Thanks to Jon and Jan Brieger and their wonderful Staff at the Redbud Café, Christmas will be a little brighter for CASA “kids” this year. CASA “kids” are children who have been removed from their homes and are in the state’s Foster Care system within our area. The Briegers have hosted the CASA Angel Tree for the past 3 weeks. This tree contains paper ornaments, each of which contains the ages of CASA children as a guide for suggested Christmas gifts. Many of our citizens have selected an ornament and purchased a gift for a CASA “kid.” These gifts have been collected at the Redbud and delivered to CASA of the Highland Lakes’ main office in Kingsland where they will be delivered by CASAs to the children.
CASA stands for “Court Appointed Special Advocates.” CASAs are trained volunteers who, after 30 hours of training and court room observation, advocate for children who have been removed from their homes because of abuse or neglect. Each volunteer is sworn in by a Judge and reports to the Court periodically on the status of their children. Unlike Child Protective Services case workers, CASA volunteers generally have only one child, or one family’s children, for whom they advocate. By virtue of being sworn in by the Judge, the CASA has access to children’s school and medical records, their teachers, doctors, etc. with which to gather information for their periodic reports to the Court. Based on familiarity with the child and their history, the CASA recommends to the Judge what he/she believes is in the best interest of the child.
Blanco County is one of five counties served by CASA of the Highland Lakes. If you have a passion for helping children and are interested in becoming a CASA, please visit the Highland Lakes CASA website at highlandlakescasa.org or call Galyn Woerner at 325-388-3440.