January 2013  

CASA Up Close

Welcome to another edition of CASA Up Close Monthly. Below you will find information about our supporters, upcoming events, training opportunities and more. Please feel free to contact CASA for more information about anything you read. And, as always, thank you for your continued support.

CASA of Central Texas


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

Every child has the right to a safe, nurturing, permanent home.
Letter from the Executive Director

Moving Forward

     As we start 2013, I want to take a moment to say thank you for your support of CASA in 2012. Because of you, 372 children had the powerful voice of a CASA volunteer to speak up for them in the courtroom, in schools and in our community. This is almost 70 more children than we were able to serve last year.   

     We were blessed to have 197 dedicated CASA volunteers active on cases last year and we were able to help close 63 cases for 136 children!


     Of the 136 children whose cases closed, the number of reunifications with family members is one that should be highlighted. 110 of the children that we worked with found permanency with their parents or relatives:  

*  70 of the children were reunified with their parents
40 were adopted by or now live permanently with relatives
*  14 were adopted by new families
12 reached independent living (turned 18 years old)  

     Even though we made great achievements in 2012, we must work even harder in 2013. The 372 children who had a CASA volunteer were still just 49% of the children in State care.

     If you're already a volunteer, or you know that volunteering isn't the way you can help right now, please help us recruit more volunteers. Invite them to one of our monthly Voices Tours or invite us to one of your community organization meetings. 

     If you aren't already a volunteer advocate, consider becoming one. The first step is to complete an application and schedule a pre-training interview. More information can be found here


     We will work hard in 2013 to come closer to our goal of providing a CASA to every child in State care. We hope you will support us in this mission.



Norma Castilla-Blackwell 

CASA Flambeaux

Thank you to our sponsors!


Le Roi
Bonner Carrington LLC
 Carola & John Davis
Germer Farms
Judge Bruce Boyer &
Toya Ohlrich Boyer
Karen Sleighter
KASHA Corp. (2 tables)
LCRA Employee's United Charities 
Pegasus School, Inc.
The Tomblin Family Foundation
United Heritage Charity Foundation
Dr. Wade Wilson
Le Reine
Becky Lake
Carolyn Liner
Central Texas Medical Center
 Doss/Lehmann Families
Kathleen Dial
New Braunfels Pediatrics Association 
Randolph-Brooks Federal
Credit Union
Rita's Natural Food Market
San Marcos Re-Investment Corp.
Seton Medical Center Hays

FlamFeathers, Beads and Masks,  
What More Do We Need
to Have a Blast?

Krewe du CASA Invites you to
Laissez le bon temps rouler at

CASA Flambeaux

District Judge Bruce Boyer &
Toya Ohlrich Boyer
and Karen Sleighter

Enjoy beautiful cars, live music provided by Louisiana's Rockin' Fidler Waylon Thibodeaux, and the chance to take home items up for bid in a live and silent auction.

February 8th 
6:30 p.m. to 10:00 p.m.
Dick's Classic Garage
120 Stagecoach Trail
San Marcos, Texas
Individual tickets are $75 and
may be purchased

Sponsorship levels are
$2,500, $1,000 and $600.
Live and silent auction items needed.
To become a sponsor or to donate auction items, contact the CASA office at
830-626-2272 or 512-392-3578.
Volunteer Voices

Positive Outcomes

Advocate Yolanda Flores did a photo shoot
with her three CASA children last summer.  


Photograph by Lalo Garcia SAeventphotography.com
Funding for photo session provided by the Mary Bonner Community Needs Grant

When reflecting on this case and the role she played as
the CASA volunteer, Yolanda said,


"Today these three children, living with their great-grandparents, are growing, thriving, and are experiencing great health....things which we did not believe could have been achieved.  These fantastic results have brought great satisfaction to me, making me feel like I made a difference in these children's lives...I do feel very valued and proud."

Upcoming Volunteer Trainings
Make a Difference in the life of a child,
become a CASA Volunteer

CASA of Central Texas Advocate Jeannette Sheridan.

 New Braunfels CASA office

March 4th through April 1st 


4:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.

April 25th through May 16th
1:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. 



San Marcos CASA office

March 6th through April 3rd 


1:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.


          April 23rd through May 14th
                 4:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. 



To learn more about volunteer training sessions, contact Training Coordinator Debbie Haynes at 512-392-3578 or by e-mail. More info on becoming a volunteer here.

Watch is a CASA volunteer? 
What this video to see how we speak up for children.
Online Trainings

Next Flex Learning course begins the week of May 6th.
To learn more about
Flex Learning,
contact Training Coordinator
Debbie Haynes
at 512-392-3578
or by e-mail.
CASA to offer Flex Learning

     CASA requires that all volunteer advocates receive at least 30 hours of training before they are assigned a case. Now, CASA of Central Texas is excited to offer a new volunteer training curriculum option from National CASA: Flex Learning 


     This curriculum takes a blended approach to training, combining in-person and online delivery of information. The training occurs in five sessions.  Each session contains approximately 3 hours of self-guided work that participants complete online before attending a 3-hour in-person classroom session.  This training opportunity will be offered starting in April and will last 5 weeks. 


    If you are comfortable using technology and are a self-motivated learner, you may find this type of training experience beneficial.  


     Funding from this new curriculum was provided by "A Community Team" at HD Supply. 

Welcome New Volunteer Advocate

New Advocate Joins CASA


Diana Hastings (right) sworn in on December 21st.


Can You Help CASA?

Advertise CASA at Your Business

     CASA of Central Texas is always looking for more volunteers and you can help.

     Gennaro's Trattoria Authentic Italian Kitchen in Canyon Lake allowed us to put up our banner for three weeks in their restaurant. Everyone who came to eat saw our banner and contact information.

     If you would like to have a CASA banner or CASA brochures in your place of business to help us recruit more volunteers, please contact Community Relations Coordinator Eloise Hudson at (830)-626-2272 or by email.
Words from the Heart

Poem by Judy Godinez
CASA of Cental Texas
Volunteer Advocate
I Hoped 

  I hoped I could be somebody

And be all that I could be;

And I got there 'cause my CASA

Stood up for what's best for Me.

I hoped I could help somebody

Be the best child they could be;

And I got the chance as a CASA
'Cause they trained and empowered me.

Advocating at the State Level

CASA Participates in "CASA Day at the Capitol"

     Sixteen CASA of Central Texas representatives joined advocates from across the state Wednesday, January 30th. CASA Day at the Capitol was recognized by a resolution in the House and Senate, and the representatives and senators met with their local program's volunteers.

    CASA of Central Texas volunteers shared stories about the children they have worked with, needed improvements in the child welfare system, and the need for more CASA volunteers.
CASA is Top Rated
CASA Wins Top Spot on Non-Profit Review Site    



     GreatNonprofits - a site similar to Amazon Book Reviews or TripAdvisor - conducts a campaign each year to identify the top-rated children and family nonprofit organizations in the country.


     CASA made the list in 2011, and thanks to all of the amazing reviews we got from all of you, we've won a spot on the 2012 Top-Rated List!   

Here are some of the reviews that were posted:

"As a CASA we are their voice in the Courtroom and the Court listens. I was just in Court yesterday and I was thanked several times for being there for these particular children. The funny thing is that no one needs to thank me ever, the joy I get from helping these children is thanks enough."  

"My CASA supervisor has been fantastic at responding to my questions. Everyone has been very helpful at making sure that I am not alone in caring about this child. The CASA experience is a cooperative team experience, and I highly recommend it to anyone who wants to make a difference in a child's life." 

"The staff at CASA of Central Texas is supportive and professional--I always have help when I need it. As a mental health professional, I am impressed with the way this CASA program is organized and with the quality of training that is offered."    



Click HERE to see CASA's complete profile on the site.   

Online Philanthropy

Mark Your Calendar to
Make a Difference

     Amplify Austin is a community-wide day of online philanthropy with the goal of raising $1 million in 24 hours, and CASA of Central Texas will be a part of this exciting campaign.

     Beginning at 7p.m. on March 4th, 2013, Texans from in and around Austin are encouraged to log on to www.AmplifyATX.org to select from a list of over 300 local nonprofits, (including CASA of Central Texas) and show the rest of the world just how charitable Central Texas can be. 
CASA Continuing Education
Upcoming Training for CASA Volunteers

Advocates will receive detailed information about trainings as the dates get closer, but for now, mark your calendars if you would like to attend.   



February 19

Advocacy for Children with Special Needs and Talents 

Presented by Rebecca Felan

     Retired public school teacher 

9 a.m. - 12 p.m.  

McKenna Events Center
801 W. San Antonio Street, New Braunfels  


March 26

Cultural Competency in Child Advocacy 

Presented by Amy Ford

    Consultant, Brown Babies Pink Parents Consulting and Coaching

5:30 p.m. - 8:30 p.m.   

The Price Center
222 W. San Antonio St., San Marcos

April 18 
Trauma Informed Prevention

Presented by Mike Foster
    LCPAA, LCPA, Program Specialist, A World for Children
Time TBA
Location TBA 


Volunteers are required to complete 12 hours of continuing education annually
Upcoming Information Sessions
 casa 25

CASA can also
bring our tour
to you, just
give us a call!
You are Invited to a CASA Voices Tour
Learn about CASA and the work our advocates are doing in the community.  Join us on the 1st and 2nd Wednesdays of each month for a one-hour "virtual" tour of our mission.  Open to everyone, bring your friends, family and colleagues and we will provide lunch! 


 New Braunfels CASA office 


Wednesday February 6th - Noon 

 Wednesday March 6th - Noon


San Marcos CASA office 


Wednesday February 13th - Noon

Wednesday March 13th - Noon 



Lunch provided by Fox's Pizza Den in New Braunfels
and Chick-fil-A in San Marcos.

Please RSVP to Ali Wilkinson by e-mail or at 830-626-2272.
Upcoming Events

6th-      Voices Tour, noon
             New Braunfels CASA office

8th-     CASA Flambeaux, 6:30 - 10 p.m.
             Dick's Classic Garage, San Marcos

13th-    Voices Tour, noon

             San Marcos CASA office

19th-    Continuing Education, 9 a.m. - 12 p.m.  
              Advocacy for Children with Special Needs and Talents
              McKenna Events Center, New Braunfels 


4th-      Advocate Training Begins 
             New Braunfels CASA office

4th-      Amplify Austin

6th-      Advocate Training Begins 
             San Marcos CASA office

6th-      Voices Tour, noon
             New Braunfels CASA office

13th-    Voices Tour, noon
              San Marcos CASA office

26th-    Continuing Education, 5:30 - 8:30 p.m. 
              Cultural Competency in Child Advocacy
              The Price Center, San Marcos


Child Abuse Prevention and Awareness Month

3rd-      Voices Tour, noon
             New Braunfels CASA office

10th-    Voices Tour, noon
              San Marcos CASA office

18th-     Continuing Education, TBA
              Trauma Informed Prevention

23rd-     Advocate Training Begins
              San Marcos CASA office

25th-     Advocate Training Begins
              New Braunfels CASA office 

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Phone: 830-626-2272

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