The Texarkana Children's Advocacy Center (TCAC) and Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) for Children are both umbrella programs under the nonprofit organization Northeast Texas CASA, Inc., but they do different things at different times.
The TCAC facilitates a Multi-Disciplinary Team (MDT) Response to child abuse investigations and are first responders to most cases of sexual abuse, severe physical abuse, and violent crime experienced or witnessed by a child. The Center provides forensic services for our MDT partners in law enforcement and child protective services and provides families with critical support and services needed to heal.
Example: A nine-year-old girl has been sexually abused by her father since she was seven. When she finally gains the courage to disclose to a teacher at school, the abuse is reported. Investigators with law enforcement and child protective services initiate the MDT response and meet the child and her mother/non-offending caregiver at TCAC. While at the Center, the girl is finally able to tell her story to a trained forensic interviewer and be seen by a medical provider who lets her know her body is okay. Her mother, who is feeling extreme guilt for not knowing about the abuse, is able to receive support and assistance so she can focus on protecting her daughter and rebuilding their lives. The abuse is interrupted, the girl is protected, and healing takes place for both the girl and her mother through trauma-based therapy at the Center. The mother never sees a bill.
CASA for Children recruits, trains, and empowers volunteers to advocate on behalf of abused and neglected children in foster care. CASA Volunteer Advocates are appointed by a judge to speak up for a child's best interest in court. Many times, CASA Advocates are the only constant on a child's journey through the child welfare system.
Example: Three siblings are placed in foster care due to neglect stemming from their mother's drug use. The mother chooses to receive treatment at an inpatient facility, but after some time there, she begins to struggle and wants to give up. The children are assigned a CASA volunteer advocate by the judge. The advocate gets to know the mother and encourages her to stay in treatment. Upon investigation, the volunteer advocate learns that the children can actually be placed there with the mother during her recovery. According to the drug treatment counselor, this could even increase the mother's chance for success. The volunteer advocate recommends for the children to be placed there with the mother, and the judge agrees. After five months, the mother graduates from treatment and moves into an apartment, where her recovery is closely monitored. The mother maintains her sobriety and is reunified with her children six months later.
TCAC and CASA for Children have provided critical services to children and families impacted by abuse and neglect in the greater Texarkana area for over thirty years. While these sister programs vary in service delivery, the overall goal is to provide hope, healing, and justice to child abuse and neglect victims.
Two Programs. One Mission.
YOU CAN MAKE A DIFFERENCE
When you give to TCAC and CASA, you're giving to, not one, but two local nonprofit organizations providing critical, life-changing services to child abuse victims in our community. Visit our donate page to give