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  
Get Involved  
   As we start 2016, I want to take a moment to say thank you for your support of CASA in 2015. Because of you, 471 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  27 more children than last year! 
     We were blessed with
213 dedicated CASA volunteers who were active last year and we helped close 92 cases. That means 177 children had permanent outcomes and are now in safe and stable homes!
     Of the 177 children whose cases closed, the number of reunifications with family members is one that should be highlighted. 112 of the children we worked with found permanency with their parents or relatives:  

61 of the children were reunified with their parents
* 51
were adopted by or now live permanently with relatives
* 42
were adopted by new families
20 reached independent living (turned 18 years old)  
      Even though we made great achievements in 2015, we must work even harder in 2016 to reach our goal of providing a CASA Volunteer to every child in State care as the number of children in care rises. Last year, there was a 39% increase in the number of children in CPS care from our four counties. There are now more than 1,000 children in CPS legal care (1,110 to be exact) and there was a dramatic 53% increase in the number of total removals from our four counties.

     For every child that has a CASA volunteer, he or she is more likely to find a safe, permanent home, get more help while in the system, and spend less time in state-funded foster care. As you can see by the numbers from 2015, the need for more CASA volunteers is greater now more than ever. 
     If you're already a volunteer, please consider joining the Community Outreach Team and help us recruit more volunteers.  Contact Laura Torres if you are interested. 
     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.  
     If becoming a CASA volunteer isn't a fit for you, you can still help by getting the word out about CASA. Invite one of our representatives to speak to your organization or Host a Voices Tour information session. 
     We will work hard in 2016 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
Executive Director  
Become a CASA Volunteer training
CASA Volunteer Toni Urban sworn in March 2014

Sign up for a 2016 Training Session  

For more information on training sessions contact Training Coordinator Debbie Haynes at 512-392-3578 or by email, or click here to visit our website. 

A New Volunteer Training Course is required for all new Court Appointed Special Advocate Volunteers.
The Volunteer Training Course is a 6-part training series and all 6 classes are required.

February 27 thru March 26, Saturdays
8:30 AM to 1:30 PM, San Marcos

March 9 thru April 13, Wednesdays
1:00 PM to 5:00 PM, San Marcos
March 10 thru April 1, Thursdays
4:30 PM to 8:30 PM, New Braunfels

May 4 thru June 8, Wednesdays
4:30 PM to 8:30 PM, San Marcos CASA Office
May 5 thru June 9, Thursdays
1:00 PM to 5:00 PM, New Braunfels CASA Office

See additional 2016 training dates on our website calendar

San Marcos
Historic Hays County Courthouse Room 101
111 E. San Antonio Street

New Braunfels
CASA office
1619 E. Common Street, Building C
Volunteer Spotlight

John Nixon, CASA Volunteer since 2014
     "Prior to inquiring about CASA, I had just finished a book entitled
A Child Called It.  This book had a resounding personal effect.  It was easy to envision that there were undoubtedly thousands of 'Daves', abused and neglected children who had no voice that could be heard.  It was a small step on my part to become such a voice."

     "Listening to the many court cases while waiting to testify, convinced me that my speculations were correct.  There are indeed many children who need advocates."

     "Being a child's advocate can be the most difficult and rewarding endeavor you will ever undertake. You quite possibly will be the only stability in the child's life; the only person whom the child can trust." 
Help Us Recruit Volunteers  VoicesHost 
      Do you love CASA and want to help recruit volunteers? Now you can get the word out by being a host for one of our CASA Voices Tours Information Sessions.

     How? You pick a tour date and location that works best for you, commit to invite your friends and join us for the session. Let us do the rest. Our goal is for you to have five of your friends or colleagues attend as your guests and for them to hear why you support CASA. Then a CASA staff member will explain the history of the program, what's involved with being a CASA and how to get started. We believe your personal invitation will go far in encouraging people to learn more about CASA, and help us reach the goal of providing a CASA for every child in State care. 
     CASA will also invite people through social media and word-of-mouth so expect to see faces new to you, too!

     Voices Tours are held from noon - 1 on the first Wednesday of each month in New Braunfels and the second Wednesday of each month in San Marcos. Additional dates and locations are scheduled upon request. Please contact Eloise Hudson if you would like to host a Voices Tour.
Voices Tour 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.  
Voices Tours

New Braunfels 
Wednesday, March 2nd, noon
CASA office
San Marcos 
Wednesday, March 16th,  noon
Historic Hays County Courthouse, Room 101

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. 
Save the Date Ciao 

Buona Salute! It is with great pleasure that CASA Of Central Texas is hosting our annual fundraising celebration. You are invited to una festa Italiano!

April 8, 2016 
6:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. 
Wurstfest Stelzenhaus, New Braunfels 


Bert Cobb, M.D., Hays County Judge
Judge Charles Stephens, Comal County Court at Law #2

Purchase your tickets

Thank You to our sponsors

Campania Level
The GVTC Foundation

Veneto Level
Tomblin Family Foundation

Toscana Level
Mariposa at Hunter Road Apartments
McKenna Foundation

Sicilia Level

Alligator Dental 
Christus Santa Rosa Hospital
CMC Steel
Support our event, become a sponsor
Sponsorship Information 
Wing Society Mixer
     The Wing Society, CASA's au
xiliary group, hosted a volunteer mixer and recruitment event on February 19th at the River Venue at Mill Town in New Braunfels. This mixer was the most well-attended event since 2011 with 94 attendees! Guests enjoyed food, drinks, and giveaways.

     Volunteers were asked to bring a friend they believed would make a great advocate. Thank you Wing Society for supporting our advocates and helping us connect with 6 prospective volunteers! 
      Nancy Seymour was the 'advocate angel' that won a gift basket. Nancy is part of the incoming class of volunteers being sworn in on February 29th. She and her husband, Don, will both be advocates in Guadalupe County.
Superheroes Capital Campaign Trailblazers  
Trailblazers are the first donors to make a gift or pledge in support of the Superheroes Capital Campaign. Thank you for your support!

Click here to find out more about the campaign and how you can make an investment in the future of CASA and thousands of children.
Texas CASA Analyzes Trauma Informed Care
     Children who enter the child welfare system have often experienced trauma, whether it is from abuse or neglect by their families prior to removal or the separation from their families after removal from their homes.

     Because these issues are so complex, yet affect many children and youth in state care, it is essential that everyone who interacts with these children receives training to recognize trauma symptoms and behaviors and to help children in practical, appropriate ways.
     Recognizing this important need, the Texas Legislature has passed laws over the past several years requiring several groups to receive training on trauma and its impact on children and youth. This includes requirements for certain staff of county and state juvenile facilities, foster parents, adoptive parents, kinship caregivers, and Department of Family and Protective Services (DFPS) caseworkers and supervisors.
     Texas CASA set out to gain a better understanding of the current state of trauma-informed care training, interventions and services across the Texas child welfare system by meeting with relevant stakeholders, conducting research about resources available and deploying a system-wide survey. The Texas CASA Workforce Survey on Trauma-Informed Care within the Child Welfare System in Texas was distributed and results were used to create a report to analyze the data and information gathered.

     The goal of this report is to inform stakeholders and policy-makers about the current status of trauma-informed care in Texas' child welfare system so that they may be strategic and thoughtful about how to improve the care, services and advocacy that abused, neglected and traumatized children receive.

Click here to read the entire Texas CASA report.
Donate Your Car to CASA
     Have an old car taking up space in your driveway? Donate it to  CASA of Central Texas! CASA has partnered with CARS to participate in a vehicle donation program. We accept most cars, trucks, trailers, boats, RV's, motorcycles, off road vehicles, heavy equipment and other motorized vehicles.    
Why donate your vehicle to CASA?   blue-car-icon.jpg
* Avoid the hassles of selling a car
* No need to pay hefty repair bills
* Free up space in your garage
* 100% tax deductible

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.

If you have any questions just call one of CARS friendly operators toll-free at  855-500-7433 855-500-7433 or 855-500-RIDE 855-500-RIDE seven days a week.
Community Supporters

San Marcos Kiwanis
February 2016
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Upcoming Events



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

CASA Volunteer Training Begins
1 - 5 p.m.
Historic Hays County Courthouse room 101

CASA Volunteer Training Begins
4:30 - 8:30 p.m.
New Braunfels CASA office

Voices Tour in San Marcos
Noon - 1 p.m.
Historic Courthouse room 101
More info click here

Advocate Continuing Education 
1 - 3 p.m.  
Kyle Public Library 



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

Annual Dinner/Auction Fundraiser 
Ciao CASA 
6:30 p.m. 
Wurstfest Stelzenhaus 
New Braunfels 
Voices Tour in San Marcos 
Noon - 1 p.m.  
Historic Courthouse
room 101  
Voices Tour in New Braunfels 
Noon -1 p.m.
CASA office
CASA Volunteer Training Begins
4:30 - 8:30 p.m.
Historic Hays County Courthouse room 101
Advocate Continuing Education 
5:30 p.m. 
CAC Comal County 
Voices Tour in San Marcos 
Noon - 1 p.m.
Historic Courthouse room 101
Voices Tour in New Braunfels 
Noon -1 p.m.
CASA office
Voices Tour in San Marcos 
Noon - 1 p.m.
Historic Courthouse room 101
CASA Volunteer Training Begins
1 - 5 p.m.
Historic Hays County Courthouse room 101
CASA Volunteer Training Begins
4:30 - 8:30 p.m.
New Braunfels CASA office
CASA Of Central Texas Inc.