When a family is in crisis and a child enters the child welfare system, they often live in a foster home far away from their home community. Though they have done nothing to deserve it, they face challenges and unforeseen consequences as the result of being in foster care. They tend to move from placement to placement and school to school – running the risk of losing touch with the friends, mentors, family and other loved ones in their lives.
Volunteers with CASA Liberty/Chambers Counties advocate for these children, ensure they are safe and cared for, we work hard to keep them connected with their communities, families and loved ones while they are in foster care and beyond.
“Studies show that one of the key indicators for child well-being is the number of committed adults in their lives,” said Kimberly Stephens, Executive Director of CASA Liberty/Chambers Counties. “In addition to speaking up for children’s best interests in court, our CASA volunteers can play an integral part in making sure they maintain positive relationships with their parents, families, friends, mentors and communities in whatever ways possible.”
CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocate) volunteers are everyday people who are appointed by a judge to advocate for a child or sibling group in the foster care system. CASA Liberty/Chambers Counties is one of the CASA programs in Texas that recruits, screens and trains these volunteers.
“Foster care can be scary, lonely and uncertain for children, especially when they are placed far away from everything and everyone they know,” said Stephens. “CASA volunteers advocate for these children in court, school and other settings, building a positive relationship with them, help to keep them connected and reminding them that they are not alone.”
CASA volunteers get to know the child on a personal level and communicate with everyone involved in their life, including parents and other family members, foster parents, social workers and others. They work with the child’s caseworker and others on the case to build and strengthen a lifetime network of family and other committed adults who will support the child and each other even after the child’s time in foster care ends.
“CASA volunteers advocate first and foremost for reunification with the child’s parents, with the child’s safety as the first priority,” said Stephens. “When reunification is not safe or possible, they advocate for the child to live with other family, or with a caring adoptive family.”
Last year, 95 CASA volunteers served, 200 children in the foster care system in Liberty/Chambers Counties.
“Every child deserves to feel loved, supported and connected this Valentine’s Day and beyond,” said Stephens. “Become a CASA volunteer and help give a child and family a better chance at a brighter, happier future.”
For more information, visit www.casalctx.org or call (936) 334-9000. The next Information session is each Thursday of the month at 1 pm.
Please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org to register.