Letter from the Executive Director

     CASA of Central Texas has been an important part of my life for more than 10 years.

     I checked a book out from the public library in Laredo, Texas: I Speak for this Child by Gay Courter. Ms. Courter is a best-selling novelist who became a volunteer advocate and writes very movingly about her experiences. As a middle and elementary school teacher, I had seen the evidence of child abuse and neglect in my students, but had never seen what happened after my hot line calls. I was intrigued by Ms. Courter’s description of the role of the CASA volunteer and what a difference that advocate could make in a child’s life. I contacted my local CASA asking how I could be involved that same week.

     Fast forward to today! I’ve been a CASA volunteer, and now I’m Executive Director of CASA of Central Texas. I believe strongly that CASA volunteers play a vital role across our four county areas, working directly with children who are involved in the courts and the child welfare system. I’ve seen the dedicated work of our advocates, staff and board. I love being in court and seeing the impact of a volunteer’s report and their voice in court, bringing the child’s needs to life for the judge.

     Our volunteers, more than 200 of them, are remarkable people and it’s a privilege to be a small part of the efforts our wonderful program make to support them. Our volunteers are currently serving more than 400 children—but there are over 400 children in foster care in Caldwell, Comal, Guadalupe and Hays Counties with no CASA advocate. We have lots of work to do in order to serve these children.

     Please consider joining me. Share your story with friends, family, and your legislator! CASA at the Capitol Day is a great way for you to tell your elected officials about the children you know so well and your work to ensure they have a chance at their best possible life.

     Please let me know if there are ways our CASA program can support your efforts. Your work matters profoundly and all of us at CASA thank you. I hope to see you soon!

Norma Castilla-Blackwell

Executive Director
CASA of Central Texas, Inc.