National Council of Jewish Women Features CASA at November Luncheon

National Council of Jewish Women Features CASA at November Luncheon

NCJW Austin will feature Alisa De Luna of CASA Travis County at NCJW's November luncheon. Photo courtesy of CASA.

National Council of Jewish Women will feature Alisa De Luna from Court Appointed Special Advocates of Travis County November 13 at NCJW’s next luncheon. De Luna will educate the group about the work done by CASA.

The luncheon will be held at Las Palomas Restaurant, 3201 Bee Caves Road, with networking time from 11:15 to 11:45 a.m. and the program until 1:00 p.m.

CASA of Travis County speaks up for children who have been abused or neglected by empowering our community to volunteer as advocates for them in the court system. 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.

CASA volunteers complete an interview, background checks and a 39-hour intensive training program including courtroom observation. After being sworn-in by a judge, volunteers are appointed to a child or family of children and spend an average of 15 to 20 hours a month advocating for the children for the lifetime of a case. In addition to getting to know the child, a CASA volunteer also gathers information from the child’s family, teachers, doctors, caregivers and anyone else involved in the child’s life.

Created in 1985, CASA of Travis County is now one of the top 10 CASA programs in the nation, supporting more than 700 volunteers who advocate for more than 1,750 children each year. CASA’s vision is to provide a volunteer advocate for every child in need in our community.

De Luna joined the staff of CASA of Travis County as the senior director of community initiatives in July 2016. She leads the volunteer recruitment, screening and training teams as well as the diversity and legislative efforts for the organization. She previously served as executive director of CASA of Williamson County for five years and spent more than four of those years on the Board of Directors of Texas CASA where she served on the Program Standards and Services and Public Policy Committees. In 2015, she was awarded the J.C. Montgomery Child Safety Award by the Texas Office for Prevention of Developmental Disabilities for her outstanding commitment to child safety and injury prevention. Last year, she earned certification as a praesidium guardian for helping to create best practices for CASA of Travis County in organizational abuse prevention.

De Luna graduated from Rice University and most of her background is in nonprofit management and fundraising, including work with the MDA and Austin Opera before committing herself to advocacy in the child welfare system through CASA.

Cost to attend the luncheon is $20 for NCJW members and $23 for non-members, and is all inclusive. RSVP is absolutely required due to capacity of the room. Newcomers are welcome. ■

To attend, RSVP by November 9, at event.akubo.com/mypublic_page.php?id=B1tH or www.ncjwaustin.org.

ADL Hosts Annual No Place for Hate Youth Summit

ADL Hosts Annual No Place for Hate Youth Summit

Charles Kaufman of Austin Elected President of B’nai B’rith International

Charles Kaufman of Austin Elected President of B’nai B’rith International