Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) of Central Texas is enrolling now for the upcoming volunteer training session, and more volunteers are needed for the program to keep up with the number of child abuse victims in the area.
CASA of Central Texas advocates for abused and neglected children in the community by recruiting, training and supporting community volunteers. CASA volunteers are appointed to children who are confirmed victims of abuse or neglect to independently investigate the case and provide recommendations to the family court judge, what is in the best interest of the child. They often serve as the only consistent adult in the child’s life.
Central Texas Child Protective Court Judge Melissa McClenahan said she appreciates CASA volunteers in her courtroom and would like to see more.
“In the child protection court of central Texas, CASA volunteers are extremely important to my court. They assist me in making decisions regarding what is the best interest of the children. They are my eyes and ears and arms and legs. They can get out and visit with children and people and take things into consideration that I am not able to know about without being in court,” She said. “So when they come to court I really do value their opinions and suggestions and more often than not I take those into consideration and make a ruling that is consistent with their recommendations.”
Training sessions will be held Saturdays July 11 through Aug. 8, from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. using the video conference tool Zoom.
In 2019, CASA of Central Texas served 587 children in Caldwell, Comal, Guadalupe and Hays counties but there were an estimated 560 or more additional children who needed a CASA volunteer.