Editor: Shannon Cottongame
September 29, 2022
Court-Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) of Hill County has scheduled a series of training sessions for new volunteers to begin Tuesday, October 25.
Pre-service training will consist of 30 hours of in-person and online training plus at least two hours of court observation.
In-person sessions will be held at the CASA office, located at 66 West Elm Street in Hillsboro.
CASA is central to fulfilling society’s most fundamental obligation by making sure a qualified, compassionate adult will fight for and protect a child’s right to be safe, to be treated with dignity and respect, and to learn and grow in the security of a loving family.
CASA volunteers are everyday people 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 a judge to guide one child or one set of siblings through the system to reunification with their families and a safe, permanent home as quickly as possible.
CASA volunteers advocate for the children’s best interest in court, in school and in other settings. They get to know the child and everyone involved in their life, such as their parents and other family members, foster parents, therapists, caseworkers and teachers, in order to develop a realistic picture of the child’s unique situation.
They engage those important to the child and family in order to build a network of support around them, so that the family has access to support and resources after the case ends. They make recommendations to the judge overseeing the child’s case, with the goal of ensuring that the child is safe and the family has the resources, support and healthy relationships needed to heal.
Volunteers’ first priority is to keep families together whenever safe and possible. When reunification is not a possibility for the children they serve, CASA volunteers work to find others that can provide a positive, healthy and loving environment. These can include relatives, friends or other adults that are important in the child’s life—keeping a child connected to their home community.
Foster care is only a temporary solution to the problems at hand. Longterm support networks that work to care for families, make reunification a possibility, and help break the cycle for the next generation are needed.
Registration can be completed online at casa of hillcountytexas.org or by e-mailing info@casaofhill countytexas.org for an application.
More information may be obtained by calling the CASA office at 254-283-5082.