Texas CASA Recommends: The Connected Parent

The Connected Parent will not only help you become a better CASA advocate—it will change the way you see the children and families you serve.

Review by Cathy Cockerham, Texas CASA Liaison for Program Development and friend of the late Dr. Karyn Purvis

In April 2016, we lost a fierce advocate for children when Dr. Karyn Purvis passed after a courageous battle with cancer.

She was a dear and trusted friend to many in the CASA community. Recognizing and honoring CASA volunteers’ incredible desire to help children and families, she regularly partnered with us to train CASA volunteers and staff on a state and national level. In her public obituary, she asked others to consider becoming a CASA volunteer.

From The Hope Connection® Camp they started for children adopted from foster care in 1999, to the development of the Trust-Based Relational Intervention® (TBRI®) model, to the formation of the Karyn Purvis Institute of Child Development, Karyn and Institute Cofounder Dr. David Cross contributed enormously to transforming the child welfare system in Texas and changing the trajectory of children impacted by trauma.

Karyn and Dr. Cross also coauthored The Connected Child, a powerful book for adoptive parents and all who give care to children. Before she passed, Karyn began work on The Connected Parent to serve as a companion. It was released in July, thanks to the dedication and help of coauthor Lisa Qualls and contributing editor Emmelie Pickett.

Dr. Karyn Purvis

I was one of those CASAs lucky enough to have enjoyed a close friendship with Karyn—so when Emmelie sent me the book for review, I began reading with tears alongside wonderful memories of a dear friend and ardent, fierce advocate for healing the traumas affecting children and families.

Certainly not just for parents, this book is for anyone who “wants to understand how to serve and love children as well as themselves,” as Institute staff member and trainer Daren Jones aptly puts it. It is an easy book to read and enjoy, with real-life parenting stories showing how and why TBRI®, and its Principles of Empowering, Connecting and Correcting, work.

It is very much a book for CASA. It will speak to your heart and make you a stronger advocate.

5 Takeaways for CASA Volunteers from The Connected Parent

  1. Children benefit from being with adults who have undertaken a thoughtful journey to know who they are. Adults – whether parents, relatives, foster parents, teachers, advocates or providers – can better care for and serve children when they understand their own childhood experiences of attachment, and the potential impact of these experiences on their understanding of, and advocacy for, the needs of a child.
  2. People with the very best of intentions and great love for children can still struggle to be the parent or caregiver that children need. The Connected Parent gives clear examples of these struggles. CASA advocacy can play a critical role of support to caregivers.
  3. This work is as critical for teens as it is for younger children. The Connected Parent devotes an entire chapter to meeting the needs of older youth. This chapter is vitally important for CASA and others in child welfare who are working to improve outcomes for teens.
  4. Understanding root causes can help determine the best advocacy for the strategies, supports and interventions needed for successful healing for the children you serve. Let the wisdom in this book help you be a good “detective,” so that you can seek out and address the root causes of behaviors, attitudes and actions.
  5. This book will change the way you see people and approach your advocacy. Its overview of the TBRI® Principles of Empowering, Connecting and Correcting will be new for some, and a good refresher for others. It will also give you a good understanding of the foundation of attachment; and help you understand the impact of early life traumas, large and small, and how they can influence people’s current actions.

The Connected Parent offers insights that will strengthen your helping approach, your family focus, and your holistic advocacy for children’s best interests. It will not only help you change lives, it will change your own.

Order The Connected Parent and its companion, The Connected Child, on Amazon.

Want to learn more about The Connected Parent? Listen to this recent podcast featuring coauthor Lisa Qualls and contributing editor Emmelie Pickett.

Read about the legacy of Dr. Karyn Purvis.