CASA in the Heart of Texas is calling for community members to step up and advocate for children and families involved in the child welfare system in the local area.
"Amidst the COVID-19 pandemic and physical distancing, many of us have been feeling increased stress, anxiety and isolation. Children involved in the foster care system are no exception," said Michelle Wells, executive director of CASA in the Heart of Texas. "In spite of all that is going on in the world and in our nation right now, we still want the children who are in foster care right here in our community to know they have an advocate on their side. With so much uncertainty in the world, we want to help give these kids peace of mind, stability and connection. We want them to feel safety and comfort."
Volunteers with CASA in the Heart of Texas are known as CASA volunteers, or Court Appointed Special Advocates. These CASA volunteers advocate for a child or sibling group while they are in substitute care. CASA volunteers advocate in the courtroom, school and other settings for the best interest of the child they are representing, help them stay connected with their families and communities, and work towards family reunification whenever safe and possible.
Madeline DuPre is CASA in the Heart of Texas’ newest volunteer.
Now is a great time to get involved with CASA, Wells said. Although many events and opportunities are being conducted online, you can make a difference in the lives of children and families in the foster care system, Wells said.
"COVID-19 has changed some things about how we conduct our advocacy work, but it has not changed our drive and passion to serve the children and families of this community," said Wells.
"We are taking precautions with how we conduct our trainings, visits with children and families, volunteer supervision and events to ensure the safety of all involved. We are here to serve the children and families of Brown, Comanche and Mills counties. We want to do that as safely as possible for the sake of those we serve, our staff, our volunteers and the greater public. We never want a child in foster care to go without a CASA volunteer, especially now. That’s why we need our community to stand up and join us in our advocacy."
If you’ve been looking for a unique way to serve your community, join the CASA movement, Wells said, adding "what better time than now?"
To learn more about becoming a CASA volunteer or other ways to get involved, visit CASAbrownwood.org or call 325-643-2557.Pictured is Michelle Wells, Executive Director of CASA in the Heart of Texas.
Pictured below is Madeline DuPre, CASA’s newest volunteer. She has already seen in training
and observation what a difference CASA can make and has already begun work on her first case.