3 Community Members Sworn in as CASA Volunteers with CASA for the Cross Timbers Area
On October 10, 2023, at the Eastland County Courthouse, Judge David Barkley officially swore in 3 new CASA volunteers. Also known as Court Appointed Special Advocates, these amazing volunteers will work with CASA for the Cross Timbers Area to advocate for children and families involved in the foster care system in Eastland, Erath, Bosque, and Hamilton Counties.
“Even in my pre-service training alone, I’ve seen the remarkable positive impact that CASA volunteers can have on the children and families they serve,” said Jennifer Bonilla (Middle) newly sworn-in volunteer with CASA CTA. This new class of CASA volunteers will be assigned to a child or sibling group who they will commit to advocating for until the closure of their case. As a part of their advocacy, they will get to know important adults in the life of the child they represent, such as parents, foster parents, teachers, doctors, therapists, and more.
“It is a long-term commitment and requires a lot of heart, but there just isn’t another volunteer experience that matches what you’ll get with CASA,” said Mindy Wooley, Executive Director of CASA CTA. “Our volunteers are dedicated to doing their very best on behalf of the children and families they serve.”
CASA volunteers go through 40 hours of in-depth, pre-service training before they are appointed by a judge to their case. They advocate for the child they represent in every facet of their life and make recommendations to the court about their best interest. Volunteers advocate for reunification as their primary goal whenever it is safe and possible to do so. When reunification is not an option, they may advocate for the child to live with another relative or family friend. They can also advocate for the child to be placed in an adoptive home. In all cases, CASA volunteers are steadfast, consistent presences for the children they serve, making sure they are safe and have the resources and connections they need to grow and thrive. They work with families to build life-long support systems for both the child and parents that will continue after the case is closed.
“We’re so excited to have this new class join our team of 33 volunteers,” said Wooley. “I know that they will do amazing work that will positively impact the children and families in the foster care system right here in our community.”
Pictured left to right, Lyndee Cole, Jennifer Bonilla, Jon Newton and Judge David Barkley.