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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.