Bridging the Gap between Community and Courtroom

Bridging the Gap between Community and Courtroom

Jul 21 2015

Disparities and inequities are impacting families and communities of color in disproportional rates. Solutions are as complex as the issue itself, but finding new ways to engage with the families we work with can draw out a more comprehensive understanding of the issues and concerns they face.

Michelle Iglesias, a CASA volunteer and intern with CASA's Family Finding program, shares her insights after a recent townhall meeting between Austin A.I.R. and the Travis County Model Court Disproportionality Committee. Read More

Never underestimate the power of the Youth Voice

Never underestimate the power of the Youth Voice

Jul 15 2015

I have heard the voice of the next generation and it is loud, powerful and exciting. This week, I went to check out the Youth Voice exhibit at the Thinkery. The exhibit is a selection of work from the Media Awareness Project's work with more than 200 Austin youth, mostly consisting of twenty or so social media style pictures that display different issues affecting kids today. Read More

Campfire Songs to Karate: Helping kids act like kids this summer

Campfire Songs to Karate: Helping kids act like kids this summer

Jul 07 2015

A CASA volunteer called recently with an exciting update about a young girl she’s been appointed to for many years. This pre-teen has always been the worrier of her family, often assuming the role of parent with her siblings.

The volunteer was excited to share that she had just picked this girl up from summer camp and that she had “never seen her act like a little girl.”  Read More

Redefining “Independent”: A Case for Dependence

Redefining “Independent”: A Case for Dependence

Jul 02 2015

When I turned 18, I couldn't wait for the school year and summer to end so that I could go off to college and finally, finally¸ be independent. That independence, of course, still involved my parents paying for my school and every other aspect of my life and also being there whenever I needed advice or help. I suppose I had a very skewed view of what independence is. Read More

Documenting Volunteer Training: Trauma-Informed Care & Mental Health Issues

Documenting Volunteer Training: Trauma-Informed Care & Mental Health Issues

Jul 01 2015

So many times I’ve heard people criticize a kid’s bad behavior, saying, “If I had done that my mom would have spanked me.” Or, “Some good old-fashioned discipline would cure that.”

I wish all of us who have judged could take the CASA trauma class. It changed the way I look at those kids. I now will wonder what the back story is on that child and their brain.

 A young brain is sort of like a seed, ready to grow and form with proper attention and care. But if that growing plant is repeatedly flooded by hurricanes, then hit with a drought and trampled? Read More