San Marcos Mercury | Local News from San Marcos and Hays County, Texas

May 4th, 2010
CASA receives bar association grant


The Texas Bar Association recently approved a grant  for  Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) of Central Texas  with the hope of recruiting and training more volunteers.

CASA of Central Texas volunteers act as advocates in the court system for abused and neglected children. They are recruited, and trained by CASA.

The Texas Bar Foundation has awarded more than $9 million in grants to law-related programs since its beginning in 1965. Supported by members of the State Bar of Texas, it is the nation’s largest charitably funded bar foundation.

Norma Blackwell, Executive Director of CASA of Central Texas, said the grant shows the Texas Bar Foundation’s dedication to the welfare of children in the state.

“We are so blessed because by the support (the foundation) has shown to us,” Blackwell said. “I am so happy that, with these funds, we will be able to serve more children in our community.”

Volunteers for CASA receive an initial 40 hours of training before being sworn in for duty. They are provided with continued trained throughout their service in CASA. They also receive guidance from their casework supervisor,

Blackwell said that the foundation funds will not only allow more trainings to be held, but will also provide better support for volunteers once they are serving on a case.

In 2009 CASA advocates served 228 children in the four-county service area of Caldwell, Comal, Guadalupe and Hays Counties in Central Texas. However, there were an additional 348 children who did not have the support of a CASA volunteer. Volunteers are assigned to one case at a time and CASA can only serve as many children as there are volunteers.

Those interested in volunteering for CASA or to learn about additional ways to support the program should visit or call (512) 392-3578 or  (830) 626-2272.

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