Recruiting and training volunteers is an essential part of any non-profit organization, and at CASA of Parker and Palo Pinto counties it is keenly important for the abused and neglected children served by CASA volunteers.
CASA is an acronym for Court Appointed Special Advocate. When a child is removed from their home due to abuse and/or neglect, the judge in the case appoints a trained CASA volunteer to be his eyes and ears.
The two counties’ CASA programs are governed by CASA of Parker County Inc. The programs are members of Texas CASA and National CASA.
As the number of child abuse cases grows, so does the need for trained CASA volunteers. A child abuse case typically lasts about one year, so when a CASA volunteer is appointed to a case, he or she is advocating in the case for at least a one-year period.
“New cases are coming in faster than we have volunteers freed up from the cases they are appointed to,” said Barb Tucker, CASA of Parker County, Inc. Executive Director. “Thanks to the Meadows Foundation, we now have a staff member whose sole duty is to recruit and train volunteers.”
Trisha Duke was hired in the newly created position. She’s been with the CASA of Parker County program since 2011 as a volunteer and as an intern. In March 2012, Duke was hired in a staff position as the Information Systems Manager. She began the role of recruiter-trainer on Jan. 1.
“I am very excited to be able to spread the word about CASA,” said Duke. “I am available to talk to any group about the organization and explain what the volunteers do. I don’t want anyone to wonder what CASA stands for – in more ways than one. I want everyone to know, and in turn, be a part of this worthwhile organization.”