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Matthew and Bobby, ages 5 and 7, were removed from their mother's care after Child Protective Services learned that the family was living in a garage and the mom was using illegal drugs. For these children, life was a roller coaster of uncertainty, never knowing what would happen next. 


The children were removed from the home and sent to live with their grandmother temporarily while their mother went through parenting classes, drug rehabilitation and therapy in hopes of getting her life on track. Rosemary was appointed as the CASA volunteer during the court process. 


Rosemary learned that one of the children, Matthew, had complained of headaches for several years, but that no one had done anything beyond having his eyes checked. She sought out the doctors and caregivers who had previously examined this child, compiled all his medical records and then made sure he visited a doctor. Through an MRI, the doctor learned that Matthew's headaches weren't due to a neurological problem but were a result of the stress and upheaval he experienced at home. Rosemary worked toward ensuring a stable home for Matthew and his brother.


With encouragement from everyone involved in the children's lives--CPS, CASA, attorneys and their grandmother--Matthew's mother attended parenting classes, drug rehabilitation and counseling. She also obtained a job and secured a clean, safe place to live. She showed she was dedicated to raising her children.  


Throughout the case, Rosemary observed the boys' visits with their mother and saw the bond between them. She recognized how much they loved her and wanted to be with her. Rosemary knew it was in their best interest to return home and advocated for a monitored reunification. Today, both boys are living in a new home with their mother and are thriving. Matthew is no longer experiencing headaches now that he is in a stable home. Thank you Rosemary for your dedicated advocacy on behalf of Bobby and Matthew. 

Click to watch CBS 11 news story explaining problems with the overburdened foster care system in Texas.

In May, CBS 11's investigative news team contacted Dallas CASA to help with a story about foster care in Texas. The two-part series focused attention on the overburdened and underfunded system and the workers who are charged with ensuring the safety of thousands of abused and neglected children. 


In addition to two news stories about the difficulties CPS workers face and the risks to children because of an under-resourced system, CBS 11 wanted to do something to help its viewers understand how they could help abused children in our community.      


The investigative news team--producer Jack Douglas, reporter Ginger Allen, executive producer Lisa Blegen and public affairs producer Denise Bunkley--recognized that they could help CASA by recruiting volunteers, so the station invited CASA to answer questions from interested viewers.  


CASA volunteers Eman Alvani, Diana Barcenas and Linda Swartz and CASA supervisors Joy Horn and Nicole Williams answered phone calls to help viewers learn more about CASA. More than 150 callers requested information during the two-hour phone drive, and still more interested viewers visited to sign up for information sessions.   


More than 40 young architects submitted innovative designs for the Dallas Chapter of the American Institute of Architects' third annual Young Architects Forum design competition. The competition supports Dallas CASA's largest fundraising event, Parade of Playhouses at NorthPark Center, Aug. 3-19. 


Coordinated by the Young Architects Forum, the contest invites young architects to submit playhouse designs for consideration for Parade of Playhouses. Judges chose four designs from among 40 entries. The four winners will have their designs turned into reality--their playhouse designs will be built and displayed at NorthPark Center to raise funds for Dallas CASA.


In its 17th year, Parade of Playhouses benefits Dallas CASA and raises awareness about the plight of abused and neglected children in Dallas County. During the 17-day event, visitors have the chance to purchase raffle tickets for one of the many kids' houses on display. More than 1.7 million people visit NorthPark Center during the two-week event culminating with a raffle drawing to announce the playhouse winners. 


Congratulations to the 2012 Young Architects Forum competition winners:

  • Scott Armstrong--Firehouse for Heroes
  • Whitney Ford--Flower Box Playhouse
  • Jonathan Powell and Lily Barboza--Beach Shack
  • Audrey Maxwell--Urban Chicken Coop
CASA staff members Lauren Lesch, Brandon Smith, Ben Wilkins and Mary Timmons with Highland Park High School freshman Bailey Pogue. 

A group of 24 Highland Park High School freshman, led by teacher Mark Howeth, recently was assigned to find a way to support an organization working to solve a community problem. The students contacted Dallas CASA to find out how they could help.     


"For us, it's about the process of learning how to meet someone's need," Howeth said. "Over the years, my students have done some really neat things. We've done everything from raising money for body armor for soldiers in the Middle East to helping the YMCA."   


Dallas CASA staff explained to the group that children living in group foster homes or residential treatment facilities often are living outside their home community of Dallas. Living far away from all that is familiar, and usually without most of their personal belongings and the special treats of childhood, care packages are a source of joy and comfort to children who have lost so much. 


The students held bake sales, went door to door requesting donations and did odd jobs to raise the money to purchase games, toiletry items, snacks and small clothing items to assemble into care packages for CASA kids. 


"It's about meeting needs in the community and the process of learning how to take on problems and solve them," Howeth said. "They learn that leadership is really about serving other people." 

Because CASA Was There
CBS 11 Helps Recruit CASA Volunteers
Young Architects Design Deam Playhouses to Support Abused Children
Highland Park High Schoolers Support CASA Kids

As a CASA volunteer, remember that you are not the source of information about the child's case for the foster parent. Your role is to focus on the child's needs. If those needs would be better served by a foster parent having additional confidential information, speak with the CPS caseworker about providing the appropriate information to the caregiver.  


2012 Volunteer Hours: 10,340 advocating for children in court so far this year!  

About Dallas CASA

When kids can't speak for themselves, CASA can.  

Dallas CASA is a nonprofit organization of community volunteers who serve as voices in court for abused and neglected children. CASA volunteers are trained and supervised to advocate for the best interests of abused children in protective care and to make recommendations that help judges decide what is best for each child. A CASA volunteer is often the one constant during a frightening, uncertain time in a child's life.

Sadly, less than half of the children who need a CASA volunteer have one. You can help. A child is waiting for your voice.
To learn more about helping abused children, visit

CASA and Court Appointed Special Advocates are registered trademarks of the National CASA Association.