Meet Volunteer Advocate Jenni Jablonski

Meet Volunteer Advocate Jenni Jablonski

Jul 21 2016

"I had really great examples of what it means to be a decent human," says Jenni Jablonski, a cyclist, mother of 8 rabbits ("We're the crazy bunny family," she laughs) and CASA volunteer. Her grandparents adopted her aunt and uncle from foster care, so Jenni grew up surrounded by family stories of the joys and struggles of raising children from hard places. She learned from her family the quality she finds most important on her two CASA cases, perseverance when things get hard. "It's about not giving up," she explains. "They've had enough bad things in their life. They don't need another person giving up on them, too." Read More

Farewell Sonia

Farewell Sonia

Jul 14 2016

Today is happy-sad at CASA of Travis County as, after 10 years of dedicated service, we bid a fond farewell to Sonia Kotecha, our Director of Community and Strategic Initiatives. Sonia is moving to Washington D.C. for an exciting new opportunity, and while we celebrate her achievements here and the new work she'll be able to do in DC, we are also sad to see her go.  Read More

Runners We Love: Graham and Jessica Morgan

Runners We Love: Graham and Jessica Morgan

Jul 12 2016

He may have dressed as Thor for the 2015 CASA Superhero Run, but Graham Morgan doesn't need a costume to be a hero for kids. Graham is the therapy dog for Bee Well Pediatrics, one of the top fundraisers for the 2015 CASA Superhero Run and a Runner We Love.

When Dr. Jessica Morgan opened Bee Well Pediatrics with Dr. Suzanne Van Benthuysen in 2013, they wanted to create a different kind of pediatric practice. One of the first things she did was put her dog, Graham, through training to be a therapy animal. He passed his exams with flying colors (though there was some concern that he was so exuberant and friendly) and has been a perfect fit at Bee Well ever since.

"We wanted to create a space that was comfortable for kids, where we could really develop relationships with patients," said Dr. Morgan. Graham does exactly that. Read More

Online Classes and Shorter Training Cycle Equal Better Retention and Stronger Volunteers

Online Classes and Shorter Training Cycle Equal Better Retention and Stronger Volunteers

Jun 23 2016

Since January 2016, the rate of volunteers completing the training process at CASA of Travis County has risen from approximately 64% in 2015 to 79%. This increase is largely because of some exciting changes that we have made to our volunteer training program. Understanding that many potential volunteers lost momentum during our previous training cycle that could take up to 4 months, we implemented a brand new cohort-style training model that takes place over a 5-week cycle... Read More

Court Ordered Services: Helping families heal together

Court Ordered Services: Helping families heal together

Jun 09 2016

Ultimately, the goal of the child welfare system is to ensure that children live in safe, permanent homes. Knowing how traumatic it can be for children to be removed from their homes and families, CPS and the courts are repeatedly faced with the decision... Read More