CASA of Travis County has more than 600 active volunteers. Their stories are unique, but all reflect determination in the face of challenge, and deep hope.
CASA volunteers come from all walks of life, represent all communities, and bring different perspectives to their work. But they share a commitment to making situations better for children who’ve experienced abuse or neglect.
Loss of a parent
Tim was first removed from his home and experienced the loss of his mother soon after. As a 12-year-old boy, the last few years of Tim’s life have been dramatic and, at times, excruciating.
The moment John walked into his life, everything changed. John has learned what Tim likes best (they went to his first soccer game!) and how to connect with him so he feels safe. Tim has been in foster care for several years and often turns to his advocate for support.
Because of their incredible bond, Tim’s first in-person hearing in front of the judge was great, despite being nervous at first. He got to see his advocate making recommendations in his best interest and he got to speak directly to the judge himself. After the hearing, John took Tim for lunch at a restaurant he’d never been to before.
Joanna has made a substantial difference in the lives of a Spanish-speaking family with four children, originally from Venezuela. The case started due to the oldest of the children making an outcry of sexual abuse by her biological father. There was also evidence that the second child might have been sexually abused. The children were removed from home and placed with an aunt in Waco. Neither the children nor their mother were in counseling or getting other needed services.
Joanna was assigned to this case and immediately got to work. Due to her advocacy, which was conducted 100% in Spanish, the mother received a new lawyer who arranged services for her family in Spanish, such as counseling, translation of documents, and family therapy sessions.
Joanna goes to Waco every month. She's on top of it all, advising, advocating, and taking records of what’s happening on the case to guarantee the children’s best interest. “Tu trabajo es invaluable” she has heard from the family many times. That means your help is priceless.
Rudy has many challenges, including intellectual and developmental disabilities, and recent trauma for which it was difficult to give him psychological support. About to turn 18, he has told Sofía, his advocate at CASA, that he wants to live on his own, independently.
Knowing the difficulties that Rudy faces, Sofia led a cross-functional team meeting with many parties involved in the case to ensure that Rudy was given all the right help to be successful on his own. Her main task was to try to help him make his decision in the best possible way, with reliable advice and support.
Along with hours of professional support, Sofia provided Rudy with a backpack of hygiene items, an emergency kit of resources, a phone to keep in touch, and extra clothing, all approved by CASA. At the court hearing, the judge allowed Rudy to enter a “trial independence” phase, with all of his advocates by his side.
The missing piece
Our volunteers are giving all for their cases. You can provide support for their work. Your gift can help lighten the load for the child who has experienced the loss of their parents, the child who has been sexually abused by a relative, the child who’s dealing with severe psychological trauma.