In the New Year, Resolve to Help a Child Who Needs You
The start of a new year often comes with a list of resolutions. New Year’s resolutions are
different for everyone, but one of the most common is to live a healthier lifestyle. If you’re
hoping to improve your physical and mental health, there’s one option that often gets overlooked
and benefits others: volunteering.
Volunteering and helping others has been found to benefit both physical and mental health, and
there are a variety of options in our community. If you’re looking for a new way to make
changes in your life and in the lives of others, consider resolving to help children and families in
the child welfare system by volunteering with CASA for the Cross Timbers Area.
38,294 children are currently in the Texas child welfare system. These children have been
removed from their homes and placed in foster care, sometimes far away from their families and
communities. They need a CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocate®) volunteer to stand by
their side and advocate for them.
“Children in foster care are often separated from their families, siblings, friends and other loved
ones, and placed in an unfamiliar setting far away from everything they know,” said Mindy
Wooley, executive director of CASA for the Cross Timbers Area. “CASA volunteers stand with
them during this uncertain time, providing a consistent presence and speaking up for their best
interest in court, school and other settings.”
CASA volunteers are everyday members of the community who are recruited, screened and
trained to advocate for a child or sibling group in foster care. They get to know the child on an
individual level so that they can make sure their physical, emotional and educational needs are
They also get to know the child’s parents, family, foster parents, and other important people in
their life, with the goal of working towards reunifying the child with their parents whenever safe
and possible. They help make sure children have a support system of family and other reliable,
committed adults who can help them both during and after their time in foster care.
CASA for the Cross Timbers Area has served 82 children in foster care this year with 32 CASA
volunteers. CASA is always seeking more community members to step up and advocate.
“Volunteering with CASA is an opportunity unlike any other,” said Wooley. “It’s a unique
chance to make a true, positive difference for a young person and their family. We need more
members of the community to join the CASA movement.”
In the New Year, consider becoming a CASA volunteer and make an impact in a child’s life, and
your own. Every child has a chance – it’s you. ®
To learn more, visit CASACTA.org. The next CASA 101 information session is Thursday,
January 25th at 5 pm at our office located at 1385 N Graham St.