CASA offers summer classes for volunteers

Published 12:53 pm Wednesday, May 29, 2019

By Dawn Burleigh

The Orange Leader


CASA of the Sabine Neches Region is offering summer classes from 11 a.m. – 2 p.m. every Wednesday for eight weeks.

Classes will start Wednesday, June 12.

To apply, go online at

CASA is Court Appointed Special Advocates of the Sabine Neches Region giving voice to abused and neglected children in Hardin, Jasper, Newton, Orange, Sabine and Tyler Counties in Texas. They are part of the National CASA Association, a network of more than 900 CASA programs serving children in 49 states and Washington, D.C.

With 66,382 confirmed victims of child abuse or neglect and almost every eight minutes a child becomes a victim of abuse or neglect, the need for volunteers to become advocates is rising.

When a child is placed in the foster care system due to abuse or neglect, they are often removed from their home and placed in state care – sometimes far away from their family, loved ones and community. CASA volunteers, or Court Appointed Special Advocates, are everyday people from all walks of life who are recruited and specially trained to advocate for these children and provide a consistent, reliable adult presence for them during a difficult time in their life.

CASA volunteers are assigned to one child or sibling group to advocate for their best interest in court, in school and in other settings. They get to know the child and everyone involved in their life, such as family members, foster parents, therapists, and teachers, in order to develop a realistic picture of the child’s unique situation.

They make recommendations to the judge overseeing the child’s case, with the goal of ensuring that the child is safe and has the resources needed to heal.

According to the Department of Family and Protective Services (DFPS), there were 520 victims of child abuse or neglect and a total of 715 children in the child protection system within the six counties served by CASA of the Sabine Neches Region, these include: Orange, Hardin, Jasper, Tyler, Newton and Sabine County.

Statewide, the CASA movement is growing faster than ever before. Last year, the 71 CASA programs in Texas recruited a total of 10,856 CASA volunteers to advocate for 30,136 children.

Locally, CASA of the Sabine Neches Region served 325 of the 715 children in the foster care system in Orange, Hardin, Jasper, Tyler, Newton and Sabine counties in 2018, which means there are still 390 children who need someone to speak up for them.