Every major religion shares common tenets expressed in different words, and in every religion, prayers, stories and metaphors express the universal calling: To lead a moral, virtuous life, we must value and care for all people, including those less fortunate than ourselves. Knowing that many CASA volunteers come to the work because of their faith, we’re excited to announce Texas CASA’s new faith-based recruitment initiative, Clergy, CASA and Community.
We started Clergy, CASA and Community to build a network of faith communities and leaders that will champion speaking up for local children in foster care and their families. The goal is to see communities and clergy leaders coming together to live out their calling and be a voice for the children who need them, and to develop a rich network that engages new volunteers and supporters for the CASA mission.
The first step in creating this initiative was hosting a series of impactful conversations with a diverse range of clergy and community members—some of the most pivotal included a meeting with African American clergy and with clergy from LGBTQIA+-affirming congregations. Through these conversations, leaders emerged to form an Advisory Council comprised of CASA leadership, clergy and community members with experience in faith-based recruitment, including the Department of Family and Protective Services (DFPS) Faith-Based and Community Engagement team. The Council also helped to create materials for faith-based recruitment, including a CASA Program Guide and a Guide for Faith Leaders:
The Faith Leader Guide was designed as a printable leave behind tool to share with a faith leader that has expressed an interest or commitment to partnering with CASA.
The CASA Program Guide was designed to help local CASA programs develop an understanding of the culture of a diverse group of faith communities and tools and tricks for partnering effectively.
The best part? We’re just getting started!
Clergy, CASA and Community is being piloted in three CASA programs—CASA of Denton County, Dallas CASA and East Texas CASA. The pilot programs are charged with creating partnerships/ministries that align with the mission of a faith community and developing a foundation of success for other CASA programs around the state. As partners, the pilots can engage and activate diverse faith communities, both to recruit volunteers and to build support for children, their parents, families, foster families and adoptive families.
Stay tuned for updates. We can’t wait to engage with a variety of faith communities through the universal calling and develop partnerships that will make a lasting difference for the children and families we serve!
Want to learn more? Is your faith community interested in getting involved?