Texas CASA Hosts CFE Symposium to Grow Family Engagement in the Lives of Children & Youth in Foster Care

Texas CASA, the Department of Family and Protective Services (DFPS), Child Protective Services (CPS), and Community-Based Care contractors will meet starting Wednesday, May 3, at the Denton Convention Center for the two-day Collaborative Family Engagement (CFE) Symposium. Under the theme “CFE for All,” attendees will take home lessons learned from child welfare and family engagement experts to support Texas CASA’s statewide goal of helping children achieve strong connectivity and permanency with relatives and trusted loved ones when possible.

“CFE is all about connections and relies on the CFE teams to work together to explore potential positive connections identified by the family,” said Vicki Spriggs, Chief Executive Officer of Texas CASA. “The CFE Symposium is our opportunity to bring together everyone involved in CFE statewide to learn and grow together.”

CFE is Texas’ team-based approach between local CASA programs and DFPS, Community-Based Care contractors, and other child welfare professionals. The team engages, finds, and works with family members and fictive kin to create and develop a lifetime network for young people in the foster care system. CFE provides creative tools for CASA volunteers and caseworkers to use with the child, parent, or relative in order to identify important people to the child or youth and to fully hear their voice and story.

The CFE program grew from just three local CASA programs in 2015 to a united statewide network of family engagement-focused CASA programs today. Through CFE, Texas CASA engaged more than 2,400 families in over 108 counties in 2022 alone which served nearly 4,500 children.

Keynote speakers of the CFE Symposium are Dr. Amelia Franck Meyer, Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Alia Innovations, and Kevin Campbell, co-founder and Chief Executive Officer of Pale Blue. Franck Meyer and the team at Alia are working with parents and partners to create a national movement to keep children safe with, not from, their families.  Alia works with child welfare leaders who are innovators and early adapters in jurisdictions around the country to create transformational change in child welfare. Campbell is the developer of Family Finding™ and Family Seeing™, a set of strategies now utilized throughout North America, Australia, and Western Europe to convene, catalyze and facilitate families, communities, and governments.

The CFE Symposium is supported by the Texas Bar Foundation, which awarded Texas CASA with a $10,000 grant in November 2022. Since its inception in 1965, the Texas Bar Foundation has awarded more than $24 million in grants to law-related programs.