By Vicki Spriggs
Chief Executive Officer of Texas CASA
Dear CASA Community,
Today, it’s been more than six weeks since I set foot in the Texas CASA office. Six weeks of hosting staff meetings from my kitchen table, back-to-back Zoom conference calls and writing from my back porch. I’m grateful to be safe and healthy, and have already determined, for the sake of our health, that Texas CASA staff will be continuing to work remotely through at least the end of May.
I’ve been thinking a lot about those who haven’t been so fortunate. All the families out there who were already struggling to make rent before this crisis. Parents deemed “essential workers” who are unable to work from home and have been risking exposure, on top of leaving their kids at home during the workday. People who’ve lost their jobs and are without healthcare. Those who are living outdoors.
I’ve heard people calling COVID-19 an “equalizer,” because it can infect anyone, no matter their age, race, income, class, creed, ability and circumstance. But the reality is that it’s still hitting low-income communities the hardest—communities with the least access and opportunity, communities with deep-seated health disparities, communities of color. Communities where so many of those involved in the foster care system live, and come from.
Too many of the children and families CASA serves are disproportionately affected. They need our dedicated advocacy now more than ever.
In this edition of The CASA Voice, we’re diving into how the statewide network is adapting and taking action to advocate for, connect with and support these families. We’ve released a special COVID-19 edition of Conversations with CASA featuring Ben Wilkins of Dallas CASA discussing how programs are responding to the crisis; and a guide for CASA volunteers looking to advocate for children’s mental health, something that’s sorely needed during this difficult time.
I don’t know about you, but I’m always looking for small joys to brighten these long days. With that in mind, we’ve got a wonderful story about a CASA volunteer who has gone above and beyond, despite physical distancing, to give the child she serves a happy birthday.
Thank you for your commitment to Texas children and families, thank you for staying connected with children in the midst of these new realities, and thank you for adapting to the technology required to make it happen. You are the CASA difference.
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 children and families in crisis. Are you ready to take the first step towards becoming a CASA volunteer? Visit BecomeACASA.org. 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.