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
Part one of our 12 part-series: A Year in the Life of CASA See this entire entry and previous entries in my Executive Director Blog
An Unsafe Home:
What a child experiences in an abusive home, recognizing different types of abuse, how abuse affects children.
Although included as a type of abuse, physical harm is not the only type of child abuse. According to the Department of Family and Protective Services, the affirmation of abuse can relate to four categories:
Physical Abuse and injury (ranging from minor bruises to severe fractures or death) can result from punching, beating, shaking, kicking, biting, throwing, stabbing, hitting, burning, choking, or otherwise harming a child. Suspect Physical Abuse When You See:
Fear of going home or seeing parents
Injuries that appear after a child has not been seen for several days
Unreasonable clothing that may hide injuries to arms or legs
Neglect is failure to provide for a child's basic needs necessary to sustain the life or health of the child
. Suspect Neglect When You See:
Lack of personal cleanliness
Child unattended for long periods of time
Sexual Abuse includes fondling a child's genitals, penetration, incest, rape, sodomy, indecent exposure, and exploitation through prostitution or producing pornographic materials.
Suspect Sexual Abuse When You See:
Sexual comments, behaviors or play
Knowledge of sexual relations beyond what is expected for a child's age
Sexual victimization of other children
Emotional Abuse is mental or emotional injury that results in an observable and material impairment in a child's growth, development, or psychological functioning.
Suspect Emotional Abuse When You See:
Severe depression, anxiety, or aggression
Lagging in physical, emotional, and intellectual development
In addition to immediate effects abuse can cause on a child, the lasting effects from the physical harm, traumatic experiences, and disruption of their lives while in foster care can have an impact that will be present even after a child is placed in a permanent, safe home.
According to the Child Welfare Information Gateway, children who are victims of abuse and neglect often suffer from physical, psychological, behavioral, and societal consequences. These consequences range from brain damage, to poor mental health, to criminal activity, and more.
So as you can see, there are many ways a child can be suffering from abuse, and the effects can be immediate and long-lasting. Next month, we will look at what happens to the children when intervention begins, in part two of our series, A CPS Case Opens: Investigation by Child Protective Services, why a child is removed from their home, what parents are required to do.
Norma Castilla-Blackwell Executive Director
John Manthey, CASA volunteer since 2015
"I wanted to directly help children."
"I previously helped children as a board member/president of non profits helping children but I felt that it would be more rewarding for me to become directly involved which has proven to be true."
"CASA is very supportive of its volunteers and makes you feel your time is worthwhile and appreciated."
Become a CASA Volunteer
Bill Raissle, CASA Volunteer since 2012.
Training courses are ready for you!
San Marcos CASA office
March 8 - April 12
1 to 5 p.m.
Thursdays 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
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 on our thanks.
Thank you to our current event sponsors!
Coldwell Banker 1st National, REALTORS
Mariposa at Hunter Road Apartments
The Kyle Law Firm
Property Professionals, INC
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
Voices Tour 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.
Wednesday, February 1st, noon CASA office
Monday, February 13th, 1 p.m. Wimberley Village Library
Wednesday, February 15th, noon
Historic County Courthouse, 1st floor conference room
Thursday, February 23rd, 6 p.m.
GVEC Community Room
Monday, February 27th, noon GVEC Community Room
Please RSVP to Eloise Hudson by email or at 830-626-2272.
Would you like to host a CASA Voices Tour in your town? Please contact us.
Lunch provided by Fox's Pizza Den in New Braunfels and Chick-fil-A in San Marcos.
Fundraising for CASA in theCommunity
Join us for a Spirit Night to benefit CASA of Central Texas! Mention you are there in support of CASA of Central Texas and Willie's will donate 15% of your check!
Wednesday, February 8 4 p.m. to 10 p.m. 2966 Coldsprings Drive New Braunfels
The 2017 CASA Day at the
Capitol is gearing up! Hundreds of CASA advocates from all over the state will visit legislative officials to raise awareness about bills that will help our children. We encourage CASA of Central Texas advocates to be a part of this great event on February 16th. Registration is required (and more info is available) through the Texas CASA website, accessed
CASA of Central Texas will provide an optional vanpool for volunteers attending the Day at the Capitol on February 16th. After you register with Texas CASA, please
email Tricia Schneider with the following information:
If you plan to vanpool with us, pick up in New Braunfels or San Marcos?
Lunch is available for a nominal $3 fee when you register online with Texas CASA. Reimbursement is available from CASA of Central Texas (print your receipt for reimbursement).
Led by advocate John Barthel, our local Legislative Advocacy Team (LAT) will schedule appointments for our volunteers to meet with legislators. Meeting times and locations will be provided at Check-in on the 16th.
Stay up to date on Texas CASA's legislative priorities for Texas 85th Legislative Session with the bill tracker
Preparing Youth for Adulthood
Older youth in foster care often lack skills and resources needed to successfully transition from life in foster care to life as independent young adults. To ensure that our CASA volunteers have the knowledge to guide and support our young people, CASA of Central Texas hosted a continuing education class on January 24th on Preparation for Adult Living Services, also known as "PAL".
Offered by the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services, PAL services help foster youth and alumni from ages 15 1/2 to 21 by providing Circles of Support, Life-skills Classes, and Aftercare Services. Jose Chapa from Region 8 spoke with CASA regarding the variety of state-funded benefits that youth are entitled to, but are often unaware of. He also addressed special considerations for children belonging to Native American tribes and foster youth who are placed in out-of-state homes.
With a deeper understanding, CASA volunteers help ensure that our older youth and young adults achieve paid employment, independent housing, good health, positive friendships and community inclusion as they move into adulthood. If you are interested in helping this way, please contact Recruiting Coordinator
A Year in Review
More than 220 active volunteers, 12 new training classes and 62 new volunteers sworn in!
These volunteers advocated for 488 children and saw outcomes on their cases including 71 children reunified with their families and 59 adoptions.
See even more of our accomplishments in this year's
CASA of Central Texas received a donation from the McCraw Oil/Kwik Chek Annual Golf Tournament. This is the 7th year that they have made a contribution to CASA of Central Texas through their charity tournament benefitting multiple CASA programs across the state. The great folks at their Wimberley store love CASA!