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

Confronting Sex Trafficking in Our Community

Confronting Sex Trafficking in Our Community

Apr 18 2017

In the state of Texas, there are nearly 79,000 victims of sex trafficking under the age of 18, according to a study published in January by the Institute on Domestic Violence & Sexual Assault (IDVSA) at the University of Texas. When numbers are that large, it can be difficult to reconcile that each represents a child being exploited through prostitution, pornography or other sexual acts so that a trafficker can profit off of them. It can be difficult to think that this is happening in our country, in our state, in our community. Read More

Meet Volunteer Advocate Becky Dickson

Meet Volunteer Advocate Becky Dickson

Apr 11 2017

"I've always felt called to be engaged and giving of support," said Becky Dickson. For Becky, this took many forms, volunteering at her kids' school, serving as a Deacon with her church and becoming a Stephen Minister. In the Stephen Ministry, she was trained to walk alongside people during difficult times in their lives, such as job loss, death in the family, or divorce, to be an outlet for them and listen without judgment. 

Once her time as a Stephen Minister came to a close, a conversation during bible study at her church compelled her to become a CASA volunteer... Read More