Letter to the Editor: “Comparing BGC, CASA & CAC” by Jan Self

Letter to the Editor: “Comparing BGC, CASA & CAC” by Jan Self

Rockwall, Tx (August 29, 2023) – I’d been reading about these 3 child-helpful organizations for years. They are all intentioned to make children’s lives better, safer, and secure. I often wondered why  couldn’t they combine their efforts into one organization? Here’s why: they address different issues and each organization is valuable to our community. I’ve encapsulated their mission statements and programs. All information is obtained from their websites.

Boys & Girls Club of Northeast Texas

899 Rochell Court, Rockwall, TX 75032



Mission: To enable all young people, especially those who need us most, to reach their full potential as productive, caring, responsible citizens.
Vision: Provide a world-class Club Experience that assures success is within reach of every young person who enters our doors, with all members on track to graduate from high school with a plan for the future, demonstrating good character and citizenship, and living a healthy lifestyle.

At Boys & Girls Clubs, we want to support kids and teens after school. Our Club plays a crucial role in providing academic support, positive mentorship, impactful programs, meals, and essential services.

Research proves that out-of-school time programs make a significant impact, leading to better attendance, improved behavior, and higher grades for kids and teens. There is no one size fits all solution to success. It takes an army of people, a safe environment, high-quality programs and unique experiences to level the playing field for all kids. Boys & Girls Clubs of Northeast Texas provides a safe place for more than 1000 youth, 172 kids a day, giving them the opportunity to discover their great futures.

“With your help, we can bridge the gap between school and home, offering a secure environment during those critical hours outside of school. Together, let’s make this school year one to remember, filled with confidence, passion, and thriving skills. Join us and raise your hand to support our back-to-school efforts today!”

Children’s Advocacy Center for Rockwall County

1350 E. Washington St., Rockwall



We are the place where justice for the children can begin.

The Children’s Advocacy Center for Rockwall County is an interagency, multidisciplinary partnership dedicated to providing intervention, hope and healing for children and families affected by abuse, trauma, and violence, and to the prevention of child abuse through education and training. It offers a safe, secure, confidential and child-friendly environment where the healing process can begin.

Prior to the existence of child advocacy centers, children suffering from abuse and neglect often endured repetitive interviews due to lack of coordination between investigating agencies. Investigating agencies frequently duplicated efforts and complicated the process for victims and their families, increasing the trauma associated with reporting the abuse and jeopardizing the opportunity for successful outcomes.

The multi-agency approach to investigating allegations of child abuse and to protecting children begins with the referral. Cases are referred to a children’s advocacy center by either a local law enforcement agency or Child Protective Services (CPS). Forensic interviews are conducted at the Children’s Advocacy Center in an age appropriate room by trained professionals, who seek to minimize the number of interviews for children and to enhance evidence collection through the use of an unbiased and non-suggestive interview protocol. Medical exams are conducted by specially trained practitioners. Therapy and family assistance programs are also provided to clients and non-offending family members to help them understand their rights as crime victims and to assist them in accessing other resources in the Rockwall community.

Did you know—-in the state of Texas, all adults are mandated by law to report suspected child abuse. If you suspect a child is in immediate danger, call 911. You may remain anonymous.

Court Appointed Special Advocates

972 772 5858

108 Kenway St., Rockwall, TX 75087


CASA volunteers are appointed by a judge to advocate for the best interest for a child or sibling group while they are in the child welfare system. Each volunteer receives extensive training and is supported by a supervisor through their time serving on a case. CASA volunteers provide a comforting and loving adult presence in the life of a child while working with the family in hopes the child or children can return home. CASA supports volunteers who gather important information about abused and neglected children and offer recommendations to judges that help them decide what is in the best interests of each child. Lone Star CASA is part of larger CASA systems that operate statewide and nationwide.

CASA volunteers are teachers, business people, retirees, stay-at-home moms, grandparents, college students; extraordinary people who want to make certain the voices of abused and neglected children are heard.

CASA volunteers get to know the child and speak to everyone involved in the child’s life, including their family members, teachers, doctors, lawyers, social workers, and others. The information they gather and their recommendations help the court make informed decisions. CASA volunteers commit to a child until the case is closed and the child is in a safe, permanent home.

Judges truly value the observations and recommendations of CASA volunteers, knowing that they have the child’s best interests at heart.
• CASA volunteers help shorten the time a child spends in foster care.
• Children with a CASA volunteer are less likely to re-enter the child welfare system once their case is closed.
• CASA volunteers help children and their families receive the services they need.
• CASA has been recognized by the U.S. Department of Justice as a model juvenile delinquency prevention program for family members to help them understand their rights as crime victims and to assist them in accessing other resources in the community.

I’ve come to the strong conclusion that each of these organizations is vitally important to our community’s children and their families. Please consider volunteering and/or making a contribution to their cause.

Jan Self