Meet Volunteer Advocate Erin Martin

Meet Volunteer Advocate Erin Martin

May 19 2015

Erin Martin is the Executive Director at MEDICO, a nonprofit that provides healthcare and educational services in developing communities in Central America.

Erin attended grad school in New Zealand, where her and her husband Paul had their daughter. Unfortunately their home was severely damaged in the 2011 Christchurch earthquake. Read More

Mayor Adler proclaims May 16 CASA of Travis County Day!

Mayor Adler proclaims May 16 CASA of Travis County Day!

May 16 2015

Whereas, CASA of Travis County is celebrating 30 years of empowering Austin to speak up for children; and,

Whereas, In those 30 years, CASA has been a powerful voice for more than 10,000 children who’ve been through abuse or neglect; and, Read More

Document Volunteer Training: Practicing the Volunteer Role - Gathering Info

Document Volunteer Training: Practicing the Volunteer Role - Gathering Info

May 07 2015

Meeting some real soldiers in the war to help ill-treated kids was a bit intense. I’d heard the system was bad, but this made me think of the military returning from the front with PTSD. Trainer Shannon Moreno presented us a panel of three very professional lawyers from different angles in the courtroom — the state, the parents and the children. As they talked about their average days, they used expressions like wild, insanity and hot mess. “It is very, very difficult work,” said Lori Kennedy of the Office of Parental Representation. The case loads are huge. “There’s just not enough people.” she said. Read More

Urgent volunteer need: 41% increase in children appointed to CASA

Urgent volunteer need: 41% increase in children appointed to CASA

Apr 22 2015

CASA of Travis County has been appointed to 260 new children in the first 3 months of 2015. Throughout January, February and March we’ve averaged a 41% increase in child appointments in comparison to the same 3 months in 2014. At the same time, our numbers of CASA volunteer applications have been slowing down. Children need your help right now. Read More

Documenting the Volunteer Training Experience: CASA 101

Documenting the Volunteer Training Experience: CASA 101

Apr 16 2015

There was a CASA coffee mug parked at my table as I settled into my chair for my first training session. “I am a powerful voice in a child’s life” was written on the side.

During the next three hours, I saw the magnitude of that statement as the CASA staff and trainer painted the picture of the role and huge responsibility of a CASA volunteer. This was CASA 101.

“You are sworn in by a judge,” said Sonia Kotecha, the director of Community and Strategic Initiatives. “The judge really, really values your input. You are on equal footing with everyone in the courtroom.” Read More