• The CASA Superhero Run has its own origin story

    May 28 2015

    The CASA Superhero Run has its own origin story

    By Steven Olender

    "It's a humbling moment when you realize the currency of success isn't currency," explains Matt Curtin. "It's actually the legacy you leave."

    Matt counts the creation of the CASA Superhero Run as part of his legacy, his currency of success. Eight years ago, he had an epiphany that even though he enjoyed a rewarding career and a loving family, he needed to do something to help others. He knew the most important lesson he could give his daughters, then four and two, was that "life is about sharing love with other people," but he struggled with finding a cause that he connected with, that he was passionate about.

    The answer came to him, as answers often do, in a dream. "What I am passionate about," he thought, "what I care deeply about, is my children." In his dream, he stood in the background feeling powerless seeing two children who had been through abuse. He reasoned with his higher power. There wasn't a way that he, as just one man, could fight for these children. They needed something more. He needed to be something more. From that conversation, the tagline for the Superhero Run was born: Every child needs a hero, but abused children need superheroes. Read more

  • CASA focused on healing trauma to improve foster care for kids

    May 20 2015

    CASA focused on healing trauma to improve foster care for kids

    By Callie Langford

    “I encounter opportunities to use my TBRI training in my everyday life. With family, friends and strangers. It’s becoming part of how I relate to people. On my CASA cases, I’m more patient, compassionate and aware with both children and parents, watching for the behaviors we’ve learned about. It’s informing everything I do.” - CASA volunteer Faye Jones

    As part of National Foster Care Month in May, we wanted to share how CASA is helping to improve the Travis County foster care system through our Trauma-Informed Advocacy initiative. This initiative, launched thanks to our 2014 Impact Austin grant award, is in collaboration with the TCU Institute of Child Development and their therapeutic model TBRI (Trust Based Relational Intervention) that was developed to respond to the individual needs of children whose behaviors are influenced by trauma they’ve experienced. Read more

  • Meet Volunteer Advocate Erin Martin

    May 19 2015

    Meet Volunteer Advocate Erin Martin

    By Callie Langford, Originally published in TODO Austin Magazine

    Erin Martin is the Executive Director at MEDICO, a nonprofit that provides healthcare and educational services in developing communities in Central America.

    Erin attended grad school in New Zealand, where her and her husband Paul had their daughter. Unfortunately their home was severely damaged in the 2011 Christchurch earthquake.

    They moved back to the U.S. and in with her parents in Bastrop to recover from that loss only to go through the September 2011 fires two weeks later. “We learned the life lesson of ‘stuff is not important’ repeatedly,” said Erin. Read more

  • Mayor Adler proclaims May 16 CASA of Travis County Day!

    May 16 2015

    Mayor Adler proclaims May 16 CASA of Travis County Day!

    Be it known that

    Whereas,
    CASA of Travis County is celebrating 30 years of empowering Austin to speak up for children; and,

    Whereas,
    In those 30 years, CASA has been a powerful voice for more than 10,000 children who’ve been through abuse or neglect; and,

    Whereas,
    In their first year, CASA recruited and trained 43 volunteers who served 85 children and they now support more than 600 volunteers who advocate for more than 1,600 children a year; Read more

  • Training: Practicing the Volunteer Role - Gathering Info

    May 07 2015

    Training: Practicing the Volunteer Role - Gathering Info

    By Janet Woodrome

    This is the second in our series of blog posts by trainee Janet Woodrome documenting the volunteer training process. The second class she decided to take in her training was Practicing the CASA/GAL Volunteer Role: Gathering Information.

    Meeting some real soldiers in the war to help ill-treated kids was a bit intense. I’d heard the system was bad, but this made me think of the military returning from the front with PTSD.

    Trainer Shannon Moreno presented us a panel of three very professional lawyers from different angles in the courtroom — the state, the parents and the children. Read more

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