children whose parents can't or won't care for them, love them or protect them. There are not enough of us, there is not enough funding to increase the wonder staff that is crucial for our support, for recruiting new volunteers, and training them.
I hope you can find it in your hearts to help us continue advocating for these precious children, and recruit and support more volunteers.
I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...
Seeing children gain a chance to have a better life, and break the cycle of abuse and neglect - one child at a time.
If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...
make it grow many fold.