What is CASA of the Pines?
Sadly, every day 52 Texas children are removed from their homes and taken in to foster care.
CASA is the only volunteer organization that is court appointed to give a voice to abused and neglected children. What that means is that we stand with the thousands of children in foster care, their CPS caseworkers, foster parents, and providers and help the Judge make sense of what is actually going on in that child’s life.
Imagine for a moment that you are a 10 year old girl and you are laying your head down to go to sleep in a different bed in an unfamiliar room. The house smells kind of weird and it’s the fourth home that you’ve been to this year. You miss your sister. She is your best friend and you haven’t been able to see her in months. In fact, you haven’t been able to see your mom, dad, or grandma in months either. When you think of grandma, you remember how she would come pick you up every weekend. At grandma’s house you always felt safe and loved. She would bake cookies for you and sing songs at bedtime. You and your sister were always laughing at grandma’s jokes.
Now, stop imagining, because this 10 year old girl is real. This child was separated from her family and when her grandmother told CPS that she wanted her granddaughters, she was told no, and there were walls put up at every turn. That’s where CASA comes in. The CASA talked to CPS and the attorneys, but most importantly, CASA spoke with the children and their grandmother. The CASA called a special hearing before the Judge. The Judge listened to all of the facts and placed those grandchildren with their grandmother.
Now imagine again that you are that little girl getting to hug grandma in the morning and sharing a room with your sister.
Today that grandmother has custody of her grandchildren and that little girl is a straight A student. Both girls have everything they ever needed because they wake up loved and safe.
In 1977, Judge David Soukup decided he needed more information and another point of view to make better informed decisions for children in foster care. CASA was born. Today, nationally, 76, 000 CASA’s advocate for more than 251,000 children in the foster care system. Our volunteers tell us that being a CASA is one of the most rewarding and fulfilling things they have ever done. Our donors know that their dollars are stretched even further because we rely on the generous time that our volunteers donate.
CASA needs more dedicated volunteers and donors to give a voice to those 251,000 children. One voice can change a child’s life. And if it can change a child’s life, it can change a family. And if it can change a family, it can change a community for generations to come. Won’t you join us? Won’t you be that voice?
Since 1995 CASA of the Pines has served more than 1,000 abused and neglected children in Angelina, Houston, and Polk Counties.
"People will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel"