On Feb. 4, Texas CASA hosted local CASA programs and child welfare advocates from across the state for the 2019 Texas CASA Child Welfare Primer to discuss legislative advocacy, substance abuse and the importance of normalcy for children in the child welfare system.
In the morning, the Texas CASA Public Policy team discussed important legislative priorities, including funding needs. Alyssa Jones, Director of Outreach at Texas Alliance of Child and Family Services, also talked to Primer attendees about the elements of effective legislative advocacy.
In the afternoon, Leah Davies with the UT-Austin Center for Disability Studies moderated a panel of experts discussing issues around substance use, and Jesse Booher with the Texas Alliance of Child and Family Services led a discussion about the challenges and opportunities of providing normalcy for children in foster care.
The next day, a sea of CASA blue filled the Texas State Capitol for CASA Day at the Capitol on Feb. 5. Texas CASA brought together more than 200 members of the CASA network from across the state to meet with lawmakers about Texas CASA’s legislative priorities and funding.
“Today is our opportunity to meet with legislators to share the CASA story and show them how Texas CASA’s recommended policies will go a long way to help improve the state’s child protection system and to ensure the well-being of vulnerable children and youth,” said Vicki Spriggs, Texas CASA CEO.
In addition to more than 120 meetings with legislators and their offices, the day included both Senate and House Resolutions by Sen. Jane Nelson and Rep. Four Price celebrating the CASA network’s contributions and Texas CASA’s 30-year legacy. In the House, Representative Four Price honored the “tremendous heart” of CASA volunteers with House Resolution 196.
“…[T]he House of Representatives of the 86th Texas Legislature hereby recognize[s] Feb. 5, 2019, as CASA Day at the State Capitol and commend the organization for its exemplary work,” read Rep. Price during the House Resolution.
Sen. Nelson introduced Senate Resolution 107 to commemorate CASA Day at the Capitol. She discussed the importance of investing in children and the critical role of CASA volunteers in ending the cycle of abuse and neglect. Also in the Senate, Sen. Dawn Buckingham praised CASA of Central Texas, and Sen. Brandon Creighton acknowledged everyone from CASA of Montgomery County by name!
In addition to the participants who prove every day to be tireless advocates for children, we want to thank our Primer sponsor, HEB Tournament of Champions, and our Capitol Day sponsor, CenterPoint Energy, for making these two powerful events possible.
Stay tuned for more event pictures, as well as a video documenting the events of CASA Day at the Capitol!