June 2013  

CASA Up Close

Welcome to another edition of CASA Up Close Monthly. Below you will find information about our supporters, upcoming events, training opportunities and more. Please feel free to contact CASA for more information about anything you read. And, as always, thank you for your continued support.

CASA of Central Texas


CASA of Central Texas advocates for abused and neglected
children in the court system by recruiting, training and
supporting community volunteers.

Every child has the right to a safe, nurturing, permanent home.
Letter from the Executive Director


On to the Next Chapter


Nicole and her CASA Volunteer Karin Crane.

     When advocating for

children, CASA's goal is

to see them placed

in safe, permanent homes. This can mean reunification with family or seeing them adopted into a new and loving family. When neither of these options is possible, there is, sadly, another outcome: remaining in foster care until age 18. In this situation, the CASA volunteer serves a unique and important role by helping prepare these young people to become self-sufficient members of the community. 


Dakota and his CASA
Volunteer Lorie Donley.

     If you were raised by loving parents, think of everything your parents did to prepare you to be on your own.  They probably took you to get your ID or driver's license and made sure you had your Social Security card so you could become employed.  They maybe helped you find your first job. They might have helped you open a savings or checking account or taught you how to responsibly manage a credit card.  They visited college campuses with you and helped you apply for scholarships. They might have guided you towards a trade school or taught you about the benefits of joining the military.


Alex and his diploma. 

      For the children CASA works with, there is often no stable voice of encouragement. These young people have grown up just trying to survive their current circumstances.  They have had little time or guidance to prepare for their future. How can we now expect them to be ready to live on their own and know how to survive in our vast world?


       This is where CASA can help. The CASA volunteer not only 

provides these young adults with the necessary emotional encouragement to believe they can succeed, but also gives them guidance while developing from teenager to young adult and seeks out tools and skills-building resources that will increase the chances for a positive future.


Ben and his CASA Supervisor Tim Judkins.

       We are very proud of our five CASA youth who successfully completed their high school education this Spring. High school graduation is an achievement for all youth but especially for ours, any one of whom has many excuses to fail. This is proof that they will not let their circumstances hold them back. Our sincerest  congratulations to every one - Alex, Ben, Dakota, Luke and Nicole!


     I would also like to 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




Norma Castilla-Blackwell 

Welcome New Volunteer Advocates

New Advocates Ready to Take a Case

New CASA Volunteer Advocates were sworn in on June 4th.
Pictured l-r are: Neal and Sandra Koonce of Comal County, Susan and Bill Sprole of Comal County, Sharon Hogan of Hays County, Judge Bonicoro, Lynn Culver of Comal County, Jennifer Kubicek of Hays County, Becky Wharton of Hays County, Jo Smith of Comal County and Bernard Mage of Hays County.
Upcoming Volunteer Trainings
Make a Difference in the life of a child,
become a CASA Volunteer

Help us get the word out about these trainings!

Our goal is to appoint 55 new volunteer
advocates by August.

If you know someone who would make a great
CASA volunteer, please share these training dates.

Nancy Deckard CASA of Central Texas Advocate since 2005

     New Braunfels CASA office



July 16th to August 13th


4:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. 



San Marcos CASA office


July 20th to August 10th
8:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.

August 5th to August 19th
Mondays and Wednesdays
1 p.m. to 5 p.m.


To learn more about training sessions, contact Training Coordinator Debbie Haynes at 512-392-3578 or by e-mail. More on becoming a volunteer here.

What is a CASA volunteer? 
Watch this video to see how we speak up for children.
Volunteer Voices
Janette also helps recruit more CASA volunteers at chamber events in Schertz.

Making a Difference 

     CASA of Central Texas Volunteer Advocate Janette Lovette was sworn in last year and is serving on her first case involving three children.

     Her past work with the District Attorney's office as a paralegal gave her a look at cases involving child abuse.

     "I realized how important it is to have someone there for the children's best interest," she said.

     She said one of the best parts of her CASA case has been to see the children, two of whom have special needs, receiving the care they so desperately need, and what a difference it has made in their lives.

     On a recent visit, she could see happiness in one of the children for the first time.

     "His smile! It made all the work and effort worthwhile," she said. "It is just a joy to see him smile."
CASA Continuing Education

CASA Volunteers Learn About
Services Available to Older Youth


CASA of Central Texas held a training June 25th  to educate volunteers about Preparation for Adult Living (PAL) Services.


Many of the children CASA works with leave foster care when they turn 18 and it is often the CASA volunteer who helps with the transition to independent living.


Thank you to Kasandra Link-Charles, Child Protective Services PAL Caseworker (pictured), and CPS Youth Specialist Jennifer Elizalde for sharing their information.

Volunteers are required to complete 12 hours of continuing education annually
Upcoming Information Sessions
 casa 25

CASA can also
bring these information
sessions to you,
just give us a call!
You are Invited to a CASA Voices Tour
Learn about CASA and the work our advocates are doing in the community.  Join us on the 1st and 2nd Wednesdays of each month for a one-hour "virtual" tour of our mission.  Open to everyone, bring your friends, family and colleagues and we will provide lunch! 


 New Braunfels CASA office 


Wednesday July 17th* - Noon
Wednesday August 7th - Noon 

 *note date change due to holiday    


San Marcos CASA office 

Wednesday July 10th - Noon  
Wednesday August 14th - Noon



Lunch provided by Fox's Pizza Den in New Braunfels
and Chick-fil-A in San Marcos.

Please RSVP to Ali Wilkinson by e-mail or at 830-626-2272.
CASA Benefits from United Way

 CASA Featured in United Way Campaign Video

United Way of Comal County recently completed their 2012 campaign and created a video highlighting some of their partner agencies, including CASA of Central Texas.

Watch this video to see CASA Executive Director Norma Blackwell, CASA Volunteer Ralph Townsend and photos of other
CASA volunteers and their CASA children.
Save the Date
Wing Society Annual Meeting

Advocates gathered in Canyon Lake June 22nd for the Wing Society Annual Meeting and Social. Thank you to CASA Executive Director Norma Blackwell for hosting "A Taste of Tuscany Under the Texas Sun."
Members of the Wing Society Board serve CASA Volunteers. 
CASA Volunteers get to know each other.

The Wing Society is an auxiliary group whose mission is to "support, enhance and sustain services of CASA of Central Texas, Inc., a diverse group of community volunteers appointed by the court to advocate for abused and neglected children in pursuit of safe, permanent homes."


The primary efforts of the Wing Society focus on supporting the caring volunteers who give unselfishly to the abused and neglected children who come into the courts.

Can You Help CASA?
Advertise CASA at Your Business

     CASA of Central Texas is looking for more volunteers and you can help.

      Broadway Bank in New Braunfels displays our CASA brochure in their entryway. 

     If you can display our CASA banner or brochures in your place of business to help recruit more volunteers, please contact Community Relations Coordinator Eloise Hudson at (830) 626-2272 or by email.

Legislative Advocacy
Take Your Voice to the State Level

     CASA programs across the state have created Legislative Advocacy Teams to communicate with our law makers. With input from these teams, the Texas Legislature recently passed bills that will affect CASA and the children we serve. These bills create more efficient information sharing between CASA and the Department of Family and Protective Services, strengthen the oversight of psychotropic medication for foster children and improve educational outcomes for children in CPS custody.


To see an example of Legislative Advocacy Teams in action,
watch this video of CASA Day at the Capitol 2013. 

      CASA of Central Texas would like to help in this effort, and we need someone to serve as our Legislative Advocacy Team Chair.


     The LAT Chair acts as a liaison between our local program and Texas CASA on legislative activities, information and advocacy and keeps both orginizations informed of local, statewide and nationwide legislative happenings and advocacy.


     The LAT Chair communicates with volunteers interested in legislative advocacy and coordinates their advocacy activities, including providing input to Texas CASA on public policy agenda items and ideas, contacts and meetings with legislators, testimony and capitol visits.


     If you are interested in serving as the CASA of Central Texas Legislative Advocacy Team Chair, please contact Eloise Hudson by email or at (830) 626-2272.

Upcoming Events


              San Marcos CASA office

16th-     Advocate Training Begins, 4:30 - 8:30 p.m.
             New Braunfels CASA office

              New Braunfels CASA office

20th-     Advocate Training Begins, 8:30 a.m. - 1:30 p.m.
              San Marcos CASA office


5th-     Advocate Training Begins, 1 p.m. - 5 p.m.
            San Marcos CASA office

7th-       Voices Tour, noon

              New Braunfels CASA office

14th-     Voices Tour, noon
              San Marcos CASA office 

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Phone: 830-626-2272

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