To recruit, train and retain a CASA Volunteer for every child of abuse and neglect in the Panhandle!
AACASA advocates for children of abuse and neglect through the efforts of trained volunteers, appointed by the court to ensure them a safe, nurturing and permanent environment.
CASA believes that every child who's been abused or neglected deserves to have a dedicated advocate speaking up for their best interest in court, at school and in our community. As the state steps in to protect the welfare of the child, the judge appoints a CASA volunteer to make independent, unbiased, and informed recommendations to help the judge decide the best interest of the child.
Who are our Advocates?
CASA empowers everyday citizens as appointed members of the court. Volunteers are teachers, business people, retirees, stay-at-home moms, grandparents, college students; extraordinary people who want to make certain the voices of abused children are heard. Being a CASA does not require a specialized degree or legal experience.
They are investigators. Depending on the case, a volunteer may be asked to investigate the lifestyle and history of child whose parents or guardians seek to maintain parental rights. They will talk to the child, their siblings, teachers, friends, neighbors, close relatives, the police and other related individuals who could shed light on a child’s home life and behavior. They will meet with CPS caseworkers and share information to aid in the development of a plan for family reunification.
They act as monitors. A CASA volunteer will monitor the progress of the court case, and how well a child is doing in their temporary placement, whether it be a foster home, group home residential treatment center, or relative placement. A CASA is notified and present for all hearings and CPS case reviews
They advocate for the child. CASA volunteers can sometimes seek out or recommend suitable placement. CASA volunteers have actually found relatives willing to take children when there seemed to be no hope left. Volunteers work to help serve the immediate needs of their children. They can help children receive tutoring when they feel they have fallen behind in their schooling. They also make sure the child attends scheduled counseling and/or medical appointments. If a child is available for adoption, a CASA volunteer will try to learn all about the prospective adoptive families to ensure safe, permanent placement.
The need in the Amarillo Area.
- The Texas Panhandle has one of the highest rates of confirmed cases of child abuse in the state of Texas and Potter County has twice the state average
- Over 400 children in the Amarillo area are waiting on a CASA volunteer at any given time
- Children without CASA volunteers might experience less one on one attention, go without needed services and experience further trauma in the foster care system