Jun 30 2014
By Jackie Davis, Complete post on the National CASA Blog
I’d like to share with you a little of how CASA’s powerful commitment to children has influenced my life.
At the tender age of two my parents’ rights were terminated due to neglect and drug abuse. I, along with four of my siblings, were removed from our home, separated, and placed in foster homes. My siblings were adopted, and I rotated through six homes before being adopted at five years old. After about a year, the adoption broke down due to abuse and the family’s refusal to continue caring and providing for me. I was placed back into foster care, and there I suffered at the hands of neglectful and abusive foster parents. In care, I resided with families that beat me violently, made me sleep in bathtubs, locked me in closets for punishment, and abused me in other malicious ways.
I was placed on high doses of medication for anxiety and severe depression. I was heavily medicated to modify my disruptive behavior and to suppress the true emotions that came with my trauma.< Read More
Jun 25 2014
We are so excited to announce that we are a 2014 Impact Austin grant recipient of $100,000 to fund our Trauma-Informed Care in the Foster Care System initiative! The generous women of Impact Austin review the entire grant process and then vote between two finalists in each category (we were in the Family category) after a brief presentation by the competing organizations. Here’s the speech Executive Director Laura Wolf gave that night. We hope you enjoy it and that you learn a lot about this groundbreaking project to help change the foster care system for all children who’ve been through trauma in their young lives.
I wish you could meet Madelyn. She is a playful 4-year-old with eyes that sparkle like diamonds. But she wasn’t always such a delight. When CASA first met Madelyn, she had just been removed from her mom ---- having been homeless for much of her short life due to her mother’s mental illness. She couldn’t really speak and she didn’t make eye contact or interact with anyone. Living on the streets, she had been hungry a lot. When she came into foster care, she would ask her foster mom for “ice cream” which was the only word she knew for food. If her foster mom said no, Madelyn would have a meltdown – a temper tantrum that included throwing herself on the floor and urinating. Read more< Read More
Jun 24 2014
Our very own David Rubin, former Board President at CASA of Travis County, was honored with the 2014 National CASA Association Board Member of the Year award this month at the National CASA Conference! We want to congratulate and thank David for his visionary leadership. This award is well-deserved and we're extremely proud to share David's accomplishments with you today:
"I have seen CASA of Travis County grow, evolve and become more sophisticated during David's tenure. Many of the impressive achievements we have observed over the last several years have corresponded to David's time on the CASA board of directors." - Alan Topfer, Board Member, Topfer Family Foundation
David Rubin began his commitment to CASA as a volunteer. He advocated for the best interest of a brother and sister who’d been badly abused. His dedication to these children was such that when the girl needed to meet with the prosecutor to prepare for the possibility of testifying against her father, David was the one person she wanted to go with her to that meeting. Read more< Read More
Jun 18 2014
Cheryl Albanese was born in Midland and graduated from Texas A&M with a BBA in Management. She has lived in Austin for 21 years and is currently a Realtor with Turnquist Partners. Cheryl has raised two wonderful children who attend college at The University of Texas and Georgetown University. She is committed to her membership at Life Austin and donates 10% of her profits to charity. Read More
Jun 06 2014
By Alejandra Pena, Volunteer Recruitment & Retention Specialist and former Child Advocacy Specialist
Some children love running outdoors. Others may enjoy their television and video games. Many kids love to sing, dance, play soccer and swim. But then there “other” children, a younger crowd, who cannot even roll over or much less stand on their own, babies. We tend to forget about engaging with our younger population because of the misconception of limited activities that can be done with smaller children. These children are the most vulnerable in our society and the ones who need more from us to get them “literally” started in life.
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