As part of March’s National Social Work Month celebration, CASA for Children recognizes and thanks those who devote their lives to bettering the lives of others.

Social workers strive to build a stronger community for all people, and CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocates) is a proud partner in the effort to secure a brighter future for children in the foster care system.

Locally, CASA holds volunteer Information sessions on the first Tuesday of every month, the fourth Thursday of each month, both days at 8:30AM and again at 5:30PM and on the third Saturday of each month at 10AM at the CASA office, located at 1201 Main Street, Texarkana, Texas.

The next CASA Volunteer Information Session is tomorrow, March 1, at 8:30AM and again at 5:30PM.

CASA programs collaborate with the Department of Family and Protective Services (DFPS), Child Protective Services (CPS) and other key advocates in the child welfare system to ensure that children who have been removed from their homes due to abuse or neglect are placed in safe, permanent homes as quickly as possible.

“While social work covers a variety of areas, we are especially appreciative of those in the field who have been our partners in protecting abused and neglected children in the child welfare system,” said Danita Abernathy, Executive Director of CASA for Children in Texarkana.

CASA volunteers are appointed to advocate for children’s best interests in court. They come from all walks of life and backgrounds, but they all have one thing in common – a passion for helping children. They get to know the child personally and speak with everyone involved in the child’s life so that they can make well-informed and holistic placement recommendations to the court. The CASA for Children program recruits, screens and trains these volunteers.

“CASA, DFPS and CPS share a common goal – to protect the unprotected,” said Abernathy. “We all work to ensure that these vulnerable children’s needs are met while they are in foster care, and that they are placed in loving homes.”

When possible, CASA volunteers advocate for reunification with the child’s immediate family, said Abernathy, but when reunification is not an option, they work with CPS and DFPS to find the child a caring adoptive home.

“We dream of a day when CASA is no longer needed because every child has the forever home they deserve,” said Abernathy. “But until then, CASA for Children will continue to work tirelessly with CPS and DFPS to create a better future for children in the child welfare system.”

Last year, 79 CASA volunteers served 353 children in the child welfare system in Northeast Texas and Southwest Arkansas, but an additional 225 children needed a volunteer to advocate for their best interests. Consider making a difference for these children by becoming a CASA volunteer.

For more information, visit www.BecomeaCASA.org or www.casatexarkana.org or call 903-792-1030.