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30 Years Strengthening the Voices of CASA Statewide

The CASA Way

We have an uncompromising belief that we will achieve what others think is impossible, and each of us is an essential part of the solution.

Vision

A safe and positive future for all Texas children.

Mission

To support local CASA volunteer advocacy programs and to advocate for effective public policy for children in the child protection system.

LETTERS FROM LEADERSHIP

Jane Quentan Piper
Texas CASA Founder

When I helped found Texas CASA 30 years ago, the original purpose was to assist in forming new CASA programs in Texas so that every child in the foster care system could have a CASA volunteer. At the time, there were people who thought the idea of having volunteers in the courtroom was ludicrous, at best! Well, now we have 72 CASA programs that served over 30,000 children last year. Something worked!

The passion and hard work of the CASA volunteers is what worked! I am so proud of all that we have achieved, and that through it all we have kept our focus on the heart of our organization: the volunteers. These dedicated members of the community are passionate and committed to the children they serve, and for that I am eternally proud.

I want to recognize the serious commitment that it takes to be a part of CASA, and the difference that quality advocacy makes for children and families. After 30 years, I can still see today the passion and dedication that I saw back then. Each one of us — volunteers, supervisors, trainers, directors, office managers — is making sacrifices to create a brighter future for children in care. For that I thank you — thank you for continuing the work to make my dream a reality.

Vicki Spriggs
Texas CASA CEO

I started at Texas CASA in 2012, and it has been an honor to lead this organization first through our 25th anniversary and now our 30th anniversary. Together we are embodying the CASA Way: that we will achieve what others think is impossible, and each of us is an essential part of the solution.

This past year was filled with many highs and accomplishments thanks to you. In 1991, Texas CASA received our first state funding of $200,000. Fast forward to this past legislative session — we were awarded $14.95 million to continue to support and grow CASA advocacy! This is a true testament to CASA’s reputation, as a partner and as advocates for children and families, that we have built in the last 30 years.

We have played an integral role in passing legislation that has made a monumental difference for children and families. With support from the legislature, the CASA network and our child welfare partners, we’ve addressed issues like the overmedication of youth, the need for normalcy, mental health, access to services, improving the system’s response to allegations of abuse by children in care, using a trauma-informed approach and more.

I’m looking forward to what we can achieve together in the next 30 years. Now let’s keep the momentum going to achieve our vision of a safe and positive future for all Texas children!

WHAT IS A CASA?

When a family is in crisis and involved in the child welfare system, a Court Appointed Special Advocate, or CASA volunteer, may be appointed by a judge to represent the best interest of the child. CASA volunteers get to know the child and gather information from everyone involved in their daily life, including parents and family members, foster parents, teachers, daycare providers, doctors, lawyers, social workers and other relevant persons. CASA volunteers use the information gathered to report to the judge, advocating first and foremost for keeping families together whenever safe and possible.

At the local level, the 72 CASA programs in Texas do the hands-on work of recruiting, training and supervising these dedicated volunteers.

Texas CASA partners with the programs to provide training, coaching and other resources. As the statewide membership organization, we work to connect each part of the CASA community and empower the local programs to perform at their highest level. With a solid foundation and a culture of collaboration, we strengthen the programs’ ability to serve their volunteers — and ultimately, children and families across the state. Texas CASA works to improve the child protection system through legislation and other positive public policy changes. We speak up for children and families in the system by bringing their needs to lawmakers’ attention and providing these decision makers with our experiences and perspective.

30 Years Strengthening the Voices of CASA Statewide

30th Anniversary Mural Commemorates Texas CASA

Texas CASA’s story began 30 years ago in 1989 when a passionate CASA volunteer from one of our state’s then 13 local CASA programs had the vision of a statewide hub — an organization belonging to everyone in Texas working tirelessly in pursuit of the same mission. That individual was our founding CEO Jane Quentan Piper, and her idea was, and is, Texas CASA.

As part of our celebration, we commissioned a commemorative mural in honor of all that we have accomplished as a network over the last 30 years. Created by Avery O Design, the mural captures major milestones in Texas CASA’s history.

IMPACT NUMBERS
From 1989 to 2019*

*Fiscal Year 2019: September 1, 2018 – August 31, 2019

1989

Local CASA Programs

Counties Served

Children Served

CASA Volunteers

2019

Local CASA Programs

Counties Served

Children Served

CASA Volunteers

Services: Empowering Local CASA Programs

As the statewide membership organization, Texas CASA provides financial support and services to help ensure the local CASA programs operate effectively and can seek out the best possible volunteers who will advocate tirelessly and diligently for children and families.

The CASA community continues to lead the charge in recruiting and cultivating a strong base of advocates who will not rest until these children have the support, resources and connections they need to thrive.

w

Awareness

In order to help local CASA programs strengthen their ability to advocate and collaborate with their community, Texas CASA oversees a statewide marketing campaign to increase public awareness, recruit volunteers and reinforce local marketing efforts.

Support

Key initiatives powered by Texas CASA provide access to information, training and technical assistance so that local CASA programs may continue to enhance their efforts to ensure children and youth are safe and supported.

i

Policy

Texas CASA collaborates with stakeholders, the state child welfare system and elected officials to assure public policies focus on issues affecting children in the child welfare system. Working with local CASA programs and volunteers, and other stakeholders, Texas CASA works to set a solid foundation for improving advocacy for children and families in our communities.

Accountability

Texas CASA has established itself as a trusted partner in its role to identify, disperse, administer and manage federal, state and private funds to ensure the local CASA programs effectively utilize the funding to achieve our mission.

Education

Texas CASA brings the CASA network and the child welfare community together to educate and inform for a better understanding of the system and the existing needs of children in care, so that we can collaborate to generate change.

Leadership

Texas CASA provides innovative trainings, mentorship and resources that build strong local CASA program board members and executive directors so that they may better serve their programs, volunteers and ultimately, children and families.

Systemic Change: Policy Wins

Texas CASA works to make sure that the voices of children and families involved in the child welfare system are heard in the courts and at the Texas Capitol. By engaging with the Texas Legislature, we are helping to create systemic change that will improve the lives of children during and after their time in care.

During the 86th Legislative Session, we worked hand in hand with the local CASA programs and community partners to pass important legislation, including:

Bill HB 72
Allows adoptive parents to opt into STAR Health or STAR Kids for their adopted child if the youth has a chronic health condition. This protects the continuity of medical care for children as they transition out of foster care.

WHAT THIS MEANS FOR TEXAS KIDS & FAMILIES:

Having consistency in post-adoption healthcare enables qualified health providers to continue building on the service plan for the child with the help and input of adoptive parents. Providers in the STAR Health network are trauma-informed and certified to meet the specialized needs of children in foster care. This is especially important for children with mental illness who have been receiving treatment from STAR Health network providers.

Bill HB 123

Allows for children and youth who are in foster care or experiencing homelessness to receive a copy of their birth certificate without requiring parental consent or any fee. Also grants fee waivers when applying for a driver’s license or ID, and allows youth in foster care to use the local CPS offices as their permanent mailing address.

WHAT THIS MEANS FOR TEXAS KIDS & FAMILIES:

Many youth in foster care age out of the system without these important documents or any idea how to get them. Without a birth certificate or ID, the chances of having a successful future decrease, as youth can’t rent an apartment or even get a job. By reducing barriers, we hope to improve outcomes for youth.

Bill HB 3390

Requires GALs, AALs and CPS caseworkers to ask children, in a developmentally appropriate way, about any adult who could be a caregiver for them. Also requires judges to ensure that children are being asked about the relationships in their lives at every permanency hearing.

WHAT THIS MEANS FOR TEXAS KIDS & FAMILIES:

HB 3390 helps ensure that all parties talk to children and incorporate their voice more often in decision-making, leading to more connected, happy and healthy youth.

Highlights from The 86TH Legislative Session

  • Increased legislative funding by $1.75 million annually, bringing annual funding to $14.95 million
  • Over 260 CASA advocates visited 110 legislative offices during CASA Day at the Capitol
  • 36 Legislative Advocacy Teams were engaged in 18 separate Action Alerts
  • Child Welfare Primer trained over 200 attendees on important issues related to the challenge of parental substance use and opportunities for providing normalcy for children in foster care

Collaborative Family Engagement: 

Collaborate, Cultivate, Convene, Connect

To increase and further support family engagement, Texas CASA and the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services (DFPS) developed the Collaborative Family Engagement (CFE) process in 2015 with funding from the 84th Texas Legislature.

CFE is a team-based approach between CASA and CPS to engage, find and work with family members and fictive kin in the creation and development of a lifetime network for young people in the foster care system.

Texas CASA and DFPS have continued to roll out CFE across Texas since 2015. Currently CFE is expanding to 10 more sites, which will bring our total to 41 CASA programs, 90 counties and 10 DFPS regions — more than 50 percent of the statewide network. With your support, we are on track to take CFE statewide by 2023.

From FY18 to FY19

%

Increase in Children Served

%

Increase in Families Served

CFE IMPACT 2019

Programs

Counties

Children Served

Families Served

DFPS Regions

FY 19 Financials

FY 2019: SEPTEMBER 1, 2018 — AUGUST 31, 2019

Revenue

State Funding $13,564,746
Federal Funding $18,992,857
Private Funding $978,534
Total Revenue $33,536,136

Expenses

LOCAL PROGRAM SUPPORT SERVICES & TRAINING $29,144,320
VOLUNTEER RECRUITMENT & AWARENESS $2,156,001
GRANTS MANAGEMENT & DEVELOPMENT $516,618
ADMINISTRATION $1,789,130
PUBLIC POLICY ADVOCACY $273,462
Total Expenses $33,879,530
Ending Net Assets $8,870,468

Pass-Through

Amount*

%

OR

of the government funding that Texas CASA receives is awarded to local programs for recruitment, training and volunteer support.

* Pass-Through Amount includes $1.34M for the Statewide Recruitment Campaign.

Texas CASA 990

CASA PROGRAMS

 

Texas CASA Staff

 

TEXAS CASA BOARD

 

Thank You to our Supporters!

 

Donors Who Contributed

$100,000+

$25,000 – $99,999

$10,000 – $24,999

       
$5,000 - $9,999

 

$1,000 - $4,999

 

$500 - $999

 

Get Involved

Partnering with Texas CASA means making a difference in the lives of children and families in the foster care system. Our most impactful partners are actively involved in our mission in multiple ways. We have a variety of opportunities for individual and organizational engagement.

GIVE: Invest in our services for CASA statewide and advocacy for children.

  • Sponsorships
  • Matching Donations
  • CaringCent
  • Profit Shares
  • Corporate Gifts
  • Gifts in Kind

 

ENGAGE: Inspire your employees and clients, and spread the word about CASA.

  • CASA Volunteerism
  • Workplace Giving
  • Office Fundraisers
  • Client Fundraisers

 

SHARE: Amplify the CASA difference.

  • Social Media
  • Newsletter/Blog
  • Host a Lunch & Learn

 

Volunteer.

Ready to speak up for a child who needs you? Visit BecomeACASA.org to locate and contact your local CASA program and take the first step towards becoming a CASA volunteer.

 

Nominate.

If you know someone who has what it takes to speak up for children, let them know by nominating them to become a CASA volunteer today at NominateACASA.org.

 

Donate.

A donation to Texas CASA is an investment in the power of the CASA community and the future of Texas. With your gift to Texas CASA, you can help CASA programs in your community AND across the state to provide the very best volunteer advocacy for children and families. Make your gift today at TexasCASA.org/donate.

 

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State of Well-Being

The “State of Well-Being Collection” represents our vision of happy and healthy futures for all children. This custom design is a special tribute to the wonders of childhood.

“Children are the world’s most valuable resource and its best hope for the future.”
– John F. Kennedy

Less Me, More We

“Less Me, More We” encompasses our belief that we are at our best when we are working together as a community. When children and families are in crisis, it takes everyone doing their part to support and uplift them.

“It takes a village to raise a child.”
– African Proverb