Reunifying Families Part 3: The reality of life in the child welfare system and how we address it

Reunifying Families Part 3: The reality of life in the child welfare system and how we address it

Mar 23 2017

One of the reasons people are comfortable with the idea of removing children from their families is the assumption that children would be better off being placed with families that can provide them a "better" life. This results from a fundamental misreading of the reality children face in the foster care system. “People envision that there is this wonderful, affluent, well-connected, fantastically harmonious family just waiting to adopt all of our kids,” says Michelle Nowlin, Child Advocacy Specialist & Team Leader. “For most of the children we serve, that simply is not the case.” Read More

Reunifying Families, Part 2: Bias and disproportionality in the child welfare system

Reunifying Families, Part 2: Bias and disproportionality in the child welfare system

Mar 22 2017

On a cursory glance, it can be easy to ascribe ill will to parents who are doing their best and failing. CASA's role is to look beyond that, to get to know who the children are and where they come from, and to evaluate each case on an individual basis. That requires valuing and really understanding the parents' perspective, where they come from, and what led to abuse and neglect. We need to know them well enough to make recommendations for a service plan that will help them succeed and to determine their fitness to reunify. In order to do this effectively, a CASA volunteer needs to enter without bias. Read More

Reunifying Families, Part 1: Realities of abuse and a belief in change

Reunifying Families, Part 1: Realities of abuse and a belief in change

Mar 21 2017

In 2016, 53% of the children's cases that CASA of Travis County helped close ended in family reunification, up from 33% in 2007. In the first of a 3-part series we're releasing this week, we explore the realities of the child welfare system and why reunifying families is our primary goal.

At the start of most Child Protective Services (CPS) cases, the judge signs an order taking temporary custody of the children in question. A CASA volunteer is assigned to the case and a plan is put into place with supports for both parents and children... Read More

Straight from the Source: Foster care alumni share experiences with CASA

Straight from the Source: Foster care alumni share experiences with CASA

Mar 16 2017

What’s the most difficult thing about foster care?

“Reconnecting with siblings later. I entered care with 3 siblings, the younger 2 were adopted and I exited care with one. Saying ‘I love you’ when you haven’t seen someone for long time, especially when you don’t say ‘I love you’ to anyone, is difficult.” Read More