CASA Up Close
CASA of Central Texas advocates for abused and neglected children in the court system by recruiting, training and supporting community volunteers.

     Welcome to another edition of CASA Up Close Monthly. Please feel free to contact CASA for more information about anything you read. And, as always, thank you for your continued support.
Letter from the Executive Director  

Excerpt from
Part two of our 12 part-series: A Year in the Life of CASA See this entire entry and previous entries in my
Executive Director Blog

A CPS Case Opens:   
Investigation by Child Protective Services, why a child is removed from their home, what parents are required to do.
     In Texas, every person is required by law to report suspected child abuse to the state intake center. Trained intake staff assign the appropriate priority based on the information available at the time they get the report.

Priority I  includes all reports of children who appear to face an immediate risk of abuse or neglect that could result in death or serious harm.  
Priority II includes all reports of abuse or neglect that are not assigned as Priority I.

     Once the report has been processed, a Child Protective Services investigator is assigned. At the end of the investigation, CPS makes a ruling on each allegation. There are several disposition outcomes, but the one that affirms abuse is Reason To Believe: Abuse or neglect occurred based on a preponderance of the evidence. This means when all evidence is weighed, it is more likely than not that abuse or neglect occurred.

     Not all investigations result in children being removed from home. CPS will go to court if it believes a child has been abused or neglected or is at risk of future abuse or neglect and needs protection. If a judge decides that a child needs to be removed from home, the child may go into foster care.  The case then must reach resolution within a year.
     Next month, learn more about what happens when abuse allegations are confirmed and a CPS case is opened.  Watch for part 3 of our series, In the Courtroom: Who is involved in a CPS case, what are their roles, how often does this happen?
Thank you,  
Norma Castilla-Blackwell
Executive Director  
Celebrating Debbie    

     The life of Debbie Haynes was celebrated Saturday the 25th in a beautiful ceremony with family and friends. She was part of our CASA family for more than 10 years.

     Debbie passed peacefully on February 18th at home with her family by her side. She is survived by her loving husband Chuck, three wonderful children, two adorable grandchildren, her parents, sisters, nieces and many extended family and friends.

      One of Debbie's passions was advocating for children who had been abused or neglected and needed her voice to represent their best interests.  As an advocate for 15 children - each of whom she loved dearly - and as a long-time employee at CASA, she helped many central Texas children find safe and stable homes.  She also had the great joy of knowing all of the CASA volunteers as they came through her interviews and training classes, more than 500 volunteers over 10 years. 

      Debbie was a cherished colleague and friend.  She is deeply missed.
Become a CASA Volunteer training
Nancy Deckard, CASA Volunteer

Training courses are ready for you!

San Marcos CASA office 
March 8 - April 12  
1 to 5 p.m. 
New Braunfels CASA office
March 9 - April 13 
4:30 to 8:30 p.m. 
Check out our calendar for dates and times for the rest of the year and for information on how to get enrolled.

For more information on training courses contact Volunteer Coordinator Samantha Mundine Coleman at 512-392-3578, 830-626-2272 or by email, or click here to visit our website.

Training is required for all new Court Appointed Special Advocate volunteers. 
Our Volunteer Training Course is a 6-class series.
Support CASA with a Sponsorship or Donation corral

 We are so excited River Road Ice House has partnered with us on CASA Corral and is donating their venue for our event! If you get a chance, check them out and pass along our appreciation.

Thank you to our event sponsors!
(More are welcome!)

Pecos Bill

Hopalong Cassidy
Coldwell Banker 1st National, REALTORS 
Mariposa at Hunter Road Apartments 
McKenna Foundation

Red Ryder
Gunn Nissan
John Manthey  
J&R Gymnastics 
The Kyle Law Firm 
Property Professionals, Inc.
Rio Verde Construction  
Texas Lehigh Cement Company LP

Support CASA's largest annual fundraising event through sponsorships, auction donations, or by purchasing tickets. 
Get more information and download the sponsorship package here 
Purchase individual tickets here 
"Voices" Information Sessions Voices 

Want to learn more about the role of a CASA Volunteer?

Come to
ribbon our one-hour information session and hear how our volunteers advocate for children who have been abused and neglected.   
CASA staff and
volunteers will be on hand to share their stories and answer your questions.  

New Braunfels 
Wednesday, March 1st, noon 
CASA office

Monday, March 13th, 1 p.m. 
Wimberley Village Library

San Marcos 
Wednesday, March 15th,  noon  
Historic County Courthouse, 1st floor conference room
Canyon Lake
Friday, March 24th, 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Mystic Shores Community Center

Please RSVP to Eloise Hudson by email or at 830-626-2272. 
Would you like to host a CASA Voices session in your town? Please contact us.
Lunch provided by Fox's Pizza Den in New Braunfels and Chick-fil-A in San Marcos. 
Be a Part of Online Giving

CASA of Central Texas is excited to be participating in Amplify Austin and The Big Give San Antonio this year. No matter where you live, you may choose to give to CASA through one or both!
Amplify Austin is a community-wide day of online giving with the goal of raising $7 million for nonprofits in 24 hours.  
Amplify Austin 
March 2-3

The 3rd Annual Big Give San Antonio is an online giving day  dedicated  to raising funds and awareness for nonprofits throughout South Central Texas.
CASA Day at the Capitol    
    CASA of Central Texas volunteers went to Austin on February 16th as part of the state-wide network's CASA Day at the Capitol. The day was full of legislative office visits! Our volunteers met with staffers from the offices of Representatives John Cyrier,  Kyle Biedermann, Jason Isaac and John Kuempel and Senators Donna Campbell and Judith Zaffirini.

CASA of Central Texas volunteers with State Representative John Kuempel. 
      All of our local legislators warmly welcomed us and are hearing our message of representing children's best interests in court and in the community. We appreciate their support so much! 

CASA of Central Texas volunteers with State Senator Judith Zaffirini. 
    Stay up to date on Texas CASA's legislative priorities for Texas 85th Legislative Session with the Bill Tracker here
Support CASA this Easter    
     Perfect timing for Easter! The Wing Society has partnered with the HoneyBaked Hams Company in the sale of gift cards and will receive 20% of each sale. 

     The Wing Society is a CASA of Central Texas auxiliary group whose mission is to provide positive support to sustain and vitalize the commitment of volunteer CASA Advocates in Caldwell, Comal, Guadalupe and Hays Counties. Their funding provides get togethers for the volunteers, welcome receptions for new volunteers, scholarships to conferences and more.

     HoneyBaked Gift Cards can be used at HoneyBaked stores nationwide, to shop online, or to order from the HoneyBaked catalog. So don't hesitate to order cards as gifts for friends and relatives in other cities (as well as yourself, of course)! Get your gift cards here 
February 2017
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Upcoming Events


Voices Tour in New Braunfels 
Noon -1 p.m.
CASA office

2nd - 3rd 
Amplify Austin Fundraiser  
6 p.m. - 6 p.m.

CASA Volunteer Training Begins
1 - 4 p.m.
Historic Hays County Courthouse room 101
CASA Volunteer Training Begins
4:30 - 8:30 p.m.
New Braunfels CASA office

Voices Tour in San Marcos 
Noon - 1 p.m.
Historic Courthouse room 101


Child Abuse Prevention and Awareness Month 
Voices Tour in New Braunfels 
Noon -1 p.m.
CASA office

Voices Tour in San Marcos 
Noon - 1 p.m.
Historic Courthouse
room 101

CASA Volunteer Training Begins
1 - 5 p.m.
Seguin, location TBA 

CASA Volunteer Training Begins
4:30 - 8:30 p.m.
Historic Hays County Courthouse room 101
CASA Volunteer Training Begins
1 - 5 p.m.
New Braunfels CASA office


Voices Tour in New Braunfels 
Noon -1 p.m.
CASA office

Big Give S.A. Online Fundraiser  
All Day 
More info click here

Voices Tour in San Marcos 
Noon - 1 p.m.
Historic Courthouse room 101

CASA Of Central Texas Inc.