Last week at the Texas State Capitol we held our second-largest Swearing-In Ceremony ever, with 61 new volunteer advocates being officially sworn into their role as guardians ad litem to speak up for children in the Travis County Child Protective Services system. We were fortunate to be joined by our friend and supporter The Honorable Jimmy Blacklock, Justice, Texas Supreme Court to lead the volunteers in their oath. Today we’re sharing his speech from that evening with you, so you can see how the work of CASA resonates beyond Travis County:
“When [CEO] Laura Wolf opened tonight’s ceremony by saying, ‘We need you,’ she meant CASA of Travis County needs you. I want to echo that and say, ‘We need you,’ and by we I mean the courts, the judges. Before I was a judge it was easy to be in the courtroom and look up at that judge, the robe, the aura, and think, ‘This person can make a good decision and we can trust this.’ You put the robe on yourself and realize you need help. There’s no magic when you put that robe on. You need help to understand what’s going on in these cases and make the right decision.
The things you’re able to contribute to what these judges know about these cases, what these judges know about children’s lives and their families… it’s so vital to the ability of these judges in the courtrooms to have the right information to make the best decisions for these families. We even get cases all the way to the Texas Supreme Court. One of the things we look at in a Child Protective Services case is what was the evidence before the judges that they relied on to make decisions about this child’s life. We look at what lawyers shared, what witnesses told the judge, what the children had to say, and what CASA has to say. It carries with the judge in your courtroom up to the Supreme Court when we’re reading about what you told the judge.
Judges every day have to try and make the right decisions for children and families, and CASA is such an important part of that.
What you’re doing, it’s so important to the lives of children in the justice system. These cases are the most important ones we have in the civil justice system. Judges every day have to try and make the right decisions for children and families, and CASA is such an important part of that. You are going to be a very important part of that.”
See all of the photos from our recent Swearing-In Ceremony on Flickr.
2020 March Recruitment