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CASA of Tarrant County

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Caitlyn Ussery

on 18 April 2017

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Transcript of CASA of Tarrant County

CASA of Tarrant County
About CASA
Founded in 1977 by Judge David Soukup in Seattle
Came to Tarrant Co. in 1983 by Judge Scott Moore
Maintains a highly respected reputation
Affiliate of Texas CASA and National CASA
Duties of a CASA
Gather information "Fact Finders"
Visit child in placement once per month
Observe parent visit once per month
Touch base with specific involved parties
Attend all court hearings
Ultimate goal: Gather information from every viewpoint and provide recommendations to the judge
Importance of CASA
Tarrant Co. is second in the state for child abuse and neglect cases in 2016
Harris Co: 5,812 down from 6,360
Tarrant Co: 5,162 down from 6,213
The CASA has only the best interest of the child at heart
A CASA has more time and ability to fully understand and advocate for a child/children
Judges view CASAs as a neutral party
Provides a voice to voiceless children
200 children waiting to be served
The Role of a CASA
Child removed from their home
All aspects of life in flux
Needs often go unnoticed/unmet
A CASA provides consistency and stability in their otherwise unstable world
Minimum Qualifications
Cannot be a foster parent, employee of CPS, engaged in a custody dispute, or be involved in a foster child's life who has an active case
At least 21 years old
Pass fingerprint and background checks
Flexible daytime schedule
Fair and open minded
Curriculum is 15 hours at CASA offices and 15 hours online
Swear-in takes place after last session
All classes are required for graduation
Must complete all pre-training requirements
12 hours of annual training
CASA of Tarrant County and its court-appointed volunteers advocate for the best interest of abused and neglected children.
Provide a CASA volunteer to every child who needs one.
Overburdened court and child welfare systems
Children are at risk of falling through cracks
CASA is the only unpaid and unbiased party
CASA advocates for best interest
Speaking Up
Meet minimum qualifications
Complete CASA training
Commit to a year with CASA
Submit application
Complete an interview
References must return surveys
Pay $26 fee
Pass DFPS background check
Average monthly commitment of 12-15 hours per month
Mileage can be used as a tax write-off
Court hearings scheduled 2 weeks in advance (60d, 6m, 10m, 12m)
If you are unable to commit now, we have other volunteer opportunities
Time Commitment
Raising a voice against the unspeakable.
Bryan's Story
Why You Should Become A CASA
Welcome to CASA of Tarrant County
Information Session

Caitlyn Ussery, LMSW
Full transcript