Bringing Men to the Table: An interview with SAFE’s Fatherhood Specialist, Jose Olazagasti

Bringing Men to the Table: An interview with SAFE’s Fatherhood Specialist, Jose Olazagasti

Jun 18 2017

“The program gives you a different perspective on the way you’re parenting and the effect of your parenting. We get [fathers] to think about what it looks like when a 3-year-old looks up to a towering, upset father. It’s about being self-reflective.”

Jose Olazagasti, a Fatherhood Specialist at SAFE, says that in presenting these alternative perspectives to men and trying to bring awareness to those moments, they are helping them to understand the way they’re coming across to their kids. Read More

Trapped Between: Managing cases in both the child welfare and juvenile justice systems

Trapped Between: Managing cases in both the child welfare and juvenile justice systems

Jun 14 2017

“What I’ve noticed is I’ll go to Gardner Betts [Juvenile Detention Center] and see kids in front of the judge for juvenile cases and they have a family member standing right by them. The judge thanks the family for being supportive,” explains Alejandro Victoria, Team Leader for CASA’s Teen Advocacy and Permanency Project, the team that sees the most cases also involved with the juvenile justice system. “When you see our kids, they don’t have that. I couldn’t imagine having to go through a scary system like juvenile justice alone.” Currently, 21 of TAPP’s 174 kids are involved in either the adult or juvenile justice system, and more kids on other CASA teams are as well. Read More

Wild Things and Basic Needs

Wild Things and Basic Needs

Jun 08 2017

Where the Wild Things Are was always a favorite book of mine. As a child, I reveled in the idea of creating a world of my own imagination, of sailing across the seas and befriending a cadre of majestic creatures. On re-reading the book recently, though, I see new facets in the ten sentences and fanciful illustrations that make up the book. Working at CASA, I can’t help but see the children we serve in Max as he struggles to gain some semblance of control and to cope with his cacophony of unresolved emotions.

The book starts in a familiar place for children from hard places. Max is acting out, creating mischief of one kind and another. Read More

Meet Volunteer Advocates Katelyn Brough and Austin Trees

Meet Volunteer Advocates Katelyn Brough and Austin Trees

Jun 06 2017

“We both grew up in big families, surrounded by love and people that would do anything for us,” says Katelyn Brough. “We want to be there for kids who don’t have that.” 

Katelyn had been volunteering with CASA of Travis County for three years when she met Austin Trees during a night out with friends. They hit it off right away, bonding over their ambitions, love of the outdoors, and playful spirits. 

Hearing about Katelyn’s work and seeing her dedication to kids inspired Austin, so he applied to volunteer with CASA, too. Read More

From CASA Volunteer to Foster Parent

From CASA Volunteer to Foster Parent

May 30 2017

Amy Forget is a planner, through and through. So when, in her late 30s, she decided to get more serious about having children, she thought seriously about her options. The fertility route was not for her and she questioned why birthparents would choose her for open adoptions. (“I couldn’t even find adoption agencies that would work with a single woman in her 40s,” she explained.) Amy landed on becoming a foster parent. “I’m an analytical person and when I looked at it, adoption from foster care seemed the most likely path.”

Becoming a foster parent, though, has its challenges. “It scared me because I knew nothing about foster care,” she said.  “I’d heard horror stories.” One story in particular worried Amy, that of friends who had been part of a failed foster placement. Read More