Each year, more than 1,200 children living in Jefferson County are victims of abuse and/or neglect. With an overwhelmed child welfare system, the needs and interests of these children can be overlooked. These children need someone to make sure their voice is heard and to identify and address risks to the child’s safety and well-being.
CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocates) recruits, trains, and supports community volunteers to empower abused and neglected children and give them a chance for a bright future. CASA volunteers are powerful, effective and caring individuals that help ensure a child’s voice is heard. They advocate for the best interest of a child and make informed recommendations for the child’s physical and emotional well-being to the judge.
With nearly 90 trained advocates and some 3,050 volunteer hours dedicated to children, CASA of Southeast Texas serves over 465 local children each year. All these children have an advocate for their best interest working to support children and families involved in the foster care system. CASA volunteers stay by the child’s side throughout the case, advocating for reunification with parents when safe and possible. If reunification is not possible, CASA volunteers will advocate for the child to be adopted, or live with, relatives or family friends. If that is not possible CASA volunteers work towards adoption by a non-relative. No matter what, CASA volunteers will keep in contact with the support network until the case closes so that everyone continues to put the child’s best interests first.
Our vision is to provide safe and permanent homes for all abused or neglected children in Jefferson County. For more information or to get involved, please visit our website.