Posted on Apr 08, 2021
There are a number of organizations doing important and amazing work in our community, not the least of which is CASA-Hope For Children.
On Wednesday, Rotary Club of Mineral Wells program chair for the week Monica Reidlinger brought Christina Phenix, CASA training director, and Kathy Meyer, executive director, to speak to the club. Monica is program director for CASA-Hope For Children.
April is “Child Abuse Awareness and Prevention Month” so Wednesday’s presentation from Kathy and Christina was very timely.
CASA is an acronym for court-appointed special advocates. CASA’s mission is to serve and help abused and neglected children placed in CPS or foster care by training volunteer advocates who are assigned to their cases. CASA advocates monitor the children by observing and meeting and talking with them and those involved with the children such as caregivers, teachers, counselors and family members.
The advocates then work with staff to prepare information reports for the judges in courts where those cases reside that are used to help the court make the decisions in  the children’s best interests regarding their long-term care and placement. A CASA volunteer typically provides 15-20 hours of volunteer service a month.
The non-profit organization serves Parker and Palo Pinto counties, and case numbers show the need for advocates and their work. Kathy said in 2020 CASA-Hope For Children handled 421 cases – 260 in Parker County and 161 in Palo Pinto County. Of those, 132 were new cases.
There are currently 96 trained volunteer CASA advocates working those cases in the two counties, Kathy said. There are 77 advocates in Parker County and 19 in Palo Pinto County. Last year the advocates tallied a combined 12,000 volunteer hours and 500 court hours.
There are seven staff members at CASA-Hope For Children. The organization is based at 305 South Rusk Street in Weatherford and has an office in the United Way of Palo Pinto County offices. CASA-Hope For Children is a United Way organization. Kathy said CASA-Hope For Children receives 65% of its funding through grants and 35% through donations and fundraising. Its largest annual fundraiser is the annual Bags, Bingo and Badges event in Weatherford.
CASA-Hope For Children is always looking for advocate volunteers. Training classes are frequently offered and at no charge. Training is approximately 30 hours with three hours of required courtroom observation. At the end of the training, CASA volunteers are sworn in by a judge and become an officer of the court. Volunteer advocates must be at least 21 years of age.
If you would like to apply or receive more information about becoming a CASA volunteer, or make a tax-deductible donation to CASA-Hope For Children, visit or call 817-599-6224.