CASA volunteers are a constant support for children in foster care

CASA volunteers are a constant support for children in foster care

May 06 2014

Dear friend,

Imagine you’re a kid again. Now imagine you’re a kid in foster care.

You’ve left behind everything familiar to you – your parents, your home, your school and possibly even your brothers and sisters. You’re in an unfamiliar place with new adults, and even they keep changing. You have new caseworkers, new foster parents, new teachers… and you never know when they’ll change again.

You’re lost, scared, alone. You need someone you can trust – a dedicated adult you can count on to be there, to not disappear.

That’s where a CASA volunteer comes in. A CASA volunteer is dedicated to one child or family of children. They are a constant positive presence bringing a desperately needed sense of normalcy to children during the most traumatic time of their lives. And they are always looking out for what the child needs. Read more< Read More

Presidential Proclamation: National Foster Care Month 2014

Presidential Proclamation: National Foster Care Month 2014

May 01 2014

A PROCLAMATION BY THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA

Every child deserves to grow, learn, and dream in a supportive and loving environment. During National Foster Care Month, we recognize the almost 400,000 young people in foster care and the foster parents and dedicated professionals who are in their lives. We also rededicate every child a sense of stability and a safe place to call home.

While the number of young people in foster care has fallen, those still there face many challenges, including finding mentors to guide their transition into adulthood and getting the support to make that transition a success. One third of foster children are teenagers, in danger of aging out of a system that failed to find them a permanent family. Read more< Read More

CASA staff bringing trauma knowledge to Travis Co. CPS system

CASA staff bringing trauma knowledge to Travis Co. CPS system

Apr 24 2014

By Charron Sumler and Manijeh Huereca

Last fall the Honorable John Hathaway charged CASA with the task of providing him with a list of local service providers who were trauma-informed.  Sharing the same desire to see what Travis County offered in terms of trauma-informed care, we jumped at the opportunity.  Being trauma-informed means that every part of an organization strives to have a basic understanding of how trauma is affecting children, a goal we have for our own organization.

CASA started with a team of Child Advocacy Specialists passionate about discovering the benefits of trauma-informed care for our kids and families. We set out to determine what providers were available and what being truly trauma-informed meant. We quickly realized that the system needed help in being equipped to respond to the needs of children and families, and were burdened by the thought of it being ineffective because of the lack of resources, service providers, training and education. Unbeknownst to the team, Dr. David Cross and Dr. Karyn Purvis of the Texas Christian University Institute of Child Development were looking for a community, such as ours, that was willing to think outside the box and put trauma-informed care into practice. Read more< Read More

Be a pest… but a nice one!

Be a pest… but a nice one!

Apr 17 2014

By Laura Wolf

"Be a pest...."

"But a nice one, and never to your supervisor".

This was among the calls to action issued to our CASA volunteers at the annual Volunteer Appreciation Dinner by our keynote speaker Ian Spechler. Ian is an attorney with Disability Rights Texas and is well-known to all of us at CASA for his tireless advocacy on behalf of children with disabilities. Given his own fearlessness as an advocate, it was especially gratifying to hear Ian talk about the admiration he has for the work done by CASA volunteers. He spoke eloquently about the needs of children with disabilities in the foster care and juvenile justice systems and made a convincing case for needing a CASA volunteer for EVERY child. So another call to action Ian gave to our volunteers was: recruit more people like you to become CASA volunteers! Read more< Read More

Meet Volunteer Advocate Jack Marshall

Meet Volunteer Advocate Jack Marshall

Apr 09 2014

By Callie Langford, Originally published in TODO Austin Magazine

Jack Marshall grew up an Army brat traveling around the world. He graduated from high school in Vicenza, Italy, went to college at West Point, and his military career ultimately landed him in Austin where he ran the Army ROTC program at UT.

Jack and his wife Sue have 2 sons and 5 grandchildren. After retiring from the military, Jack ran the investigations division for the Texas Board of Law Examiners for 26 years until he really retired in 2010.

After this final retirement, Jack says he “wanted to find something to do that I would find worthwhile and would give back to the community,” and volunteering with CASA turned out to be a perfect match. He enjoyed the training process and has learned a lot. Read more< Read More