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


Volunteers Step Forward:   
Why CASA volunteers are qualified to advocate for children, background checks and training.

     Advocating for children who were abused and are now in the child welfare system is a responsibility that we take seriously. It is a privilege for me to be a part of this organization and be surrounded by caring, dedicated community members who give their time and hearts to the children. But, before volunteer service begins, CASA has the responsibility to make sure volunteers are properly screened and trained, so that highly qualified individuals are assigned to the court and the children in our care.

     Our screening process begins with an application form which provides a snapshot of a prospective volunteer. Also included are consent forms for background checks which include a DFPS Abuse & Neglect Registry check and a driving record check. CASA also requires our prospective volunteers to have their fingerprints run by the federal government for a criminal history check. We also ask for 5 personal references.

     After CASA receives a completed application packet, the prospective volunteer is scheduled for a one-on-one interview with our trainer. This is where CASA gets to know the volunteer on a more personal level. What are their motivations for volunteering, what are their concerns about getting involved with abused children, what personal experiences might have effects, positive or negative, on their duties as a volunteer? We want to ensure volunteers are self-aware of biases and triggers so that they can practice self-care and so that we can be informed when matching a case assignment to them. CASA staff is trained to identify red flags, and also to get a feel for which cases a volunteer might be most appropriate for.

     And now, training can begin. Read about our training process in the complete ED Blog here

     Next month, learn how CASA Volunteers make a difference inside the courtroom and out in part six of our series, CASA is Appointed: How a judge involves CASA, the role of Guardian ad Litem, the CASA volunteer-supervisor team.
 
 
Thank you,  
 
Norma Castilla-Blackwell
Executive Director  
Volunteer Voices
Jane Vaninger, CASA Volunteer since 2016

Why did you become a CASA? 
"I wanted to make a difference in the life of a child."
   
What is something that has stood out to you during your time as a CASA volunteer?
"How important it is for children to have good role models; they learn best by having fun. A child who can play carefree and know they are safe, can rely on an adult to listen, respect and care for them."

What would you say to someone thinking about becoming a CASA volunteer?
"It is rewarding to provide support to a child as they are undergoing a stressful transition.  Your time is rewarded by seeing the child develop and grow."
 
Birthday Presents for CASA     
    

Rowan and Claire Edwards had their 6th and 2nd birthday party this month and they continued their tradition of asking guests to bring household items instead of gifts to the party. The items were donated to CASA and will be given to homes where our children are placed with relatives who do not receive the same monthly stipend as foster homes. 
Become a CASA Volunteer training
Nancy Deckard, CASA Volunteer


Training courses are ready for you!

 
Wednesdays
 
San Marcos CASA office 
June 7 - July 5    
1 to 5 p.m. 
 
Thursdays
New Braunfels CASA office
June 8 - July 6 
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 5-class series.
Thank You for Giving Big  
  On behalf of our Volunteer Advocates, Board of Directors and Staff, we thank you for taking part in The Big Give S.A. and choosing to support CASA of Central Texas.

     We had 94 donors who helped raise over $5,920 for CASA of Central Texas! And because of those who participated, we were were awarded an additional $4,750 in prize money from the McKenna Foundation, the New Braunfels Area Community Foundation and the San Antonio Area Foundation! We also had two generous donors who committed to matching donations up to $10,000, which means CASA of Central Texas' final total from the Big Give was $20,670!

     With your contribution, you make the hopes and dreams of more children come true - a chance for a safe and permanent home, free of abuse and neglect. By your gift, we are closer to the goal of providing a trained CASA volunteer to every child in the State foster care system. Whether you are a first-time donor or a long-time supporter, your participation makes a difference!
"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, June 7th, noon 
CASA office

Wimberley
Tuesday, June 13, 1 p.m.
Wimberley Village Library

San Marcos 
Wednesday, June 21st,  noon  
Historic County Courthouse, 1st floor conference room
 


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 Superhero  
 
   You can be a superhero for children who've been abused or neglected. The CASA Superhero Run features a 5K a nd Kids 1K race, masked and caped runners, a superhero costume contest, family-friendly activities and vendors, and much more.

CASA Superhero Run - 5K and Kids 1K
Sunday, September 17, 2017
Domain Central Park - 11100 Alterra Pkwy, Austin


     This year's run will be held at the Domain in Austin and will benefit the CASA programs serving Caldwell, Comal, Guadalupe, Hays, Travis, and Williamson Counties.  Please visit the event website to register and for more information, www.casasuperherorun.com.
Hochheim Insurance Members
 
     Are you are a member of the Hochheim Prairie Insurance Group in Lockhart, New Braunfels, Seguin or Wimberley?    
 
    CASA of Central Texas would appreciate your nomination at your annual District/Branch meeting to receive a charitable donation.  CASA received donations from Branch #204 in San Marcos - thank you, Carol Grimm, for putting forth CASA's name!  For more information on how to you can nominate CASA, please call our Development Director Tricia Schneider at 830/626-2272 or 512/392-3578.  
Raising the Bar Texas Bar

     The Texas Bar Foundation awarded a grant this month to CASA, to train and support community volunteers to help abused and neglected children who are in long-term foster care .   CASA envisions a world where every child thrives in a safe, stable and loving home.  
  
     Since its inception in 1965, the Texas Bar Foundation has awarded more than $17 million in grants to law-related programs. Supported by members of the State Bar of Texas, the Texas Bar Foundation is the nation's largest charitably-funded bar foundation.

      Thank you Texas Bar Foundation for your continued support! 
  
Show a "Hole Lotta Love" for CASA 


We are excited for the
first CASA Classic golf tournament on October 30, 2017 at River Crossing Golf Club in Spring Branch.
 
 Thank you to Corridor Title for partnering with us on this event.


Golfers and sponsors needed. Register and find details here. 
Community Support    
  
 
New Braunfels Downtown Rotary   
 

PEC United Charities 
 
May 2017
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Upcoming Events
 

June
   
7th 
Voices Tour in New Braunfels 
Noon -1 p.m.
CASA office
       
 
7th
CASA Volunteer Training Begins
1-5 p.m.
Historic Hays County Courthouse room 101
 
8th
CASA Volunteer Training Begins
4:30 - 8:30 p.m.
New Braunfels CASA office


13th
Voices Tour in Wimberley
1 - 2 p.m.
Wimberley Village Library 


21st 
Voices Tour in San Marcos 
Noon - 1 p.m.
Historic Courthouse room 101

 
July


5th
Voices Tour in New Braunfels 
Noon -1 p.m.
CASA office


9th
Voices Tour in Wimberley
1 - 2 p.m.
Wimberley Village Library 


19th
Voices Tour in San Marcos 
Noon - 1 p.m.
Historic Courthouse
room 101

 
19th
CASA Volunteer Training Begins
4:30 - 8:30 p.m.
Historic Hays County Courthouse room 101
 
20th
CASA Volunteer Training Begins
1-5 p.m.
New Braunfels CASA office
 

 

August 


2nd
Voices Tour in New Braunfels 
Noon -1 p.m.
CASA office

 
16th
Voices Tour in San Marcos 
Noon - 1 p.m.
Historic Courthouse
room 101
 
 
30th
CASA Volunteer Training Begins
1 - 5 p.m.
Historic Hays County Courthouse room 101
 
31st
CASA Volunteer Training Begins
4:30 - 8:30 p.m.
New Braunfels CASA office

 

September
 
6th
Voices Tour in New Braunfels 
Noon -1 p.m.
CASA office


17th 
CASA Superhero Run 
7 a.m. 
Domain Central Park, Austin 
More info click here


20th
Voices Tour in San Marcos 
Noon - 1 p.m.
Historic Courthouse
room 101
 

30th
CASA Volunteer Training Begins - Saturdays 
8:30 a.m. - 2:30 p.m. 
New Braunfels CASA office
 


October

4th
Voices Tour in New Braunfels 
Noon -1 p.m.
CASA office
More info click here


 
12th
CASA Volunteer Training Begins
1 - 5 p.m.
New Braunfels CASA office


18th
Voices Tour in San Marcos 
Noon - 1 p.m.
Historic Courthouse
room 101
  
19-21st 
Texas CASA Conference 
Galveston 
More info click here 
  
 
30th
Hole Lotta Love Golf Tournament  
11 a.m. 
River Crossing Golf Club, Spring Branch 
More info click here
 
 
CASA Of Central Texas Inc.
www.casacentex.org
830-626-2272