Angel Flight South Central (AFSC) has recently partnered with several Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) organizations within our region. Our goal is to help CASA volunteers stay connected with children who have been placed in foster homes outside of their local areas. Our volunteer pilots provide free flights that enable CASA volunteers to visit their children more frequently while incurring less travel time and cost.
What Is CASA?
CASA was founded in 1977 after a judge in Seattle was concerned about the lack of information he received for cases involving abused and neglected children. To help him make better decisions on behalf of these children, he appointed volunteers within the community to work on behalf of the children being brought to his court. Today, judges in various cities across the country appoint local volunteers to advocate for the best interests of the children, ensuring they are placed in safe, permanent homes as quickly as possible. CASA volunteers are trained to gather information and work hard to get to know the children by reviewing records and talking to everyone involved in the child's life. Using this information, they then make recommendations to the court to help judges make the best decisions for placing a child in a permanent home. "For many children, a CASA volunteer is the only constant during a frightening, uncertain time" (Dallas CASA, 2015).
The CASA volunteer remains assigned to the child even if the child is placed in another city or state. The further away a child lives, the more difficult it becomes for the volunteer to visit the child and ensure that the home environment remains safe.
How Angel Flight Can Help CASA:
- Provide transportation for volunteers who need to visit children in other cities or states.
- Enable volunteers to conduct site visits to prospective homes where a child may be placed.
- We allow volunteers to travel beyond their normal ability to assist in situations that might arise, simply due to the nature of this population of children.
- AFSC pilots are able to fly in and out of small municipal airports, which provides the volunteer with easier access to children living in more rural areas.
- These are small, nonpressurized planes that typically seat about 4-6 passengers.
- Flights are broken into 300-mile segments, so a volunteer may need to travel on multiple flights. The limit is typically 900 miles before traveling in a small plane becomes inefficient.
- Volunteer pilots will not fly in bad weather or at night.
- The volunteer is responsible for arranging his/her own ground transportation. However, there are several options available, such as rental cars, courtesy cars, or contacting a local CASA volunteer.
- One companion is allowed to travel with the volunteer on the flight.
- Luggage cannot exceed 25 pounds total (all passengers combined), packed in not more than two (2) small soft-sided backpacks or duffel bags. A typical personal small purse does not count towards this baggage allowance. Any special equipment such as oxygen, walkers, safety seats, etc. counts towards the 25 pound total allowance.
Angel Flight South Central volunteer pilots donate their time, aircraft, and all expenses involved to assist CASA volunteers with helping abused and neglected children find a safe place to live, advocating for them in court, and being the one constant in their lives.
Sample forms are available for review below. If you have further questions, please call our office toll free at 972-755-0433.
- Contact our office to learn more about the process and how AFSC might be able to assist.
- Confirm if additional insurance is required to cover volunteers/staff traveling in General Aviation aircraft.
- Designate a CASA employee(s) who will be authorized to complete and sign the CASA Flight Request Form. This acts as our validation process to ensure the flight is needed by the volunteer.
- Paperwork should be submitted at least 10 days prior to the day the flight is needed.
If you are interested in partnering with Angel Flight, please contact our office at 972-755-0433.