A Message from the executive director
Hello supporters of CASA’s work for children –
As always, the children come first.
This is an important declaration to reiterate in this time of uncertainty, in this time of pandemic, in this time of challenge.
As Executive Director of CASA for Hunt County, I want to let all of you know — all of you who have supported and appreciated the work of Court Appointed Special Advocates in Hunt County — that the one constant is CASA’s commitment to the children. We remain mission focused.
Like all our business and civic friends, CASA for Hunt County is protective of the health of our staff, board members, volunteers, and the community we serve. Therefore, following the recommendations of the CDC, court orders, and local elected officials, CASA staff and volunteers are working and delivering services remotely.
Our dedicated team of staff and volunteer advocates are working diligently to put eyes on the children in which we are appointed to serve. Our primary concern is their safety and well-being and we will do everything in our power to continue to protect the most vulnerable among us.
To be honest, we have concerns. Seeing children through virtual means is not ideal but it is the best we can do. Due to social distancing and school closures, children have lost one-on-one connections to their CASA volunteer advocates, their CPS caseworkers, their teachers, their friends – the people who usually have eyes on them. This can very quickly turn into a dangerous and devastating situation for many children.
And we also know, in the coming months, the number of children who will come into the system due to abuse and neglect will rise because of the added stresses placed on families that may have lost their income, childcare, access to resources, and could also be struggling with health concerns.
During this time, CASA for Hunt County is continuing to stand ready. We are continuing to screen and train volunteers to serve every child that is removed from their home due to abuse and neglect and to provide emergency resources to the children in care.
Importantly, we want you to know that CASA for Hunt County is here and not going anywhere. Through these unprecedented times, we will continue to provide a voice and fight for the vulnerable children in Hunt County. The children will come first.
CASA for Hunt County
What it means to be a CASA volunteer
When a child enters the foster care system because his or her home is no longer safe, a judge may appoint a committed volunteer to help them. That volunteer is called a Court Appointed Special Advocate®, or CASA.
CASA volunteers are screened and highly trained and then appointed by judges to represent and advocate for a child’s best interests in the child protection system. CASA volunteers are each assigned to help one child or set of siblings at a time, so they can focus on giving that child or sibling group the individualized advocacy and attention they need. CASA volunteers save taxpayers money and children’s futures by helping children find a safe, permanent homes as soon as possible.
CASA continues to provide valuable volunteer advocacy for every abused child in this area. CASA volunteers serve as the “eyes and ears” for the judge in child welfare cases. This includes researching each child’s situation and making objective recommendations to help them reclaim their childhoods from abuse and neglect. CASA volunteers are frequently the only stable presence in these children’s lives as they navigate the foster care system.
These volunteers bring three critical qualities to their work: they focus on one case at a time; they bring a unique perspective to the court case; and their sole objective is representing the best interests of the child.