— In Spanish, casa means home, but for thousands of abused and neglected children, it’s an acronym that has even more meaning – it’s the hope of finally finding a safe, permanent home where they can thrive.
CASA–Hope for Children is seeking 100 more advocates for abused, neglected children.
Court-Appointed Special Advocates is an organization of volunteers trained to gather facts and give recommendations that help judges make critical decisions about child abuse in Parker and Palo Pinto counties.
To commemorate its eighth year, CASA–Hope for Children wants to reach even more children than it does now. Its goal is to continue to provide an advocate for each child who goes through the system, which would require 100 more volunteers as well as the financial resources to train and supervise them.
“Every day in Parker and Palo Pinto counties, district and family court judges decide where these children may safely live,” said CASA–Hope for Children Executive Director Barb Tucker.
“After an initial investigation, often at a local CPS (Child Protective Services) office, these children are placed under the protective care of the courts until judges can decide what’s best for each child. That’s where CASA comes into the picture.”
There are approximately 335 children in the area in the care of the state at this time. These children have been physically abused, sexually abused, neglected, abandoned or have survived the murder of a sibling.
CASA makes the foster care system work better by helping judges make better decisions for children in CPS custody. Children served by CASA volunteers spend less time in the foster care system, saving taxpayers thousands of dollars in foster care payments. CASA is an investment in the future of Texas.
CASA volunteers help secure services that heal traumatized children and help to find them safe, permanent homes so that they can grow into healthy, productive adults.
“Our advocates have done so much good, but there is still an overwhelming need for more CASA volunteers,” Tucker said.
Free training classes will begin Monday, March 17, offered in the morning starting at 9 am. and evening classes at 6:30 p.m. There will be an informational session offered for the first hour of each class to answer questions about the CASA program.
Training classes will be held at the CASA–Hope for Children office, 701 Palo Pinto St., Suite 701-F, Weatherford, TX 76086. For information on free training to become a CASA volunteer call 817-599-6224.