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Anna's mother was so addicted to drugs that she routinely left her daughter alone so she could use. Child Protective Services removed 18-month-old Anna from her home and placed her in a relative's home where they thought she would be safe. Kim was appointed as her CASA volunteer.


For more than a year, Anna lived with her uncle and was able to visit her mother frequently while her mother tried to work through substance abuse and support services that would allow her to care for her daughter again. Unfortunately, Anna's mother could not overcome her addictions, and her parental rights were eventually terminated.  

Sadly, Anna's nightmare wasn't over. During this time, everyone thought Anna was safe in the home with her uncle, but for more than a year, she endured his sexual abuse. When Anna told that she was being hurt by her uncle, CPS
quickly moved her into an elderly relative's home.  However, it soon became apparent that Anna's behaviors--a direct result of the trauma she had experienced in her uncle's home--would make it difficult for this relative to care for her. She was aggressive toward other children in her preschool and toward her teachers, and she experienced behavior problems at home. She needed someone who could devote more time to helping her heal. CPS moved Anna to a foster home when she was 4 years old.   


Anna's young life is filled with memories of living in CPS care. Trauma and upheaval were all she knew until only last year. However, Kim was the one constant presence in Anna's life throughout this traumatizing time. She spoke up for Anna in court and told the judge that Anna needed therapy to help her heal, something the CPS worker had been too overwhelmed to help coordinate. Kim gathered all the necessary information to allow Anna to receive counseling services at the Dallas Children's Advocacy Center. Kim also made sure that day care was paid for and was a safe place for Anna. Anna told anyone who would listen how much she loved her CASA volunteer.


Anna's foster family loved Anna and wanted to help her heal and raise her as part of their family. Kim advocated for Anna's adoption, knowing it was the best choice for Anna after nearly four years of uncertainty. Anna finally found a permanent, loving home with her adoptive family. After the hearing to finalize the adoption was complete, Anna looked up at Kim and asked, "So, I never have to come back here again? Is this going to be my forever home?" Smiling, Kim assured her she was going home to stay.

Architect Bob Borson founded two design competitions resulting in nearly a dozen playhouses constructed for Parade of Playhouses. 

Last month, The Voice enewsletter introduced the four winners of the 2012 AIA Young Architects Forum design competition. This month, we're introducing a few more playhouse designs resulting from a similar competition launched by Bob Borson, Associate Principal at Bernbaum Magadini Architects. Bob is a CASA supporter who has found a way to utilize his professional skills to help abused and neglected children in Dallas.


Borson first got involved with Dallas CASA in 2009 as an architect who designed two of the charming playhouses raffled to raise funds at Parade of Playhouses. In 2010, Borson wanted to do more to help abused children find safe, permanent homes, so he worked with the Dallas chapter of the American Institute of Architects to launch the Young Architects Forum design competition. More than 40 entries were submitted the first year, resulting in four winning designs chosen for construction and display at Parade of Playhouses.


Borson has been recognized in the architecture field for finding compelling ways to give back to the community through his profession, and for his blog,, which has become one of the top architecture blogs in the world. The positive feedback Bob received from his frequent blog posts about Parade of Playhouses led him to launch a second Web-based design competition in 2012 open to anyone across the U.S.


Borson invited his readers to submit playhouse designs to be judged on overall design, visual appeal, constructability and safety.  "The benefits to the participants were simple--they did something good for this community, and if selected, they would see their designs come to life," Borson said.


Borson invited a group of judges to choose 20 finalists from more than 250 entries and then to select two winners. The winners are:

  • Nooks and Crannies Playhouse, designed by Bogdan Tomalevski and Tarek Abdel Ghaffar, Los Angeles, California
  • Beacon Playhouse, designed by Peter Christensen, Miami, Florida

"The best part of being involved with CASA in this way is that I am able to use my profession as an architect and my design skills in a fun and exciting way," Borson said. "Being able to host the competition on my website and have people enter from all over the world was incredibly rewarding."


The winning designs will be raffled in support of Dallas CASA at Parade of Playhouses Aug. 3-19. For more information about Parade of Playhouses, go to

Newly graduated CASA volunteers were sworn in by Judge George West. 

The following individuals have completed the 30-hour CASA volunteer training course and were sworn in June 29. Many accepted their first volunteer assignment shortly after graduation and are already on their CASA journey, speaking for the best interests of their CASA children. Congratulations to all our newest volunteer advocates, and thank you for your compassion and generosity in volunteering to become advocates for vulnerable child victims.   


Regina Abron * Brenda Allen * Yolanda Almanza * Mayra Balderas * Alexis Bourn * Victoria Brewer * Kristin Butler * Shauntel Carwell * Aubrie Colvard * Suhani Desai * Lisa Donovan * Marcia Doolin * Karen-Marie Eaton * Consuelo Evans * Eydie Falik * Laura Garber * Ashley Gill * Connie Gonzalez * Kimberly Graber * Paige Hefner * Jennifer Helten* Erika Johnson * Dave Kroencke * Lisa Lantz * Yesinia Lopez * Heather McNamara * Dolline Men * Shareese Moore * Kristen Morrissey * Diana Murphy * Amanda Newell * Peggy Ordonez * Alicia Rothe * David Smith * Kristyle Solomon * Terri Stimple * Brandi Todd * Angela Van * Emily Ward * Jennifer Woods * David Wyrick

Carol Clyde, Joe Esau and Taylor Russ at the Dallas CASA Young Professionals May membership drive at the Stoneleigh Hotel. 

The Dallas CASA Young Professionals held a membership drive and fundraiser in May, raising more than $5,000 to help abused children.


The Young Professionals hosted the event at the Stoneleigh Hotel and Spa. The Stoneleigh provided the beautiful space for the event, which more than 75 attended in support of Dallas CASA. Local businesses generously contributed raffle prizes including gift certificates to La Duni, a one-night stay at Hotel ZaZa and gift certificates for spa services at the Stoneleigh. The Young Professionals Board also recruited the help of Archon Group, Glazer's Distributors, Burress Snellings Law Firm, and Dave Perry-Miller agents Beverly Morris and Bridgett Bell, who graciously sponsored this event.


All proceeds from Young Professionals events help provide advocates for abused children in court. The organization hopes to raise awareness among Dallas 21- to 40-year-olds about children who are living in foster care and the ways young professionals can help.

All She Remembered Was Foster Care
Playhouse Design Competition Draws Entries From Across U.S.
Congratulations New Volunteers
Young Professionals Raise $5,000 to Help Abused Children

Even if you aren't able to take your CASA child on an outing, try to find a way to visit your child one-on-one. Go to the playground together or walk to a nearby fast food restaurant for a soda or an ice cream cone. It doesn't have to be expensive or extravagant, but that one-on-one time helps build trust and could help you gain even more helpful information about the child's wishes and best interests. 


2012 Volunteer Hours: 13,130 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.