The Blanco County Commissioners Court held a special meeting on May 22 to consider several items.
Sue Thornton, Executive Director of CASA for the Highland Lakes Area, told Blanco County Commissioners Court that while the financial support from Blanco County for CASA is minimal, through the work of dedicated, highly-trained volunteers the organization turns each of those dollars into $13 worth of services to children in foster care.
“If CASA were not in place, Blanco County would be faced with the dilemma of finding additional money in the budget to pay for ad litems for these children, or allowing them to navigate the foster care and court system alone and on their own,” said Thornton. “More important than saving dollars, CASA is saving these children’s lives by giving them hope and a chance to have a bright future.”
Founded in 1991, CASA for the Highland Lakes Area serves Blanco, Burnet, Lampasas, Llano and San Saba counties, and is one of only 14 of the 69 CASAs throughout Texas that provide a CASA volunteer for every child in the foster care system.
Thornton reported that there are six active cases served by CASA in Blanco County, involving over 326 volunteer hours logged in the first five months of 2012.
CASA is seeking volunteers for training so that they can serve as guardian ad litems for children who have been removed from their home by CPS due to abuse or neglect. The CASA advocates speak to the court about what is in the best interest of the child.
Thirty hours of specialized training is required before an advocate can be sworn in by a judge, and a grant by the State Bar Foundation is enabling the organization to offer a distance learning option where half of that time can be done online.
To find out more or to apply for the training, contact Ginner Boswell at 325-388-3440 or visit the website at www.highlandlakescasa.com.
The court also approved the proclamation declaring May 20-26, 2012, as Emergency Medical Services Week with the theme “EMS: More Than a Job, A Calling.”
The court also considered discussion of roadside park closures as requested by the Texas Department of Transportation.
Finally, the commissioners accepted the resignation of Bill Swiss from the Blanco Child Welfare and Family Advocacy Board and appointed Hollis Boatright to the position.