CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocates) of Central Texas is an amazing organization! It has been an honor and privilege for me to be part of such a caring group of individuals that advocates for abused and neglected children in the court system. Every child deserves a loving and nurturing home which is why we enlist our volunteers to make sure this happens.
Our four county region located between San Antonio and Austin has experienced rapid growth which poses a huge challenge for our organization to help these children in need. In the last year our organization has touched the lives of several hundred children in this area alone.
What could be more important than making a difference in the life of a child?
As a board member, I am privy to many details of the work, processes, struggles, and successes of this organization. I work closely with the Exec. Dir., the Development Officer, and members of the Board of Directors. There is a great deal of personal commitment to the CASA mission, among staff and board, and the retention rate of both employees and volunteers bears testimony to this. The organization enjoys a strong reputation for its commitment to the children it serves by law enforcement and judicial appointees who I have heard on several occasions laud the work and fruit of CASA of Central Texas.
CASA is such a great organization that helps our children. We are blessed to have them in our community. If you don’t know what they do, please look them up on the web.
As a resident of Guadalupe County, I am saddened that our county, as of today, has not supported CASA in 2013. CASA of Central Texas is Caldwell, Comal, Hays and Guadalupe Counties. We are supported by the other counties. What has happened? Appointed by the court as a VOLUNTEER, we save our county money!!
I can not say it any better than the Board member that wrote the following in 2011:
Before I learned about CASA, I would constantly ask myself, "Who is speaking up for these kids?"
Now I know the answer to my question! CASA!
CASA of Central Texas recruits, trains, and supports amazing individuals who generously give of their time and energy to make sure that all kids have a voice in court, and that each child's concerns and best interest are both presented to and respected by the people and systems involved in his or her case.
As a board member, I have learned much more about the day-to-day functions of the CASA staff and volunteers. There are so many dedicated people in this organization, and we are especially fortunate to have incredibly talented leadership, enabling the program to set and achieve goals for increasing the number of children served.
Clearly, CASA of Central Texas is among the most respected, nonprofit volunteer organizations serving children in Caldwell, Comal, Guadalupe, and Hays counties. From state representatives to local businesses to school teachers, CASA's reputation is widely known and well deserved because of the amazing, caring, and talented volunteers and staff who make all the great work possible!
We follow these kids from the start to the finish. It is NOT a one time visit!!
I’ve been blessed to volunteer with CASA of Central TX since August 2007, advocating for children who have been thrown into unfortunate situations, through no fault whatsoever of their own. I feel privledged to be a constant and positive presence and to encourage them to succeed, dispite their circumstances. Making a difference in the lives of children who come into state care, and watching them survive and thrive from a second chance at a happy productive life is very rewarding.
I have been a CASA volunteer now for 1 year and it has been completely rewarding in so many ways. My case is still open for my 3 CASA girls, 18 month old, 9 year old, and a 16 year old sisters. I became a CASA so I could DO SOMETHING to help children in need, to speak up for them, and be a stable person in their life during a time of uncertainty, confusion, and often scary as they don't always know exactly what is going on.
I have been able to keep in touch with them on a regular basis, answer the many questions they have, help explain things to them, and help them communicate between all of the different parties involved. I have been able to contact relatives for them, pick up clothing and other items at the Foster Closet when they need things, I have taken them out to eat and been there when they needed to talk. I have taken my teen girl to the movies on Spring Break when she felt like she need to "getaway" for a while. Many times, my teen just needed to hear that things were going to get better, that "we all" are working on her situation. I have been able to tell her she is doing a great job and to keep up the great work. I have helped to motivate her when she was feeling down. When I see them, we always have a hug when I arrive and when I leave and I think it helps them to know someone cares for them. My girls have been moved many many times and as new faces come and go with the new placements, I am the same CASA they have had since the beginning. I think this helps them feel comfortable and not so lost in the changing environments. When they are unable to see each other, I am able to tell them how their siblings are doing, to share information about them and they always love to talk about their siblings.
I have also been able to plan and organize sibling visits. The case workers are very busy and CASA's can be valuable in assisting with sibling visits. My girls are all placed in different placements so getting them together is a challenge but working together with the caseworker and foster families, it is much easier to organize. I know that if I was not there to pick up one child to take to meet another then it probably never would have happened. Sibling visits are extremely important to these children that have been separated for so long.
As a Christian, I have also been able to pray specifically for my CASA girls. I have never prayed with them but it is something that I do on my own. I know them, their situation, their family dynamics and I believe being able to pray for each one of them and their specific needs is a huge blessing as a CASA.
Being a CASA gives me a way to help children that I know are in need. I am able to build a relationship with them, care for them, and ensure that their needs are being met during the course of their time in State custody. It has been one of the most important roles that I have had the privilege of experiencing.
When I retired for good, I was looking for an organization where I could volunteer and help make a difference. I read about CASA, completed my application, went through my interview and training and was sworn-in in April of 2010. I was assigned my first case the same month. I was nervous but my supervisor was there to assist me along the was. My case was somewhat convoluted, with the mother a drug user, the father in jail, and one of the children, a 3 y/o was diagnosed with PPD and his older brother aged 8 was actually the primary caregiver. The children were placed in the Respite Home in San Antonio. The youngest was no t yet toilet trained, spoke but 10 words, and had some difficulty with motor skills. To help the older child with some much needed time out I would take him to some sites in the area. On one such outing, we went to the wildlife adventure park. As we were driving through the park, the boy looked at me and asked if he could call me "Grandpa"! This moment will stick with me for the rest of my life. I thought, "wait I am supposed to make a difference in their lives", little did I know. I have just finished my 7th case and looking forward to my next. I can honestly say that I have thoroughly enjoyed my time with CASA and encourage you to at least look into the program. The rewards are completely worth it.
It has been a year to date that I received my first case. It involved two children, one of which was later diagnosed with Pervasive Developmental Disorder. The children were removed owing to an issue of abandonment, the mother had left the children with an unreliable person while she indulged her habit.
When I first met the children, I feel in love with them. The youngest was very loving and as cute as they get. The older sibling was a bright, well spoken youngster who had been the primary caregiver to the younger child.
Although the younger one had difficulty in communicating, he was a 3 y/o with the cognitive skills of a 9 - 10 month old, and what he lacked in language, he made up for in laughter and love.
Both children were placed in a placement facility where the younger sibling received physical, speech and play therapy and a huge transition occurred, his vocabulary increased and he became more sociable and his tantrums decreased significantly.
The older child was confused as to why he was where he was and wanted to be reunited with his Mommy. The father was incarcerated.
After establishing a rapport with the children, I met with the Mother and began to assist her. She had found stable work and a place to live. She was remorseful over her past and wanted to be reunited with her children.
Although it was a long bumpy ride, filled with tears, frustration, joy and sorrow, the children were finally reunited with their parents this past week.
I am confident that with some help from agencies specializing in children with special needs, they will be fine.
I feel good about having played a role in bringing this to a happy ending!
The experience by anyone working with CASA, will truly fined it rewarding and memorable. There is no greater personal reward than making a difference in the lives of children and families thrust into an unwanted but necessary environment for a better way of life. CASA is the difference between destruction and progress in the lives of many.
I have volunteered for several nonprofits in California, Colorado, and in Texas. Most have been good. Some have been great. But none of them have offered the training, support, and encouragement that I have experienced working with CASA of Central Texas. From the board to the staff; I always feel accepted and appreciated. I know the work we do is important. I am truly blessed to be part of such an awesome group of people. I believe they all go an extra mile for the children we serve and the Volunteer Advocates.
As you read the following reviews, it is hard to imagine the love and time all of the volunteers give. This is a great organization that can really use the community support. PLEASE Volunteer for the reward of your life...Helping the children....
I have been working with a sibling group for over a tear and a half. Two girls and a boy. All teenagers and it has been a very good experience. I feel like I am their CASA Mama and they always listen to my advice. I am fortunate because my kids are the best and make this experience so great. I love influencing young people and teaching them the life lessons that they need from an adult that they might not receive given their situation. I hope more people will choose to advocate for children. Because it is so needed.
I have been working with a young teenager. These are very difficult years for any child, but a child who is a part of the system instead of firmly rooted in a family has an especially hard time. I like to think that I am adding affirmative support and guidance. My CASA supervisor has been fantastic at responding to my questions (even late at night and on holidays!). Everyone has been very helpful at making sure that I am not alone in caring about this child. The CASA experience is a cooperative team experience, and I highly recommend it to anyone who wants to make a difference in a child's life.
I have been a CASA for almost four years. My first case involved two infant brothers, one of which was born while I was CASA for his big brother. The case lasted for two years, and was very difficult. My supervisor, Lonnette, was great. She was supportive and encouraging, even when the task before me seemed fraught with "land mines" and sure to fail. After all the hard work, dealing with attorneys, and time and gas spent on this case, it was worth it. I feel that I was able to help the parents learn better ways to take care of their children, and be a positive, consistent influence for the good of the children. My next case has been much more pleasant, and is going well. It involves three sweet, precious girls who were at risk. The parents have completed their required services and now use those new tools to be better parents. It is very rewarding to be a part of their success story. I highly recommend volunteering for CASA of Central Texas. They are the best!
As a retired child psychologist, I know from experience how easy it is for children to fall through the cracks in the child protective services and criminal justice systems. I was always happy when one of my child patients had a CASA volunteer. Now, I am happy to be working on my first CASA case. I have been able to fill in gaps for my two- and six-year-old girls. The staff at CASA of Central Texas is supportive and professional--I always have help when I need it. As a mental health professional, I am impressed with the way this CASA program is organized and with the quality of training that is offered.
I am working on my 2nd case with CASA and have never been happier volunteering! CASA is so appreciative of what we do as advocates and I am so proud to be a part of a great organization. I worked in the Criminal Justice system for 9 years and saw first hand how children are left behind because they have no voice. As a CASA we are their voice in the Courtroom and the Court listens. I was just in Court yesterday and I was thanked several times for being there for these particular children. The funny thing is that noone needs to thank me ever, the joy I get from helping these children is thanks enough.
I have been a CASA for about a year and a half. Being retired from corporate life, I was interested in doing something worthwhile in the community. while I am not a "joiner" as a rule, CASA provides me with a good sense of purpose and visible success in a very troubled world. For me, it just keeps getting more and more rewarding.
Becoming a CASA advocate was one of the most rewarding experiences of my life. I felt that I made a difference for my child and felt adequately trained and prepared. The support was great and I will continue to volunteer with CASA of Central Texas.
I had first hand experience having a CASA on my foster children's case. The children's CASA was a Godsend. She was who I turned to to get answers when case workers were no where to be found or not returning phone calls. Her knowledge influenced me so much, that I went through training to become a CASA in order to give back to an organization that was so beneficial to our foster children who are now our adoptive children.
I have been a CASA for 2 years and it's the best decision I've ever made. CASA is a fantastic organization that provides their volunteers with the support and education needed to advocate for the children we care for. My CASA supervisor, Kim, is always available by phone or in person when I have a question or when I need support.
Just closed my first case - very rewarding experience. Made me feel like I actually made a difference in the life of my children. Will miss them and am anxious to be given a new case.
Almost 2 years ago a friend from church suggested that we would be interested in this wonderful extended ministry. We attended a meeting and signed up for the wonderful classes that prepared us for the work we would do . We knew this was a volunteer job but the rewards were great from the start. We got our first assignment with 3 children 8, 5 and 7 months. The goal was reunification with their Mom and hopefully in less than a year. Our visits with the children and Foster parents led us to a love for a new family. The Mom worked really hard and was reunified in 11 months. We miss them but our goal was so rewarded that we pray for them and hope to keep them with Mom forever. We have a second case and it is with only one child but a great Foster family and a hard working Mom who wants her son back. My husband and I work as a team and we can talk about our case so this helps but the great meetings for the volunteers help us to share our stories and the group called the Wing Society takes care of the volunteers so if you want to know how caring they are you need to be a volunteer too. Calvin and Sonya Rodriguez