Reunifying Families, Part 1: Realities of abuse and a belief in change

Reunifying Families, Part 1: Realities of abuse and a belief in change

Mar 21 2017

In 2016, 53% of the children's cases that CASA of Travis County helped close ended in family reunification, up from 33% in 2007. In the first of a 3-part series, we explore the realities of the child welfare system and why reunifying families is our primary goal.

At the start of most Child Protective Services (CPS) cases, the judge signs an order taking temporary custody of the children in question. A CASA volunteer is assigned to the case and a plan is put into place with supports for both parents and children... Read More

Straight from the Source: Foster care alumni share experiences with CASA

Straight from the Source: Foster care alumni share experiences with CASA

Mar 16 2017

What’s the most difficult thing about foster care?

“Reconnecting with siblings later. I entered care with 3 siblings, the younger 2 were adopted and I exited care with one. Saying ‘I love you’ when you haven’t seen someone for long time, especially when you don’t say ‘I love you’ to anyone, is difficult.” Read More

Welcoming Emily Rudenick LeBlanc as Chief Program Officer

Welcoming Emily Rudenick LeBlanc as Chief Program Officer

Mar 07 2017

For the last three years, I was the Senior Director of Community Advocacy at SAFE, formerly SafePlace. I was over the legal department, the Sexual Assault Advocacy department, the SAFE Futures program, which is their CPS advocacy… I started the forensic nursing program and ran that as well, and then PlanetSafe, which is their safe exchange and visitation program.

The other half was Community Advocacy. I was the liaison for the District Attorney’s (DA) office on anything criminal justice related, so I chaired the Sexual Assault Response and Resource Team and the Family Violence Protection Team, all the community-coordinated responses that had to do with sexual assault or domestic violence. Read More

Disproportionality in the Child Welfare System: An interview with Tanya Rollins

Disproportionality in the Child Welfare System: An interview with Tanya Rollins

Feb 23 2017

When you hear the term disproportionality in terms of advocacy work, you are essentially talking about an overrepresentation of a particular group in a particular system, as compared to the members in the general population. So for child welfare, we have an overrepresentation of children of color within the system. When we talk about disproportionality, you also see the overrepresentation of people of color in general when you look at the criminal justice system, when you look at education disciplinary practices, when you look at who is getting mental health services and who's not getting mental health services. I like to tell people that you can pretty much go to every major system and you will see an overrepresentation of people of color within those systems. Read More

(Re)introducing Board President David Rubin

(Re)introducing Board President David Rubin

Feb 20 2017

Our 2017 Board President, David Rubin, describes himself as a “serial tech entrepreneur” and has recently started his fifth company. He started his first company in college, dumpster diving behind carpet manufacturers’ warehouses for scrap pieces that could be cut perfectly down to dorm room size. After plastering Jester dormitory with flyers, his business became so successful that he started cutting wholesale deals with manufacturers. At the end of the semester, he would clean the carpet remnants, store them over the summer and sell to a new batch of freshmen in the fall. Read More