Sandy Shockley, president of Episcopal Church Women, writes to the diocese:
Last fall the Board of Episcopal Church Women selected the Court Appointed Special Advocates program (CASA) as the main charity for our organization. At our Fall Tea we collected donations for CASA. Our goal is to raise money during the year, then disburse it in the fall to all the CASA offices within our diocese. There is also a plan to have a reception in the fall to recognize all the CASA volunteers from our diocese (time and place to be announced later).
Here are some statistics for the Cross Timbers CASA: This office encompasses the counties of Bosque, Hamilton, Eastland and Erath. In 2012 they worked 86 cases, for a total of 152 children. Volunteers donated 3184 hours, drove 29,429 miles to visit children, wrote 162 court updates, and attended 215 court hearings.
CASA volunteers investigate a child’s situation in foster care, monitor their home and school life while in the child welfare system, and, ultimately, recommend to the courts which placement is best for a child to call a “forever home.” They serve as advocates, friends, and protectors. Your gift ensures that CASA can continue recruiting and training these very special volunteers – “big voices” that selflessly serve children in need.
Studies have shown that children who have a CASA on their case have better educational outcomes, receive more health care and other services, spend less time in foster care: and are half as likely to return to state care after their cases are closed.
The long term effects of a CASA volunteer are just as remarkable — less overall expense for the foster care system, fewer teens on the streets, and lower rates of incarceration among former foster youth.
The money we raise for CASA will be used to help reimburse advocates for mileage that they incur during the year. Currently, they receive no help in any way. It is completely voluntary.
It is the ECW’s belief that this is a wonderful and worthwhile charity and there is no doubt of the need for the advocates. As I understand it, the work these advocates do saves tax payers $24,000 a year per child.
Donations can be sent to the diocesan office:4301 Meadowbrook Dr.
Fort Worth, TX 76103
Checks should be made payable to the Episcopal Diocese of Fort Worth, with “CASA” indicated in the memo/note field.
Ingathering dates are April 14, 2013 and September 15, 2013.