Rockwall, TX (June 14, 2023) – Over the past year, Rockwall and Kaufman Counties have seen a significant increase in children entering the child welfare system. These children need a consistent, safe adult to advocate for them.
For Karen Wydra, the reason for being a court appointed special advocate, or CASA, is simple: a CASA advocates for the most vulnerable in our society: children who have experienced abuse, neglect or trauma. Lone Star CASA is in need of community members that would like to become volunteers.
A CASA volunteer is a guardian ad litem for a child who has experienced abuse or neglect and is involved in the Child Welfare System. Volunteers, like Karen Wydra, work to establish a trusting relationship with the children and are in contact with various professionals to advocate for the best interests of the child in court.
“Every child deserves to have the best chance in life and know that somebody cares what happens to them. CASA advocates are able to develop relationships with the kids and prove to them that someone cares; that they matter.” states Karen
CASA volunteers are appointed by a judge to advocate for the best interest for a child or sibling group while they are in the child welfare system. Each volunteer receives extensive training and is supported by a supervisor throughout their time serving on a case. CASA volunteers provide a comforting and loving adult presence in the life of a child while working with the family in hopes the child or children can return home. Over 342 community members have become CASA volunteers to serve on cases in Rockwall and Kaufman Counties since 1992. There are currently over 90 advocates, but that is simply not enough.
“Unfortunately abuse and neglect happens in our community, and we are always in need for volunteers to step up and let these children know they are not alone. Volunteers are CASA’s lifeline; we are here to support their work as they ensure each child has a safe place to live and is given the opportunity to thrive.” says Lauren Rowe, Executive Director of Lone Star CASA.
If you wish to learn more about becoming a volunteer, please visit us at: lonestarcasa.org/volunteer or by attending one of our monthly information sessions.