The El Paso area has hundreds of children who have been abused and/or neglected by their families and have been removed by Child Protective Services from the only place they know as home. They are placed in foster care and have no family to call their own. Too many of these children spend years moving from one foster home to another. These victimized children are in need of safe, permanent nurturing homes where they can thrive.
CASA of El Paso recruits and trains community advocates, who are appointed by district court judges, to advocate for children that are involved in the court system due to abuse or neglect. Each CASA advocate is trained to interview the child, parents, school officials, health providers and others who know the child’s history. The CASA reviews all records assigned to the case, including school, medical and caseworker reports. The CASA files court reports on the child’s behalf, gives testimony in hearings and works with the attorneys and other professionals involved in the case. CASA advocates provide important medical, mental health and educational advocacy to the children we serve. Our advocates help strengthen the children’s interest in school, thus improving their grades and increasing their interest in other areas, such as art, music and sports.
Below is success story on how a CASA of El Paso volunteer was able to successfully advocate for the foster youth they serve. Names have been changed to protect the confidentiality of the youth involved:
Steven, 13, was immensely struggling in math class. He wouldn't turn in his homework, and when his teacher called on him, he would shut down and refuse to engage. Abraham, his CASA volunteer, got to know him, built trust with him, and was able to figure out the source of the issue - before he was placed in foster care, his father used to help him with his math homework. Abraham worked with Steven's caseworker to schedule visits with his father, where they would dedicate a portion of their time to working on his math homework. Steven's academic performance, behavior and confidence improved because his CASA, Abraham, listened and advocated for his best interest.