Austin’s youngest children need your voice

Austin’s youngest children need your voice

Jun 06 2014

By Alejandra Pena, Volunteer Recruitment & Retention Specialist and former Child Advocacy Specialist

Some children love running outdoors. Others may enjoy their television and video games. Many kids love to sing, dance, play soccer and swim. But then there “other” children, a younger crowd, who cannot even roll over or much less stand on their own, babies. We tend to forget about engaging with our younger population because of the misconception of limited activities that can be done with smaller children. These children are the most vulnerable in our society and the ones who need more from us to get them “literally” started in life.

Right now, here in Austin, we are serving 698 children who are ages 4 and under. Read more< Read More

Meet Volunteer Advocate Ana Smith-Daley

Meet Volunteer Advocate Ana Smith-Daley

May 28 2014

Ana Smith-Daley was born in Honduras and moved to Indiana to attend college. Ana subsequently moved to New York and then New Jersey where she graduated from college. Ana worked for an insurance company on the east cost for 29 years and then moved to Texas where she worked with the Department of Insurance for almost 15 years before retiring. Read More

LGBTQ youth and the challenges of the foster care system

LGBTQ youth and the challenges of the foster care system

May 21 2014

By Callie Langford, Originally published in TODO Austin Magazine

May is National Foster Care Month, a time for all of us to reflect on the lives and experiences of children in foster care in our community. The outcomes for children who grow up in foster care, and particularly for those who age out of the system before finding a permanent home, are often negative. Low high school graduation and even lower college attendance rates, teen pregnancy, unemployment, homelessness and incarceration can be some of the unfortunate consequences of spending time in the overburdened child welfare system.

Spending time in foster care can be an even more challenging experience for youth who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer or questioning their sexuality (LGBTQ). Coming out to one’s family can be the reason youth enter the foster care system if their family isn’t receptive to finding out about their sexual orientation or sexual identity. Read more< Read More

CASA volunteer makes a decade of difference for a family

CASA volunteer makes a decade of difference for a family

May 14 2014

By Carol Brady, CASA volunteer since 2003

About ten years ago I was an advocate for a family of children. They had a really good mother who was doing her darndest to support her children without the aid of her partner who had been banished from the home for possibly sexually harassing one of the daughters. We were never able to learn the truth about what happened, but the family was severely traumatized by the whole experience. CASA worked with the mom and the children for over a year. Late in the case we learned that Child Protective Services was going to move for removal of the children because the mother would not say that she saw her partner abusing the daughter. When the judge asked for CASA’s opinion, I told him that it would be a travesty to remove the children from their mother. Read more< Read More

CASA volunteer receives incredible thank you note

CASA volunteer receives incredible thank you note

May 09 2014

Recently a CASA volunteer named Jim sent us the thank you note he had recently received from the young man he's been advocating for. The subject of his email line read "Why I chose CASA."

In his email, Jim wrote, "This is what makes it all worthwhile. He gave me this when I saw him first thing on Saturday. He always asks me if it is true I do not get paid. I tell him every time...I want to help change lives and maybe I can help change his. I tell him my reward is that he is successful and finishes school and stays out of trouble...that is all I will ever need!" Read the thank you note Read More