Autumn Reo

CASA of Tarrant County is excited to announce Denee Borchardt, Program Director for CASA of Tarrant County, has been named as the recipient of the prestigious Liberty Bell Award 2023 by the Tarrant County Bar Association.  She was recognized at the Tarrant County Law Day 2023 “Cornerstones of Democracy”  luncheon on Tuesday, May 2, 2023 at the Hilton Fort Worth. Past recipients of this award include Opal Lee,  “Grandmother of Juneteenth,” American retired teacher and activist, in 2022, and Pamela Young, Lead Criminal Justice Organizer for United Fort Worth, in 2021. 

Don Binnicker, CEO of CASA of Tarrant County; Dwayne Smith, Board Member of CASA of Tarrant County; Denee Borchardt, Program Director for CASA of Tarrant County; Whitney Vaughan, Board Member of CASA of Tarrant County

The Liberty Bell Award is presented to an individual who is a non-lawyer significantly engaged in community service that promotes a better understanding of government, especially the Bill of Rights. The awardee must encourage greater respect for the law and the courts, while stimulating a deeper sense of individual responsibility so that citizens recognize their duties and their rights. This individual also contributes to the effective functioning of our institutions of government and instills a better understanding and appreciation of the law.

Borchardt joined CASA of Tarrant County in 2016 after spending 13 years with Child Protective Services, investigating and supervising child abuse and neglect cases. As its Program Director, Borchardt works closely with many different local stakeholders including Our Community Our Kids, Texas Department of Family and Protective Services, and the judicial system. Ultimately, she works tirelessly to ensure families and children receive the most appropriate support during the most difficult time in their lives.  

“I can honestly say that she is one of the hardest-working and most supportive members of the child welfare system in North Texas,” said Dwayne Smith, CASA of Tarrant County, Board Member.  “As the program director for CASA, we’ve grown over 100% in terms of revenue in less than five years, seen to it that our advocates were able to provide their services to children in the foster care system through the COVID pandemic, and continues to work steadily towards achieving our goal of providing a CASA to every child in need in Tarrant County,” Smith continued. 

To learn more about CASA of Tarrant County, the services provided by CASA, or volunteering for CASA (volunteer child welfare advocate),visit


About CASA of Tarrant County

CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocates) of Tarrant County is an organization of volunteer advocates who stand up on behalf of abused and neglected children because they want them to have a future brighter, more hopeful than their past. Tarrant County has the third-highest confirmed number of cases of abuse and neglect in Texas. From helping siblings find permanent placement together, to finding a child a stable home with a relative, to uncovering positive information that helps a loving family reunite, to something as simple but yet important to that child as ensuring that their shoes are not too tight for their feet, volunteer Advocates make incredible differences in the lives of children. Currently CASA of Tarrant County has more than 400 active volunteers who come from all walks of life, however, there are still about 500 kids each year who are left waiting for a CASA, because there aren’t enough volunteers to meet the demands of the child welfare system. Visit to learn more and sign up to make a difference in a child’s future.  


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