CASA Up Close | June 2019
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

  • Congrats Grads
  • Welcome New CASA Volunteers
  • Training Dates
  • Information Sessions
  • CASA Classic Golf Tournament
  • Welcome Brandi
  • Continuing Education
  • We Will Miss You Cathy
  • CASA Superhero Run
  • Help Us Pave the Way
  • Good Luck Martin
  • Events Benefiting CASA
  • Cars for CASA
  • Community Support
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 these older youth. I truly believe that as our volunteers are providing critically needed support, they are in turn bettering our community.

We are very proud of our three CASA youth, Alexis, Amanda and Jesse , who successfully completed their high school education this Spring.
Norma Castilla-Blackwell
CASA of Central Texas
Executive Director
Pictured l-r: CASA Board Member Susie Russell, CASA Executive Director Norma Blackwell, Elizabeth Medellin of Comal County, Marisa Gras of Guadalupe County, W endy Kruse of Guadalupe County, Carmina Fusco of Guadalupe County, Gregory Cunningham of Comal County, John Klepper of Comal County, Judge Melissa McClenahan, Trish Weeks of Comal County, Elizabeth Barham of Hays County, Gregory Schnell of Comal County, Pamela Andasola of Guadalupe and CASA Training Coordinator Brandi Raschke.
Become a CASA Volunteer
Upcoming Training Dates

Monday - San Marcos
June 17 - July 15
4:30 - 8:30

Tuesdays - New Braunfels
June 18 - July 16
1 - 5 p.m.

Saturdays - Lockhart
July 13th - July 27th
9 - 3 p.m.

Wednesdays - San Marcos
July 31 - August 28
1 - 5 p.m.

Thursdays - New Braunfels
August 1 - August 29
4:30 - 8:30 p.m.

For more information on training courses, contact Layla Coleman at 512-392-3578, 830-626-2272, or by email.

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.

 Application deadline prior to each cycle is two weeks before start of training.
Submit your volunteer application here .
"Voices" Information Sessions
Want to learn more about the role of a CASA Volunteer?

Come to 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. 

Please RSVP to Eloise Hudson by email or at 830-626-2272. 
Upcoming Information Sessions

Monday, June 10th, noon
Seguin Public Library

 San Marcos
Wednesday, June 19th, noon 
Historic County Courthouse, 1st floor conference room

Monday, July 1st, 6:30 pm
Schertz Public Library
Tuesday, July 2nd 6:00 p.m.
Lockhart Public Library
  New Braunfels
Wednesday, July 3rd, noon
CASA office
CASA Classic

October 29, 2019
San Marcos
It’s time to tee up for CASA! We are honored to partner again with Corridor Title for the 3 rd Annual CASA Classic Golf Tournament. More than a round of golf, participants and sponsors play an instrumental role so that CASA can train and support more advocates for children.

We also welcome our new partner and venue host Kissing Tree Golf Club - San Marcos’ newest and best course! Swing for an amazing cause and register today as a team, individual, or sponsor here .
Due to expected high demand, we recommend that you sign up soon. Otherwise you may miss out on a hole lot of fun!

Sponsorships Available:
Ace $5,000 – 2 teams included
Front Nine $3,000 – 2 teams included
Back Nine $3,000 – 2 teams included
Eagle $2,000 – 1 team included
Birdie $1,500 – 1 team included
Hole - $400
Team Registration (4) – $600
Individual Registration – $200
Space limited to 36 Teams/144 Players

Thank You to our Sponsors!
Ace Sponsor:
19th Hole Sponsor:
Hole Sponsors:

Jim Flynn Photography
Karl and Beth Hittle
Taste of New Braunfels
Continuing Education for Volunteers
Trial Preparation and CASA Testimony
On May 20, Comal ADA Jessica Devaney and Attorney Phiang Aldrich provided insight into the trial preparation process and expectations for CASA as Guardian ad Litem. As Ms. Devaney represents the Department of Family and Protective Services, she noted that CPS has different constraints as a result of policies and requirements that foster a “one size fits all” approach to our children in care. This is where CASA is especially useful. Both attorneys highlighted the need to know the Holley Factors and the duties of Guardian ad Litem per the Texas Family Code. It’s essential that CASAs not limit themselves to complete a task just once – they are to be done multiple times throughout the case (interviewing child, parents, service providers, etc.). When a hearing is approaching, CASAs should get a recent statement from their verbal children regarding their desires.
Other tips provided were for volunteers to do their own research and not rely solely on CPS information, to include positive observations regarding the children and parents (lends credibility), to keep detailed notes and a timeline, to follow the guidance of the CASA Supervisor, and to utilize the power of the internet! CASAs should not only present their recommendations to the Court, but should also articulate specific reasons why. Ms. Devaney stated that “CASA’s consistency makes a difference and you are a making a difference to a child.” And, isn’t that the most important thing of all?
Events Benefiting CASA

CASA of Central Texas welcomes community initiatives to help 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 Movie Hero Run
Saturday, June 8
Stars and Stripes Drive-in Theater
New Braunfels

5K and Kids Run
Presented by Athlete Guild

June 6-8
The Villa at Gruene

An annual celebration of Geezerness and great Texas Music
An A Major Funding production

Willie's Spirit Night
Tuesday, June 11
4 p.m. to 10 p.m.
2966 Coldsprings Drive
New Braunels 

Mention CASA and Willie’s will donate 15% of your check!
Cars for CASA

 Have an old car taking up space in your driveway? Donate it to CASA of Central Texas! CASA partners with CARS on a vehicle donation program. We accept most cars, trucks, trailers, boats, RV's, motorcycles, off road vehicles, heavy equipment and other motorized vehicles. 

Making a donation is EASY ! It's as easy as filling out an online donation form here or picking up a phone and speaking to a live operator at 855-500-7433 seven days a week.
Why donate your vehicle to CASA?
* Avoid the hassles of selling a car * No need to pay hefty repair bills * Free up space in your garage * 100% tax deductible *
Community Support
Orange Theory New Braunfels
Capital Area Housing Finance Corporation
CASA of Central Texas, Inc. | 830-626-2272 | |