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CASA of Travis County (Court Appointed Special Advocates) speaks up for children who have been abused or neglected by empowering the community to volunteer as their advocates in the court system, at school, with doctors, and in the community. When the state steps in to protect a child’s safety, a judge appoints a trained CASA volunteer to make independent and informed recommendations in the child’s best interest. Volunteers come from every walk of life and share a commitment to improving children’s lives, a willingness to learn, and an open mind towards life experiences different from their own. After being sworn-in by a judge, volunteers are appointed to a child or family of children and spend an average of 20 hours/month advocating for these children for at least a year. Volunteers must be at least 21 years of age and be able to pass extensive reference, Child Protective Services, and criminal background checks. Current foster parents or those in the process of adopting a child from Child Protective Services are not able to volunteer.