• Meet Volunteer Advocate Veronica Chambers

    Jul 30 2014

    Meet Volunteer Advocate Veronica Chambers

    By Callie Langford, Originally published in TODO Austin Magazine

    After graduating high school, Veronica Chambers left her home town of Killeen to move to Austin where she studied to be a paralegal. She worked in the legal field for a few years before becoming a full-time mom to two boys, now ages 9 and 11.

    Her sons are involved in boy scouts and baseball so she spends much of her time on their activities and helping her husband with his business. When the two of them find free time, they love to travel and are spending part of this summer in Europe. Read more

  • 2013 Annual Report highlights how your support has helped kids

    Jul 23 2014

    2013 Annual Report

    Thank you! You made 2013 a year of innovative advocacy and important initiatives for children and families.

    We proudly launched our Family Finding program with the support of the Michael & Susan Dell Foundation. With a dedicated staff specialist and volunteers training each month, we’re looking at family trees in a way we never have before. Through Family Finding we can tremendously improve the futures of children who’ve been stuck in foster care for years and help other children avoid lengthy stays in the system. Read the full Annual Report.

  • Weighted Blankets = Powerful therapy tools for kids!

    Jul 10 2014

    Weighted Blankets = Powerful therapy tools for kids!

    “In psychiatric care, weighted blankets are one of our most powerful tools for helping people who are anxious, upset, and possibly on the verge of losing control. These blankets work by providing input to the deep pressure touch receptors throughout the body. Deep pressure touch helps the body relax. Like a firm hug, weighted blankets help us feel secure, grounded, and safe.” - Karen Moore, Registered & Licensed Occupational Therapist

    In our work with children who’ve experienced the trauma of abuse or neglect, sometimes a weighted blanket is the very thing that will calm them and help them regulate behavior. While these blankets are expensive, we were recently able to purchase one for a teenage girl and it has proven incredibly effective for her. Read more

  • I Am the Reason You Should Never Give Up on a Child

    Jun 30 2014

    I Am the Reason You Should Never Give Up on a Child

    By Jackie Davis, Complete post on the National CASA Blog

    I’d like to share with you a little of how CASA’s powerful commitment to children has influenced my life.

    At the tender age of two my parents’ rights were terminated due to neglect and drug abuse. I, along with four of my siblings, were removed from our home, separated, and placed in foster homes. My siblings were adopted, and I rotated through six homes before being adopted at five years old. After about a year, the adoption broke down due to abuse and the family’s refusal to continue caring and providing for me. I was placed back into foster care, and there I suffered at the hands of neglectful and abusive foster parents. In care, I resided with families that beat me violently, made me sleep in bathtubs, locked me in closets for punishment, and abused me in other malicious ways.

    I was placed on high doses of medication for anxiety and severe depression. I was heavily medicated to modify my disruptive behavior and to suppress the true emotions that came with my trauma.

  • Impact Austin awards $100,000 grant for Trauma-Informed Care!

    Jun 25 2014

    Impact Austin awards $100,000 grant for Trauma-Informed Care!

    We are so excited to announce that we are a 2014 Impact Austin grant recipient of $100,000 to fund our Trauma-Informed Care in the Foster Care System initiative! The generous women of Impact Austin review the entire grant process and then vote between two finalists in each category (we were in the Family category) after a brief presentation by the competing organizations. Here’s the speech Executive Director Laura Wolf gave that night. We hope you enjoy it and that you learn a lot about this groundbreaking project to help change the foster care system for all children who’ve been through trauma in their young lives.

    I wish you could meet Madelyn. She is a playful 4-year-old with eyes that sparkle like diamonds. But she wasn’t always such a delight. When CASA first met Madelyn, she had just been removed from her mom ---- having been homeless for much of her short life due to her mother’s mental illness. She couldn’t really speak and she didn’t make eye contact or interact with anyone. Living on the streets, she had been hungry a lot. When she came into foster care, she would ask her foster mom for “ice cream” which was the only word she knew for food. If her foster mom said no, Madelyn would have a meltdown – a temper tantrum that included throwing herself on the floor and urinating. Read more

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