The Walton Family Foundation recently announced they are providing grant funds to help CASA of Palo Pinto and Parker Counties increase staff in order to better serve abused and neglected children in the counties.
“That news was certainly like a terrific firework of positive light for us,” said Barb Tucker, executive director of the local CASA organization. “The number of abused and neglected children needing a CASA volunteer continues to grow and the Challenge Grant will be used to hire volunteer supervisors.”
CASA is an acronym for Court-Appointed Special Advocates. When children are removed from their home due to abuse or neglect, or both, the judge in the case appoints a trained CASA volunteer to be his eyes and ears. The CASA volunteer advocates for the children’s best interests and reports concerns and recommendations to the judge.
CASA volunteers work the case they are appointed to on their own time, with the exception of court hearings and meetings regarding their child. The CASA volunteer is assisted by a volunteer supervisor on the CASA staff. Texas CASA allows volunteer supervisors to assist no more than 30 volunteers.
The Foundation approved a two-year Challenge Grant of $40,000. Half of that amount is available now, and the other half will be provided in July 2014. The grant funds will provide partial support for CASA of Palo Pinto and Parker Counties to hire a volunteer supervisor in 2013 and an additional volunteer supervisor in 2014.
Potential donors will be challenged to make commitments to raise the remaining funds necessary to hire the volunteer supervisors, the Foundation explained.
“CASA of Parker County was formed in 2006. Since that date our organization has been able to serve 100 percent of the children taken into the custody of the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services (which includes the Child Protective Services division),” said Tucker. “We are one of only four CASA organizations of the 70 in the state of Texas that has reached this level of accomplishment.