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CASA of Central Texas offers one type of service, advocacy for children who have been abused or neglected and are under State care. We do this by training volunteers to be matched up one-on-one with children who have been removed from their homes because of abuse and negelct. These child victims range in age from newborn to 18 years and come from all socio-economic statuses, genders and ethnic backgrounds.
The Texas Family Code requires that each child in State care be appointed a Guardian Ad Litem to look after and advocate on behalf of the child's best interests. CASA is the only local organization that may be appointed as GAL and works solely on behalf of the children's best interests. The Child Protection Court Judge prioritizes case assignments and appoints CASA of Central Texas when a trained volunteer advocate is available to take a case. Any party, including Child Protective Services (CPS), attorneys, parents and CASA itself, may request that CASA be appointed to a case.
The CASA advocate thoroughly researches the case and keeps the child welfare and juvenile justice systems alert of the children's needs. CASA makes recommendations on actions needed to protect the children, to provide for their medical, educational and therapeutic care, and works to find safe and permanent homes for the children. CASA works collaboratively, but independently, with the other parties to the case and remains until the cases are resolved, typically 12 months. CASA partners with and maintains communication with the Judges, CPS, social services and community agencies regularly. We are present in every court session and attend staffing meetings with CPS, treatment centers, foster placement agencies and schools.
As a result of CASA's work, our children spend less time in foster care, there is less time required for attorney services (taxpayer savings), and relationships are built to provide a smoother transition in obtaining services for the children. Our advocates work to find missing parents and family, monitor court orders, ensure medical and counseling appointments are kept, provide transportation for parent and sibling visits, and write court reports with recommendations to the Judge on placing each child in a safe and permanent home.
1619 E. Common St., Suite 301, New Braunfels, TX 78130, US
The mission of CASA of Central Texas, Inc. is to advocate for abused and neglected children in the court system by recruiting, training and supporting community volunteers.
A CASA worker is a trained volunteer who is appointed by a judge to promote the best interests of children who have suffered abuse and/or neglect and who, because of this abuse or neglect, are under the supervision of the court.
The CASA volunteer works alongside social workers, as a representative of the court. The volunteer meets with the child in-home on a weekly basis to ensure the child is safe and that the court's orders are being followed. The volunteer also consults with parents, foster parents, family members, neighbors, school officials, social workers, health providers and any other person who may have relevant information about the child on a regular basis.
The volunteer also reviews appropriate records and documents pertaining to the child. The volunteer then prepares a monthly written report summarizing the information that was gathered and his or her observations and concerns. This report is provided to the courts and other parties to the case. The judge uses this information to help make appropriate decisions concerning the child's welfare and future. A CASA volunteer provides a judge with carefully researched background of the child to help the court make a sound decision about that child's future.
The CASA volunteer will reccomend if it is in a child's best interest to stay with his or her parents or guardians, be placed in foster care, be placed with other relatives, or be freed for permanent adoption.