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CASA of Central Texas plans information session on child abuse in Hays County


Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) of Central Texas, a nonprofit child advocacy agency, will hold an one-hour information session for community members at noon Thursday, Oct. 15 at the Dripping Springs Community Library, 501 Sportsplex Drive.

The organization is seeking more volunteers for its work independently investigating child abuse and neglect cases and providing recommendations to the family court judge. Last year, more than 350 children were the victims of confirmed abuse or neglect in Hays County, CASA of Central Texas executive director Norma Castilla-Blackwell said.

“We assign our volunteers one case at a time to make sure the children receive the attention they need. But that means we are only serving as many children as we have volunteers,” Blackwell said. “We need more volunteers to reach our goal of serving 100 percent of the children who are currently in the state’s care.”

One such advocate is Lesley Allen, who has been a CASA volunteer since 2012.

“I feel a very strong desire to serve others and make a difference in the world. I knew in my heart that helping children, the ones who often get overlooked, was where I could do the most good. CASA was a perfect fit,” she said.

In addition to serving as a child’s proponent in the courtroom, CASA volunteers are often the only adult providing a stable presence in the child’s life.

“I would say that no matter how difficult it can be to watch the struggles these kids go through, there is nothing like knowing you helped to ease their burden, even just a little. You absolutely can make a difference in someone’s life by becoming a CASA,” Allen said.

For information, contact volunteer recruitment coordinator Laura Torres at 830-626-2272 or by email here.