A Call to Action
For our CASA program, 2020 was a strange year. A year like no other, with lots of ups and downs. On the positive side, our program celebrated 30 years of service to our East Texas communities, a new and larger campus to call home, and a record number of volunteer advocates to serve our children (245). On the downside, it was a year full of COVID, masks, quarantines, and the culminating stressors that come with these issues. Subsequently, it also cause an increase in reports of abuse and neglect.
As proud as we were for the number of our volunteer advocates that gave their hearts and their free time to be a voice for the children in our community, we were saddened that so many children continued to need our services. 734 children came into care in 2020 in Smith, Wood and Van Zandt Counties. That was an increase of 95 children over those served in 2019, and the highest number of children to ever be served by CASA for Kids of East Texas.
This makes our mission to recruit, train, and support our advocates even more important. One of our greatest challenges is creating awareness in our local communities about the need for more advocates. Opportunities were scarce due to the COVID pandemic in 2020, and we are hoping to overcome that challenge in 2021. We have already challenged our Board of Directors to provide at least one community contact to us from their list of associates, friends, and families. Now we are asking for your help. If you are aware of any opportunities in your church, community, or civic groups for us to communicate our need for additional volunteers, please email us with that contact information.
Tell a friend! Our Community Engagement Team (Kathy Clark, Paquita Hanks, and Delaina Netherland Smiley) are eager to share our story with your friends and colleagues. Please call us at 903-597-7725 or send their information to firstname.lastname@example.org. With your help we can continue to make a difference.
Learn more about how you can be a hero for a child in need!
Become an advocate for a child(ren) who need you now, more than ever! Online application and training classes are now available. Contact email@example.com for more information!
CASA volunteers are everyday people – teachers, business people, retirees, stay-at-home moms, and grandparents – who are committed to making a difference for children who might otherwise slip through the cracks in an overburdened foster care system. They are appointed by judges to guide one child or one set of siblings through the system to a safe, permanent home as quickly as possible. CASA volunteers research case records and speaks to each person involved in a child’s life, including family members, teachers, doctors, lawyers, and social workers. They monitor the progress of the child and family throughout the case and advocate for the child’s current and future needs in court in school, and in agency meetings. Their independent evaluations allow the court to make better-informed decisions.
Because Court Appointed Special Advocates serve on one case at a time, they truly get to know the child and can give each case the sustained, personal attention it deserves.
We invite you to join our family of volunteers and make a difference in a child’s life – and your own.
A CASA Volunteer must:
- Be 21 years of age or older.
- Successfully pass screening and background check requirements.
- Successfully complete initial training provided by the CASA for Kids of East Texas program.
(32 hours of initial training plus 1 hour of courtroom observation & 12 hours of continuing education)
- Be able to make a 12-month minimum commitment to a case.
(An average of 10-15 hours per month)
- Be able to keep information confidential and work within established program guidelines.
Click Here to fill out an application.
A staff member will contact you to schedule an interview once your application has been received.
Welcome to our new advocates for 2021!