2012 Annual Report

Jun 27 2013

2012 CASA of Travis County Annual Report - Dorothy & Agustin

Thank you for everything you did to make 2012 a great year for CASA of Travis County. You helped ensure that more children than ever had the powerful voice of a CASA volunteer to advocate for their best interest in court, in school and across our community.

We hope you enjoy our 2012 Annual Report, featuring the story of Agustin and his CASA volunteer Dorothy, our highlights of the year, our numbers regarding children and volunteers, our generous donors and our financial report.

Read the full report< Read More

83rd Texas Legislature shows support for foster children

83rd Texas Legislature shows support for foster children

Jun 25 2013

By Laura D. Wolf

With the close of the 83rd regular session of the Texas Legislature, CASA, CPS and others are analyzing which bills became law and what their impact will be on child welfare in Texas in the future. I hope at least some of you remember the old “Schoolhouse Rock” vignette on how a bill becomes a law ----- “I’m just a bill, sitting here on capitol hill……” The process laid out in that little cartoon is fundamentally accurate, but what the cartoon couldn’t adequately get across is how frenetic and frantic the final weeks and days of a legislative session can be here in Austin. Constitutionally, the Legislature only meets for 140 days in odd-numbered years, unless the Governor calls for a special session. As those 140 days wind down, the pace of the process – and the challenge in keeping up with everything – ramps up.  So, it will still take some time to fully understand the impacts of this legislative session on the work that CASA does and even longer to implement some of the initiatives adopted by the Legislature. Read more< Read More

49 CASA volunteers sworn-in to help Austin kids

49 CASA volunteers sworn-in to help Austin kids

Jun 20 2013

By Callie Langford

Our Swearing-In Ceremony on Tuesday was an exciting and emotional event. We celebrated 49 CASA volunteers officially being sworn-in to their roles as guardians ad litem for children in need in Austin. Judge Darlene Byrne admitted that she tears up each time she leads volunteers through the oath.

"When you say you promise to always protect and promote the best interest of each child you represent… I can’t tell you what a commitment that truly is. I thank you for it. It’s very courageous," said Judge Byrne. Read more< Read More

Meet Volunteer Advocate Don Rhoades

Meet Volunteer Advocate Don Rhoades

Jun 18 2013

By Callie Langford, Originally published in TODO Austin Magazine

Don Rhoades and his wife, Dottie, of 29 years have never been able to tear themselves away from Austin. He grew up moving around often and came to Austin to attend UT. He graduated in 1986 and has been here ever since.

Don worked his way up at Motorola and then Freescale Semiconductor over the years, moving from an operator to trainer, supervisor and now project manager. In his free time he runs, bicycles, reads and enjoys college sports. Read more Read More

Learning and sharing at CASA Cultural Lunches

Learning and sharing at CASA Cultural Lunches

Jun 11 2013

By Nashielly Stein

“If we are to achieve a richer culture, rich in contrasting values, we must recognize the whole gamut of human potentialities, and so weave a less arbitrary social fabric, one in which each diverse gift will find a fitting place.” - Margaret Mead (Renowned American Cultural Anthropologist; 1901-1978)

I imagine a gorgeous end-product - probably colorful and textured - to the weaving that takes what Margaret Mead has said into consideration. Of course we’ll never fully see it like we would a textile object, but it’s there. We can feel it. We can see many of its manifestations, especially as the 7 billion people (whoa!) on this planet are interlinked more than ever. When you combine an open mind, the willingness to learn and share, and the ability to truly accept and appreciate, it can be a beautiful thing.

Something you may not know about and what I want to share with you today are the CASA Cultural Lunches that are taking place every other month. The aim is simple: to learn and to share. As child advocates, we are in a position where we can take what we learn and share it with our CASA kids. It is particularly important for children in foster care - whose identity can be easily lost along the multiple moves and changes - to establish a confident sense of self. CASA can help. We do this by continuously challenging ourselves to grow as individuals and by doing this we approach everything that we do with our better selves. Read more< Read More