The State of Foster Care in the 85th Texas Legislative Session

The State of Foster Care in the 85th Texas Legislative Session

May 24 2017

The 85th Regular Session ends on May 29th, and the legislature has precious days left to conduct business. It will be a fast and furious week as they attempt to resolve many issues deemed important by the Governor, Lt. Governor, and House Speaker. For this session, Governor Abbott named Child Protective Services reform as an emergency item, and House Speaker Strauss listed it as one of his legislative priorities. In response, over 300 bills were filed directly related to child welfare, double that of the last session. Some of these bills are helpful and much needed, and some have been caught up in partisan politics.

For CASA, legislative work is handled mostly by Texas CASA. Read More

Using Your Past as Your Determination

Using Your Past as Your Determination

May 18 2017

Jeffier (Je-fear) Dawson entered foster care at age five along with her two older sisters and one older brother. She stayed in the system until she aged out at 18. Today, as part of National Foster Care Month, Jeffier shares some of her experiences around the complicated issue of adoption, and discusses her own personal determination to succeed after aging out.

I had been told a lot that once you reach your teen years it’s harder to be adopted. I had always wanted to be adopted with my older sisters. When I was 14, my oldest sister graduated and transitioned out of foster care, and I was able to see that I was also going to transition out. I really understood that for myself I needed to focus not so much on who my mom or parents were, but instead I needed to focus on school.

I didn’t want to give up hope, the hope of having a home... Read More

Six “I Can’ts” About Foster Parenting Debunked

Six “I Can’ts” About Foster Parenting Debunked

May 11 2017

In the face of something as daunting as foster care, it can be easy to come up with reasons why we can’t be a foster parent or why we shouldn’t. However, with a shortage of foster parents in Austin, it’s important that more people step up to say “I can.” We asked four of our Child Advocacy Specialists, Tess Gillespie, Will Vese, Rushmi Karim-Paris and Dana Narveson, to help us debunk six of the most common “I can’ts” about foster parenting. Here are their responses:

I’m too old to be a foster parent.

“There is no age limit on being a foster parent..." Read More

May the Fourth Be With You (and with all kids in foster care)

May the Fourth Be With You (and with all kids in foster care)

May 04 2017

Star Wars. A saga of epic proportions. A story that encompasses a little something for everyone. Adventure, love, starships, lightsabers and even adoptive parents. Wait, huh? Adoptive parents were in Star Wars? Oh yes, they were and they were about as important to the story line as the stealing of the Death Star plans were in a New Hope. For this article, let us remain in the world of the original Star Wars films, the ones untarnished by Jar Jar Binks.

As we celebrate May the Fourth, I am reminded of the characters that helped shape me. I remember the Halloween when, as a ten-year-old, I dressed up as Luke Skywalker and was heartbroken and discouraged when no one knew who I was all night. Read More

Child Abuse Prevention Tools from SAFE’s Strong Start Program

Child Abuse Prevention Tools from SAFE’s Strong Start Program

Apr 25 2017

“I could use a little extra support, I’m having a hard time with my 3 year old.”

It was impressive when Abigail Sharp, Senior Director of Child Abuse Prevention at SAFE, shared that they receive a lot of self-referrals to their Strong Start prevention program. It takes a lot of courage to admit you need help with parenting, or that you’re concerned about becoming frustrated and potentially harming your child.  Read More