May 222015

casaAt the May meeting of the Bosque County Democratic Club, Betty Outlaw presented information about her work with CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocates) of Cross Timbers Area located in Stephenville. They serve the counties of Bosque, Hamilton, Eastland and Erath by recruiting, training and supervising community volunteers to be a voice for abused and neglected children who are in the court system.

As the name indicates, the volunteers are appointed by a sitting judge after CPS has removed the child or children from their home. They investigate the situation in foster care, monitor their home and school life, research their physical and psychological health and recommend to the judge what placement is best for a child to call a “forever home.” A foster child’s journey is a minimum of 12 months. The CASA volunteer is often the only consistent adult in that child’s life during this time. They remain in contact with the child until the case is finished and many even longer.

At the present time, 110 children are being served by CASA Cross Timbers Area – Bosque County leads with 48, Erath – 34, Eastland – 18 and Hamilton – 10. These totals are from 56 cases – 22 in Bosque, 16 in Erath, 10 in Eastland and 8 in Hamilton. Several advocates drive to Bosque County because the need is greater than the number of volunteers.

Interested citizens can assist by donating gift cards for children’s needs such as special uniforms, sports equipment, school projects, etc. or to help volunteers purchase gifts for holidays. Gas cards are welcome to help advocates with those expenses. Think about becoming a Board Member or Volunteer Advocate or Foster Parent.

Here is a link to the CASA of Cross Timbers Area website. Take time for a tour and consider how you or perhaps your congregation can participate in this beneficial program.

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