CASA for the Highland Lakes Area suffered two significant grant cuts, totaling almost $34K as a result of federal funding cuts.
Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA), a nonprofit organization, provides an invaluable, mandated service to traumatized children that have been removed from their homes by the State due to abuse and neglect. CASA for the Highland Lakes Area has aided residents of Blanco, Burnet, Lampasas, Llano, & San Saba counties for 15 years. CASA serves children in need and saves taxpayers hundreds of thousands annually by assisting in the civil/judicial process by utilizing highly trained volunteer support.
Texas law mandates that every child removed from their home by the state due to abuse/neglect be appointed a Guardian ad Litem. CASA serves this critical need and saves local taxpayers by use of volunteer service versus paid ad Litems. CASA volunteers donate thousands of hours annually by providing one-to-one contact with children, contacting family members, representing children in court, seeking permanent placement options, writing court reports, etc. Most importantly, CASA volunteers are stable, trusting adults that children can rely on and trust to advocate for their best interest.
In 2007, CASA volunteers saved taxpayers over $454,953.00 (based on local pay scales and federal mileage rates). To date, CASA volunteers have recorded over 5600 volunteer hours and 79,856 miles. It is estimated that CASA will save taxpayers an even greater amount in 2008.
Child abuse allegations continue to plague local counties, our state, and our nation. Based on statistics, every 11 seconds, a child is reported abused or neglected. Unfortunately, government funding for victim services has been significantly cut the last several years, greatly impacting social service agencies that aid and provide invaluable services to victims. CASA for the Highland Lakes Area has seen a 42% decrease in federal funding in the past two years.
CASA asks citizens to support this needed program by contributing financially (every amount helps), attending local fundraisers, and/or volunteering to serve children. For more information about donating to CASA or becoming a CASA volunteer, call (325) 388-3440; or visit wwww.highlandlakescasa.org or becomeacasa.org.
“There can be no great community responsibility that keeping defenseless children safe and preserving their future”.