Paving the Way for Brighter Outcomes for Children

By Vicki Spriggs
Chief Executive Officer of Texas CASA

When we look back on our journey through life – the turning points, accomplishments and the important choices we’ve made – many of us can point to key people who encouraged and supported us, and helped keep us on the right path towards achieving our goals.

Take a moment and reflect on your own personal journey, and the friends, loved ones and mentors who you’ve relied on through the good times and the bad. Now, imagine if you hadn’t had their support and guidance. Do you think your journey might have gone differently? Might you have chosen another path, or even gotten lost?

For children in foster care, their journey is scary and uncertain, full of twist and turns, potholes, roadblocks and dead ends. In addition to the trauma they’ve already experienced due to abuse or neglect, they tend to move from placement to placement and caseworker to caseworker. This lack of consistency means that too often they are left to make their way through the system – and deal with the challenges that ensue – on their own.

When it comes to achieving their goals and meeting their potential, these children have the odds stacked against them. But with a CASA volunteer who will speak up for them, guide them and stand by their side, they can more than just “make it through” their time in care – they can truly thrive.

“CASA volunteers pave the way for better outcomes for the children they serve, providing the reliable adult presence and fierce advocacy they need during this otherwise unstable time in their lives.”
Click to tweet.

CASA volunteers pave the way for better outcomes for the children they serve, providing the reliable adult presence and fierce advocacy they need during this otherwise unstable time in their lives. They get to know their assigned child on an individual level, and also speak with the child’s teachers, foster parents, biological family, caseworkers and others involved in the case, to develop a holistic understanding of the child’s unique needs and circumstances. They use the in-depth information they gather to help the judge overseeing the case make informed decisions that will ensure the child’s safety and well-being.

In addition to speaking up for their best interest in the courtroom, CASA volunteers advocate for the child in school and other settings, making sure they receive the right services and individualized support that will help them stay on track to be successful. Their end goal is for the child to be moved out of foster care and placed in a safe, loving and permanent home where they can heal and grow.

Though it is a critical turning point, we know that foster care is only one part of these children’s journey – so with Collaborative Family Engagement (CFE), we are taking CASA advocacy even further by ensuring that they leave the system surrounded by a supportive network of family and other trusted adults. The connections that come from CFE will last children a lifetime, setting them up for future success by ensuring they never again have to find their way alone.

Statewide, more than 10,000 CASA volunteers are paving the way for better outcomes for more than 29,700 children in foster care, but thousands more children are still facing the scariest and most uncertain part of their life journey without someone to guide them.

No child should have to face the foster care system without an advocate that they can rely on. Every child deserves to have the support and resources they need to reach their full potential. So I urge you to join our movement, and walk with a child during their time in care. Or, if you are already involved with CASA, nominate a friend who you know has what it takes to help a child succeed.

“Our most vulnerable children are waiting – waiting for someone like you to help them find their way. Will you answer their call?”
Click to tweet.

Our most vulnerable children are waiting – waiting for someone like you to help them find their way. Will you answer their call?

Vicki signature


If you are not currently involved with CASA, I ask you today to consider how you can play a part in making a difference in the lives of our most vulnerable children. Are you ready to take the first step towards becoming a CASA volunteer? Visit BecomeACASA.org to learn how you can speak up for a child who needs you. You can also support the work of Texas CASA by making a secure online gift that will benefit the local CASA volunteer advocacy programs across the state.

BACK TO THE CASA VOICE HOME PAGE