NACOGDOCHES, TX (KTRE) - (KTRE) - The CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocates) Memorial strikes a chord of regret from the child advocates who view it. First names and ages of children line numerous display panels.
"The board symbolizes the names of 227 children that died of abuse in Texas last year," explained Joe Gagen, Texas CASA CEO. It's really brought to home the consequences of abuse."
CASA of Deep East Texas volunteers and staff know there are no Nacogdoches County children listed, but are well aware the possibility always presented itself. "There's been lots of efforts to prevent and to work with the families, so we're all happy that that's not one of our kids," said Rebecca Carlton CASA of Deep East Texas director.
Prior victims, like three year old Kaylan Broumley won't be forgotten. Joy comes knowing her siblings are now adopted. Case workers continue to work for those still waiting.
"These are happy pictures," said Sherri Robertson, as she stood in front on her office bulletin board. "These are pictures showing where we have success stories of children that have gone through the foster care system and the have been placed with families," explained the volunteer CASA supervisor. "I have a child that's waiting for adoption. It has been narrowed down from 20 something families to three and I will have a chance to participate in selecting the family," Robertson said with a smile on her face.
In five years, CASA of Deep East Texas has over 50 case workers. More are always needed as the number of abused and neglected children continue to climb. Currently 124 children are in the foster care system.
CASA of Deep East Texas continues to widen the boundaries to help foster children. Attempts are underway to include Shelby County.