CASA Up Close | June 2021
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! Use these quick links to get involved.
In this Issue
  • Welcome New Advocates
  • Congratulations Graduates
  • Information Sessions
  • Training Dates
  • CAMP CASA
  • Program Spotlight
  • CASA Classic
  • Continuing Education
  • CASA Yard Signs
  • Child Abuse Prevention Training
Letter from the Executive Director
When youth remain in foster care through their teenage years, the CASA volunteer serves a unique and important role by helping prepare these young people to become self-sufficient members of the community.

Providing a stable voice of encouragement, giving guidance to prepare for the future, offering emotional encouragement and connecting youth to skills-building resources that will increase the chances for a positive future - this is how our CASA Volunteers make a difference. 

Earning a diploma is an achievement for all youth and we are delighted to celebrate with them. National statistics show that about half of youth in foster care do not earn their high school diploma.

I sincerely thank our advocates who work with our older youth. I truly believe that as our volunteers are providing critically needed support, they are in turn bettering our community.

We are very excited for Aiden, Alex, Amber, Ayden, Christian, Gabriel, Jesus, and Trina - each successfully completed high school this Spring! What a year this has been for our seniors and everyone deserves to be celebrated! Please take a moment to read more below about three of them.
Norma Castilla-Blackwell
Executive Director
CASA of Central Texas
Congratulations Graduates
We are honored to highlight a few of our youth who graduated this year

Jesus graduated from high school on May 29. He hopes either to enlist in the military or pursue certification in automobile or airplane engine repair. CASA has been advocating for him and his two brothers since 2014. He is pictured here with his CASA Supervisor, Tim Judkins.
Trina graduated from high school on May 25 from the University of Texas Charter School System onsite at St. Jude’s Ranch for Children. She plans to attend a two year community college before transferring to Corpus Christi A&M to study Marine Biology. CASA Volunteer Kathleen Schindler has been her advocate since 2013.


Ayden graduated on May 27 and has expressed interest in attending a trade school in Texas. CASA Volunteer Susan Hankins was appointed August 2020 as his advocate.
Virtual Information Sessions Online
Want to learn more about the role of a CASA Volunteer?

Join our 30-minute information session and hear how our volunteers advocate for children who have experienced abuse and neglect.

Pick a time that works for you and use the link to register on Zoom!
If these times don't work for you, contact Eloise Hudson and she can do a 1-1 at your convenience!
Mondays
10 a.m.
Register Here

Wednesdays
5 p.m.
Register Here

Tuesdays/Thursdays
Noon
Register Here

Become a CASA Volunteer
Upcoming Advocate Training Courses
Held online via Zoom

Thursdays
June 24 through July 22
5-8:30 PM
Thinking about becoming a CASA Volunteer but don't know if you are ready?
Don't worry, we have you covered in our 42-hour training curriculum.

Listen to our latest CASA Chat to hear from one of our new volunteers, Lisa, about how the training prepared her for her first case.

One-hour pre-training interview to occur at least one week before start of each training cycle. Mandatory 10-hour online class to be completed during the training cycle.

For more information on training courses, contact Brandi Raschke at 512-392-3578, 830-626-2272, or by email.
Annual Dinner & Auction
It is with great pleasure that CASA of Central Texas is hosting
our annual fundraising celebration!

You are invited to Camp CASA, Where Every Kid Deserves to be a Happy Camper!

We truly appreciate your support and hope you join us for this evening to benefit the children in our communities.

August 20, 2021 at 6:30 pm
The Chandelier of Gruene

HONOREES
Caldwell County - Leonard Germer
Comal County - Belinda and Ron Frisk
Guadalupe County - Linda Douglass
Hays County - Laura Dupont

Sponsorship and ticket information Here
Thank you to our sponsors:
Trailblazer
Stargazer

Guiding Arrows
Happy Campers
J&R Gymnastics
Lisa A Fredrickson
Kern and Becky Huff
Prosperity Bank
In-Kind Donors
Dripping Springs Distilling
Program Spotlight - Observing Visitation
Leslie Goodwin has been a Case Supervisor with CASA of Central Texas since 2020. In the role of advocating for best interests of the children, she highlights the importance of observing parent-child visits.

Usually at the beginning of a CPS case, visits between parents and their children are supervised by the Department of Family and Protective Services or an approved third-party individual. CASA is never the responsible supervisor of parent-child visits but we attend and observe. Once parents demonstrate enough progress in their service plan and the Court approves, parents can then have unsupervised visits.

Due to COVID-19, virtual visits with children have become the norm and are not ideal. Virtual visits are often shorter in duration especially with younger children who have a shorter attention span; however, there is the opportunity for the visits to be more frequent.

Parents and volunteers have come up with creative ways to interact with the children virtually: playing a board game together, watching streamed videos, virtually touring museums and aquariums, doing a craft or art project, or holding a scavenger hunt.
CASA of Central Texas requests that volunteers observe at least one parent-child visit before each court hearing. I encourage my volunteers to observe one visit per month in order to get a good grasp of the family dynamic and to notice if and how it changes over time. Whether in person or virtual, I advise volunteers to keep a respectful distance so that the parent and child can truly engage with one another without distractions. For virtual visits, it's appropriate to turn off video and mute yourself.

Questions that CASA volunteers consider when observing parent-child visits include: How is the child’s demeanor when interacting with their parents versus when interacting with other people? Are the interactions appropriate and engaging? What do their conversations entail? What memories or recent events are shared?

It’s important to listen carefully and look for concerns as well as strengths.
CASA Classic





Monday October 25, 2021
Kissing Tree Golf Club
San Marcos
After much anticipation, we are ecstatic to announce the date of 5th Annual Corridor Title – CASA Classic Golf Tournament! Grab your clubs and prepare to tee off on Monday, October 25, 2021. This year, participants of all skill levels will enjoy a game surrounded by breathtaking landscapes of the illustrious and extremely gracious Kissing Tree Golf Club.
 
In even more exciting news, we have expanded our sponsorship and underwriter opportunities and benefits including a new underwriter opportunity for the tournament’s first-ever Million Dollar Shootout! Register today here to ensure you have a chance to take home one of this year’s prizes!

Player Opportunities
Team of 4- $800
Individual Player- $250
 
Sponsorship with Playing Opportunities: 
Ace - $10,000
19th Hole - $7,500
Front Nine - $5,000
Back Nine - $5,000
Eagle - $2,500
Birdie - $2,000
 
Non-Playing Underwriter Opportunities:
Million Dollar Hole-in-One Shootout - $5,000 
Lunch Boxes - $2,500
Dinner - $2,500
Media - $2,500
Golf Gifts- $2,000
Golf Pro - $1,500
Golf Ball - $1,500
Golf Carts - $1,000
Hole-In-One - $1,000
Beverage Cart - $1,000
Refreshments - $750
Breakfast Bags - $750
Entertainment - $750
Hole Underwriter (18 opportunities!) - $500
 
Learn more & register  https://give.classy.org/2021casaclassic
Volunteer Continuing Education
Beth Olivarez, a Crisis Counselor with Texans Recovering Together, presented in May on their crisis counseling program which provides support, resources, and tools for anyone who has felt the direct impacts, emotional tolls, and mental weight of COVID-19.

She covered particular mental health definitions such as burnout, self-care, self-talk, and coping skills.

Because those in the helping industry - such as CASA volunteers and staff - give so much of themselves to others, it may be difficult to balance the different compartments of their lives and they may experience burnout. To avoid burnout, it's important to celebrate small victories, set realistic goals, ask for help when needed, and take care of yourself! We need to make sure our cups are filled so we can help others fill their cups. Texans Recovering Together offers skills sessions and tailor their program to an individual’s needs. If you or someone you know would like to connect with a Crisis Counselor, call 830-777-4255.
CASA Yard Signs
Show your support for CASA right in your own front yard or place of business! CASA yard signs are now available! Help us spread the word!

If you know someone in your neighborhood or circle of friends who would like one, grab a handful!

To pick up a CASA of Central Texas yard sign, please email Eloise at ehudson@casacentex.org.
Child Sexual Abuse Prevention Training

Child sexual abuse is an adult issue. One in 10 children in the U.S. will be sexually abused before the age of 18. Darkness to Light ® believes that adults are responsible for the safety of children and that adults should be taking proactive steps to protect children from sexual abuse.

FREE TRAINING OPEN TO THE PUBLIC
Using an evidence-informed approach, attendees are provided with simple and practical actions to prevent, recognize, and react responsibly to child sexual abuse. This is a free training for anyone who has interactions with children in various community settings. We should strive to not only protect our own children, but all children in our community.
This training is offered by an authorized facilitator on the fourth Friday of each month. If this schedule does not work for you, you may schedule a different date. Please encourage your colleagues, friends, and family to attend this two-hour training with you as it leads to improved learning through impactful discussion.
Events Benefiting CASA

CASA of Central Texas welcomes community initiatives to promote awareness and funding for our program. By taking on this type of project, event organizers assume the responsibility of creating a successful event without a significant level of assistance from CASA. All special events and fundraising efforts conducted to benefit CASA are run by financially responsible and reputable organizations and individuals motivated by a genuine desire to help CASA. If you are interested in hosting a third-party fundraiser to benefit CASA, please review these guidelines.
CASA of Central Texas, Inc. | 830-626-2272 | info@casacentex.org | www.casacentex.org