What is a CASA?
When an abused or neglected child is removed from an unsafe environment and placed in foster care, a judge may appoint an Advocate to represent the best interests of that child or youth—in and out of court. This committed volunteer is a Court Appointed Special Advocate, or CASA.
The CASA conducts an in-depth investigation; interviewing the child, foster parents, teachers, therapists, etc. A CASA spends significant time getting to know the child, gaining his or her trust and, in many cases, their affection.
CASA Advocates help thousands of neglected or abused children in foster care in Texas find safe, nurturing, permanent homes, saving taxpayers money and the children’s futures.
Who can become a CASA volunteer?
You can! If you are:
- Willing to commit at least one year of your time (approximately 10 hours monthly)
- Able to effectively communicate orally and in writing
- Willing to participate in an in-depth training program
- Able to pass criminal and CPS history background checks
- Over age 21
…you can become a CASA Advocate and give a child a better chance at a happier future.
CASA Advocates are people like you—people from all walks of life – teachers, corporate professionals, pastors, retirees, and stay-at-home parents. CASA volunteers are grandparents, fathers, mothers, daughters and sons…
CASA Advocates are important. We make certain the voices of abused and neglected children are heard. In many cases, we are the child’s only voice. The statistics for these children are staggering. In Texas:
- 46 children enter the foster care system every day.
- 1,328 children aged out of the system in 2013 without finding a home.
- 7,611 CASA volunteers served 23,621 of the 46,649 children in foster care in 2013.
Each child deserves a voice to speak for him or her. These children have already been mistreated. They need a stable force in their lives…someone to cling to in the shuffle of being removed from their homes, and perhaps moving schools and changing foster homes.
Anyone who cares about the fate of a child and wants to make a difference in society can become an excellent CASA. Statistics show that youths maltreated as children are more prone to come in contact with the criminal justice system. They also prove that these children/youths are more likely to succeed if they are exposed to affection, consistency and protection.
CASAs mentor and advocate on behalf of these children because they care. Caring is a core value of CASA. We strive to be worthy of a child’s trust and approach our task with integrity.
What is the reward of volunteering?
The satisfaction of knowing you have helped a child in one of the most difficult situations imaginable.
In Montgomery County, we are so very close to reaching our goal to serve every abused and neglected child who needs an Advocate. You can help us by volunteering to be a child’s Advocate today.