By Vicki Spriggs, Texas CASA CEO
February, Black History Month, is a time when we honor, recognize and celebrate the accomplishments and history of Black Americans.
It’s also a time when CASA staff and volunteers can examine their own attitudes and behaviors about race, as well as reflect on racial inequity and systems that continue to have a disproportionate, negative impact on the Black community and other communities of color. According to CPS data, CPS is more likely to receive reports regarding Black families than Anglo families and is more likely to remove Black children from their homes. The data also tells us Black children face worse outcomes in the foster care system—the system is less likely to reunify them with their families of origin, and they are less likely to be adopted within 12 months.
We can’t solve these deep-seeded issues overnight, but we can contribute to positive change by continuing to learn and grow, and committing to culturally responsive CASA advocacy. A CASA volunteer who is able to relate to a child and family’s experiences, or at the very least, is comfortable discussing their experiences without bias, can make all the difference. Below, I’ve compiled some recommended resources and reading from Texas CASA for advocates who are interested in self-guided learning during this important month.
Distinguished Speaker Series Presentation: The Trauma of Family Separation – Dr. Jessica Pryce
Dr. Pryce is an Assistant Professor at Florida State University and currently the Executive Director of the Florida Institute for Child Welfare. Dr. Pryce discusses the trauma of child separation, dives into the history of how race has impacted the U.S. child welfare system and proposes an innovative systems change, called blind removals, that has been improving equity in other states. She also joined me for a live Q&A after the episode aired, which you can watch here.
The Fix Video Series
The Fix is our video series exploring issues in the foster care system that need fixing, and proposing solutions, in 5 minutes or less.
- Episode 4 – Reimagining the System with Tanya Rollins
- Episode 9 – Unconscious Bias with MiShon Landry, CDP, CDE
CASA on the Go Podcast
This continuing education podcast connects CASA volunteers with engaging and relevant training designed to help strengthen advocacy for children and families. Each short, dynamic episode features informative discussions with subject matter experts exploring topics connected to child welfare and best practices for CASA advocacy.
- Understanding and Undoing Disproportionality with Tanya Rollins, Part 1 and Part 2
- Advocating for Equity with Alejandro Victoria
The CASA Voice Articles
- 5 Trailblazing Black Women in Child Welfare You Should Know
- Children’s Books to Inspire Black Joy During Black History Month & Beyond
Thank you for all that you do, and for your commitment to a safe, positive future for all Texas children.